Women's Watch - Weekend #9
By D3soccer.com contributor
With just a week left in regular season play, the conference playoff picture is starting to shape up. As such, Top 25 teams seem to be reaching top form. In a season filled with upsets and surprises, they proved to be in short supply among the elite this weekend. There was only one upset among ranked teams and very few close calls as the season roars to the playoffs.
Friday, October 24
No. 3 Trinity (Texas) (16-0-1) treated Austin (9-7-0) to Halloween a week early by haunting up a 9-nil drubbing in San Antonio. All-Americans Kelsey Falcone and Emily Jorgens combined for five goals in leading the Tigers to the #1 seed in the SCAC tournament. Trinity notched another win on Sunday. Emily Jorgens and Maggie Olvera scored two goals each to lead the Tigers to a 7-0 conference victory over the University of Dallas (8-8-2) at home. For those of you following the math, Trinity outscored their opponents 16-0 this weekend.
Also in the Lone Star state, No. 19 Texas-Tyler (11-1-2) extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games, defeating ASC opponent Concordia (Texas) (5-4-3) 3-0 on Friday. With the win, the Patriots hoped to lock up the conference with a win over Mary Hardin-Baylor on Sunday; however, in a see-saw contest they could not break the deadlock and the game ended 2-2. The tie gives Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-4-2), who has a game in hand, the edge for top seed in the conference.
Saturday, October 25
No. 6 Johns Hopkins (14-2-0) rolled into southeastern Pennsylvania Saturday and rolled out with a 6-0 win over Bryn Mawr (5-10-1). Sydney Teng got the scoring going early, with two goals in five minutes as the Blue Jays proved to be too much bird for the Owls in a Centennial Conference matchup.
Not to be outdone, No. 7 Wheaton (Ill.) (14-1-2) rocked North Central (Ill.) (6-6-2) on Saturday 7-1. Ally Witt and Bailey Wysocki scored two goals each to lead the Thunder to an easy victory which maintains their narrow lead in the CCIW standings.
No. 8 William Smith (12-2-0) squeaked by a tenacious Clarkson (6-9-1) team. William Smith senior Krista Longo scored 6:01 into the match to guide the Herons to the 1-0 Liberty League win in Potsdam, NY. It’s their 11th straight victory contributing to the perfect 7-0-0 mark in the Liberty League.
No. 10 Montclair State (15-1-1) defeated Swarthmore (9-6-0) on Saturday 2-0. The Red Hawks currently sit atop the NJAC standings at 7-0-1 and would capture the regular-season championship and top seed in the conference tournament with a victory over Rutgers-Newark on Wednesday.
No. 13 TCNJ (12-2-2) destroyed William Paterson (4-10-3) 9-0 on Saturday. The win put TCNJ at 7-1-0 in the NJAC standings with one game remaining. The Lions host rival Rowan (10-3-1) on Tuesday. A win by TCNJ will earn them a bye in the opening round of the conference tournament.
Hartwick (7-7-1) gave No. 17 Ithaca (13-2-0) a scare after a brave performance by goalkeeper Ally Millar on Saturday. Ithaca outshot the Hawks 24 to 3, but could not put the game away until the 85th minute. The late goal had implications beyond the game itself as it secured the #1 seed and home field advantage in the Empire 8 tournament for the Bombers who finished tied with Nazareth at 7-1-0 in the standings.
No. 22 Hardin-Simmons (12-2-0) faced No. 23 Texas-Dallas (11-3-1) in a battle of ranked ASC teams. A 3-1 victory for the Cowgirls over their Dallas rivals has HSU atop the conference at 6-1 with Texas-Dallas just behind with a 5-1-1 mark. HSU can win the ASC outright and host the conference tournament with a pair of wins next weekend over East Texas Baptist and Louisiana College.
UPSET SPECIAL - With most top teams humming into their conference playoffs, there was only one upset of a ranked team. Denison (11-5-0) caught No. 25 Case Western Reserve (8-4-3) 1-nil on Saturday. Case had back-to-back upsets last week, but it was Denison who made a statement this weekend. It could be an invaluable win for the Big Red should they be in need of an at-large berth come Selection Sunday and just the opposite for Case Western.
GAME OF THE WEEK #1 - The nation’s best provided little in the way of excitement and suspense this weekend, but with all the conference play on tap, there was definitely some thrilling rivalry action. For example, Keene State (10-8-0) and Western Connecticut (12-5-1) battled into double-overtime in their LEC tilt Saturday before Keene scored a 1-0 win. The host Owls went from facing a game-ending penalty kick to spearheading a counterattack that resulted in victory. With 2:44 left in the second overtime, the Colonials were awarded what seemed a decisive penalty kick, but senior goalkeeper Torrie Crenson dove right to make the stop for Keene State. Immediately the Owls started to counter and Morgan Kathan made a beautiful run and buried her first collegiate goal with 2:38 to play. It was Western Connecticut’s first loss since September 17 and tightened the LEC race as Western Connecticut fell into a first place tie with Mass-Boston at 5-1-0 while Keene sits a game back at 4-2-0 along with Eastern Connecticut.
GAME OF THE WEEK #2 - Another thriller came between John Carroll and Capital who have a history. Last year eventual NCAA semi-finalist Capital beat John Carroll to win the OAC. In 2012 the Blue Streaks eliminated Capital from the playoffs on penalty kicks. Both teams have had uneven seasons, beating nationally and regionally ranked teams, but falling to unranked teams. Saturday’s matchup was another archetypal battle between two well coached squads. The Crusaders scored early on a well-executed set piece in the third minute. It was a lead they would hold for most of the match. Late in the second half Danielle Sharbaugh scored for the Blue Streaks and the game went to overtime. With less than a minute remaining in the second overtime, Kay Akerly received a lead pass in space behind the defense and she slotted the ball past the keeper to give John Carroll (10-3-3) the win. Capital (11-5-1) may get the chance to avenge the loss as these two would meet in the first round of the OAC playoffs if the standings hold.
Sunday, October 26
No.14 Thomas More (16-1-0) blasted 27 shots at Thiel (5-13-0) to roll to a 9-nil victory on Sunday. With the win, the Saints improve to 7-0-0 in the PAC having out-scored its seven conference opponents by a combined margin of 45-0. The Tomcats fall to 3-4-0 in the conference standings.
Mascot of the Week
|UC Santa Cruz's Banana Slug|
At the risk of making a bad pun, our Mascot of the Week was picked from the low hanging fruit. One of the most unusual and most popular mascots in all of college sports is UC Santa Cruz’s Banana Slug. Per the UCSC website, “In 1980, when some campus teams wanted more organized yet still low-key participation in extramural competition, UCSC joined Division III of the NCAA in five sports. The application required an official team name, and UCSC's chancellor at the time, Robert Sinsheimer, selected a new moniker: the Sea Lions. While the chancellor considered sea lions more dignified and suitable to serious play than Banana Slugs, the new name did not find favor with the majority of students, who continued to root for the Slugs even after a sea lion was painted in the middle of the basketball floor. After five years of dealing with the two-mascot problem, an overwhelming pro-slug straw vote by students in 1986 persuaded the chancellor to make the lowly but beloved Banana Slug UCSC's official mascot.”