Oct. 29, 2013
Patriot League Men's Soccer Release - 10.29.13 (PDF)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Army and Navy captured two of six berths to the 2013 Patriot League Tournament over the weekend, and the two squads are in the proverbial driver's seat for a top-two seed and associated quarterfinal bye. Both teams have designs on hosting the tournament's semifinal and championship rounds as the No. 1 seed.
PATRIOT LEAGUE QUICK HITS
Army has qualified for its first Patriot League Tournament since 1996, snapping a 16-year postseason drought.
Navy wrapped up its second Patriot League Tournament appearance in the last three years. Before 2011, the Mids hadn't qualified for nine straight seasons.
Both academies have clinched no worse than the tournament's third seed.
Holy Cross would wrap up a tournament berth with a victory on Wednesday over Army. The Crusaders are looking to qualify for their first bracket since 2008.
Colgate (7 points) hosts Boston University (6) and Bucknell (7) travels to Lafayette (7) in a pair of supremely critical League contests Wednesday night.
All five League matchups on Wednesday will air at 7 p.m. on Patriot League Network, while PLN will showcase four of Saturday's five contests.
Navy's Gavin Snyder leads the country with a .943 save percentage. Army's Winston Boldt is second at .914. Snyder is also tops in goals-against average (0.222), while Boldt is third (0.411).
Boldt's two shutouts last week gives him 11 on the season, placing him second in League single-season history.
Navy's nine-game win streak is the second-longest streak nationally behind Coastal Carolina's 11 straight wins. It's the Mids' longest stretch of consecutive wins since 1966.
Lafayette senior keeper Nathan McDonald has moved up into a tie for 10th all-time in League history with 18 career shutouts. Army's Winston Boldt and American's Billy Knutsen are both just outside the list with 15 career clean sheets each.
Boston University stayed alive for the postseason with a much-needed 2-0 victory over Loyola Maryland on Saturday. Dominique Badji scored the game-winner and Matt Gilbert logged the three-save shutout in goal.
Freshman defender Jake Garcia played all 220 minutes on the back line in a pair of double-overtime draws last week for American.
Army ranked 28th and Navy was receiving votes in Monday's College Soccer News Top 30.
Navy is the Patriot League's top team in the RPI at No. 37. Army comes in at No. 55 and Bucknell is No. 83.
Patriot League Notebook
ARMY, NAVY CAPTURE BIDS
With wins on Saturday, both Army and Navy secured berths to the 2013 Patriot League Men's Soccer Tournament. Four more bids are still out there for the taking. Holy Cross is in the best shape at the moment with 12 points to sit alone in third place, but the Crusaders have a tough contest with the Black Knights on Wednesday in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders would secure their first berth since 2008 with a victory.
WELCOME THE NEWCOMERS
For the first time since 2001 there's a new face competing in the Patriot League, and this time around it's doubled. After a year of waiting, Boston University and Loyola Maryland made their League debuts Aug. 30, with the Greyhounds drawing 1-1 at Saint Joseph's, and the Terriers suffering a 2-1 overtime loss to Boston College. Before this season the League hadn't seen a new men's soccer member since 2001, when American joined in all sports. That year the Eagles brought the number of teams to an even eight. From 1995-2000 the League featured seven members.
BIGGER LEAGUE, BIGGER TOURNAMENT
With the additions of Boston University and Loyola Maryland, the Patriot League announced it is expanding six of its tournaments and one of those is men's soccer. After 22 years of tournaments where the top four teams qualified, the 2013 field will involve six teams. The top two teams will earn quarterfinal byes, while seeds 3 through 6 will battle in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The tournament will re-seed for the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 15, and the last two remaining teams will vie for the League crown and automatic NCAA berth on Sunday, Nov. 17. The top overall seed will host the semifinals and championship.
EAGLES SOAR TO TOP OF POLL
American was picked the preseason favorite of the head coaches and sports information directors in August, with League newcomers Boston University and Loyola Maryland positioned at immediate contenders. The Eagles claimed the pole position with 151 points and nine first-place votes, with the Terriers (130 points, three votes) and Greyhounds (121, four) in the rearview mirror. Defending champion Lafayette (115, three) took fourth in the poll, and 2011 champion Colgate (98, one) was fifth. Bucknell, Navy, Lehigh, Holy Cross and Army rounded out the preseason balloting.
SOTO ON WATCH LIST
American senior defender Cristobal Soto was named to the Missouri Athletic Club's (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List prior to the season. Soto, the preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was an All-League selection a year ago in helping the Eagles to the League title match for the fourth consecutive season. The Hermann Trophy honors the top male and female collegiate soccer players in the nation.
