Oct. 4, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The top four teams in the standings at the end of the regular season advance to the Patriot League Tournament, and most will tell you getting out to a good start in League play is imperative to reaching that goal.
Patriot League Women's Soccer Release - 10.4.11
Did Army, Colgate, Lafayette and Navy take the first steps last weekend toward those four berths? It’s too early to tell if they’ll be the last four standing when the League Tournament begins Nov. 4 at the site of the highest seed, but they certainly helped their respective causes.
Army and Colgate picked up victories at home on the opening weekend of League play, with the Raiders winning 3-0 over Bucknell Saturday and the Black Knights blanking Holy Cross 2-0 at West Point Sunday. Navy and Lafayette earned their points on the road, with the Mids rallying from a late 2-1 deficit to win 3-2 in double overtime on Ashlynn Soellner’s marker in the 110th minute. Meanwhile, the Leopards snapped an 0-24-4 stretch against League teams with their 2-1 victory at rival Lehigh, handing the defending League champions their third loss in a row since a short two-match win streak. Gina Milone’s second-half tally stood up as the game-winner, extending Lafayette’s best start in 10 years which, coincidentally, is the last time it made the League Tournament.
Colgate remains the League’s hottest team with four straight wins, including Saturday’s win over Bucknell. The Raiders’ offensive prowess has shown no signs of slowing, and it has maintained its balance with three different players finding the back of the net in Saturday’s match against the Bison. Jenna Raepple is tied atop the League standings with 15 points, while Jillian Kinter is third with 14 points and Maddie Malone sits fourth with 10. Malone boasts a League-best six assists, while Kinter is third with four dishes.
Kim An scored her League-leading seventh goal of the season and Errin Helbling added an insurance tally in the second half off a set piece to lift Army to its victory over Holy Cross. Monica Lee picked up her third straight shutout after another stingy performance by her teammates on the Black Knight defense.
In the only non-League tilt on this week’s schedule, Lehigh snapped its three-game losing streak with a 1-0 overtime victory at home against Columbia. Freshman Sophie Mayeux tallied her first career marker in the closing seconds of the first session of extra time. The win over the Lions improved the League’s cumulative record against the Ivy League this season to 4-0-1.
League play continues with all teams playing a pair of matches over the weekend. Four showdowns are set for Friday at 7 p.m., and each contest will feature teams tied with one another. Army welcomes Colgate to West Point, Lafayette entertains Navy, American visits Lehigh and Bucknell travels to Holy Cross.
The schedule continues Sunday with four matches all at 1 p.m. Colgate wraps up its weekend at Holy Cross, Army hosts Bucknell, Lafayette entertains American and Navy goes to Lehigh.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ASHLYNN SOELLNER, NAVY So., F, Hollidaysburg, Pa.
Soellner is developing a knack for scoring at the most opportune times, logging her second golden goal of the season and third of her young career in Navy’s 3-2 double-overtime win at American. She scored in the 110th minute of the match, controlling a feed from senior Kate Herren to bury the game-winner. Soellner had missed the previous four matches because of injury. Six of her eight career goals are game-winners, placing her in an eighth-place tie in Navy history. It’s the second Offensive Player of the Week nod for Soellner and her first of the year.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KLARA JENKINS, COLGATE So., M, New York, N.Y.
Jenkins contributed on both sides of the ball, tallying her team’s second marker in what wound up a 3-0 Raider victory against visiting Bucknell Saturday in the League opener for both clubs. She helped the Colgate defense allow six Bison shots, including four on goal. Her best defensive play came in the 61st minute when made a defensive save at the goal line on a Bucknell corner kick that was bending toward the net.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
MONICA LEE, ARMY Sr., GK, Crystal Beach, Fla.
Lee earns her second straight Goalkeeper of the Week nod and third this season after making six saves in Army’s 2-0 victory Sunday against visiting Holy Cross. She turned aside three shots in the match’s early going and picked up another stop before halftime. Lee made an acrobatic diving save in the second half to preserve Army’s two-goal advantage before stopping one last shot to preserve the clean sheet. Lee now has 16 career shutouts.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
MORGAN DANKANICH, NAVY Fr., F, Glenmoore, Pa.
Dankanich logged the first goal of her career in thrilling fashion, scoring the game-tying marker in the 89th minute of Saturday’s eventual 3-2 victory for Navy over the Eagles in Washington, D.C. Her goal came two minutes after American had taken a 2-1 lead and it forced the match into overtime, which set up the opportunity for Soellner’s game-winner with 40 seconds left. Dankanich garners the first weekly award of her career.