TOP TEAMS DOMINATE PRESEASON ALL-LEAGUE
Nine of the 11 members on the preseason All-League squad are from the top four teams in the preseason poll. American and League newcomer Boston University tied with three selections apiece, while another newcomer, Loyola Maryland, had two student-athletes selected. Defending League titlist Lafayette, Bucknell and Navy rounded out the team with one selection each. The preseason All-League team and awards were voted on by the League's head coaches and sports information directors who couldn't cast a ballot for their own teams or student-athletes.
WATCH FREE ON THE PATRIOT LEAGUE NETWORK
2013-14 is the first of a multi-year agreement between the Patriot League and Campus Insiders who have teamed up to create the Patriot League Network, a streaming platform that will enable fans to watch League regular season and championship events for free. Currently more than 50 men's soccer matches are tentatively scheduled to stream on the Network, both League and non-League, including the Patriot League Tournament.
NCAA RECOGNIZES LEAGUE AGAIN
The Patriot League was once again a big winner when the NCAA announced its latest set of Academic Performance Program Public Recognition Awards and Academic Progress Rate data in June. Four men's soccer teams were among the total of 71 League squads to earn NCAA Public Recognition Awards - Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross and Lafayette - for finishing in the top 10 percent of their sport in the most recent multi-year APR data. Meanwhile, six of the League's eight schools (pre-expansion) boasted an APR of 985 or better.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (10.21-10.27)
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
NICK WILLIAMS, ARMY Fr., F, South Orange, N.J.
Williams tallied two of the Black Knights' three goals and both game-winners, including perhaps the program's most significant goal of the last 17 years in the 58th minute of Saturday's 1-0 victory over Lehigh. That win clinched Army its first Patriot League Tournament berth since 1996, snapping the League's longest postseason drought. Williams scored the game-winner on Tuesday at Central Connecticut off the bench in the eventual 2-0 win over the Blue Devils.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CRISTOBAL SOTO, AMERICAN Sr., D, Santiago, Chile
After sitting out Tuesday's scoreless draw with West Virginia in non-League action, Soto was back into the Eagle lineup in his usual center back position and helped American pick up a point with a 0-0 tie against Lafayette on Saturday in Washington. American's defense, anchored by Soto, yielded just four shots on goal and kept the Leopards to the outside by clearing out eight corners. Saturday's scoreless draw was American's seventh shutout of the season.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
GAVIN SNYDER, NAVY Sr., GK, Severna Park, Md.
The senior keeper continues to play stellar in goal for the Mids. He improved his record on the season to 9-0-0 with a pair of victories, including Saturday's 1-0 overtime win at Holy Cross that clinched Navy its second trip to the Patriot League Tournament in the last three seasons. It was his sixth clean sheet of the season and fifth against a League opponent. On Tuesday Snyder was in goal and made five saves in a 3-1 triumph over NJIT. He remains the top goalkeeper in the country with a 0.22 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
ALEX EVANS, NAVY Fr., F, Lansdale, Pa.
Evans came off the bench to score the golden goal 5:33 into overtime to lift Navy to a 1-0 victory at Holy Cross on Saturday. Not only did it extend the Mids' win streak to nine, the second-longest active streak in the nation and the program's longest since 1966, but it also clinched them a coveted berth in the Patriot League Tournament and kept them in a first-place tie with rival Army. Evans also picked up an assist on Jamie Dubyoski's insurance goal in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over NJIT.
BILLY KNUTSEN, AMERICAN Sr., GK, San Francisco, Calif.
Accounted for four saves as the Eagles gained a point in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Lafayette.
WINSTON BOLDT, ARMY Jr., GK, St. Louis, Mo.
Tallied six saves total and two shutouts for the Black Knights, including a five-save performance against Lehigh in Saturday's 1-0 victory.
DOMINIQUE BADJI, BOSTON UNIVERSITY Jr., M, Dakar, Senegal
Scored the game-winner in BU's 2-0 win over Loyola Maryland on Saturday to keep the Terriers' hopes alive for a berth to the Patriot League Tournament.
TANNER SCHILLING, COLGATE Jr., M, Coralville, Iowa
His 71st-minute strike led the Raiders to a 2-1 win at Bucknell on Saturday while lifting them into a three-way tie for fifth in the standings at seven points.
NATHAN McDONALD, LAFAYETTE Sr., GK, Bay Village, Ohio
Made six stops for his seventh shutout of the season and 18th of his career in Saturday's scoreless draw at American.
JAMIE DUBYOSKI, NAVY Sr., F, Catonsville, Md.
Posted a goal and an assist for three points in Navy's 3-1 win over NJIT on Tuesday. Also drew the foul that set up Joseph Greenspan's successful penalty kick try.