GINA MILONE, LAFAYETTE Sr., D, North Massapequa, N.Y.
Milone scored the game-winner in the 62nd minute as Lafayette defeated rival Lehigh 2-1 Saturday. It marked the Leopards’ first victory over a League opponent since a 2-1 triumph against Army Oct. 27, 2006, snapping an 0-24-4 stretch.
KATE HERREN, NAVY Sr., D, Auburn, Wash.
Herren recorded an assist on all three Navy goals in Saturday’s 3-2 double-overtime win at American. Two of her assists came off free kicks, and her three helpers ties the Navy individual record.
MOLLY McGUIGAN, ARMY So., D, Boulder, Colo.
McGuigan anchored another solid defensive effort for Army in its 2-0 victory against Holy Cross Sunday. She played a key role in the Black Knights’ third straight clean sheet and ninth overall on the year.
ASHLEY WALSH, COLGATE Jr., GK, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
While Colgate’s offense continues to hum, Walsh put up another solid effort for her team Saturday as she collected three saves in the Raiders’ 3-0 League victory against Bucknell. She’s started all 12 of her team’s matches and is 8-4-0 on the year.
Patriot League Notebook
NAVY SCORES WIN ON DRAMATIC COMEBACK
It’s these types of things that happen when everything is going your way. Navy is experiencing that right now, especially in light of Saturday’s dramatic double-overtime victory at American to open League play. The Eagles took a 1-0 lead on Michelle Montilio’s marker in the 17th minute before Navy knotted the game at one at the 53:21 mark on Fallon Puppolo’s goal. American again took a one-goal lead late in regulation on Jasmine Mohandesi’s third goal of the season in the 87th minute. Morgan Dankanich tallied her first career marker with 19 seconds left in regulation to tie the match, and the Mids completed the comeback on Ashlynn Soellner’s goal in the final minute of double overtime.
After five weeks sitting in the 10th slot in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Mid-Atlantic Regional rankings, Navy moved up one spot Monday to No. 9 thanks to its 3-2 double-overtime victory at American Saturday afternoon. More importantly for the Mids is they picked up three crucial League points on the road, which is no easy task. Navy is trying to make the Patriot League Tournament again after seeing its streak of four consecutive appearances from 2006-09 come to a halt last season.
WAITING A LONG TIME
It had to end sometime. Lafayette entered Saturday’s match at Lehigh having gone 28 straight Patriot League matches without a victory (0-24-4). Thanks to Gina Milone’s second-half tally, the Leopards hung on for an emotional 2-1 win over their rivals and the defending Patriot League Champion Mountain Hawks. Lafayette now stands at 6-3-1 on the season and is continuing its best start since 2001, when it opened the year 7-3-0. The Leopards’ last League victory before Saturday was a 2-1 win over Army Oct. 27, 2006. Lafayette improved to 6-13-2 all-time against its archrival.
The regular-season League calendar features a pair of Friday/Sunday doubleshots, and the first is set for this weekend. Army and Lafayette, which are tied in the League standings at three points, both host a pair of matches. The Black Knights welcome another 1-0-0 team Friday in Colgate before hosting Bucknell Sunday. The Leopards entertain Navy Friday evening and host American Sunday afternoon. All four of Friday’s matches start at 7 p.m., while Sunday’s contests all kick off at 1 p.m.
Army’s defense is once again putting up numbers that rank it among the nation’s best. As of Monday, the Black Knights are third in the NCAA in shutout percentage (.750), seventh in save percentage (.911) and 10th in goals-against average (0.402). Senior goalkeeper Monica Lee is largely responsible for those statistics, and she rates highly on the nation’s individual lists as well. Her 0.402 GAA ranks her 12th, while her .909 save percentage is 10th. Other notable League names in the nation’s top statistical lists include Colgate’s Maddie Malone (39th averaging 0.5 assists per game) and Lafayette goalkeeper Lauren Smedley (20th with a 0.575 GAA).
THE RACE TO HOST
Patriot League play is finally here and the road to the League Tournament begins in earnest. The top four finishers in the standings will qualify for the League Tournament, which will be hosted by the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed. While each team sets out to win the regular season and host the four-team playoff, the tournament results have not been kind in recent years to the top seed. Third-seeded Lehigh’s 1-0 blanking of No. 1 Army in last year’s tournament was the third time in the last four seasons in which the top seed has fallen in the title match.
LEHIGH’S BASUBAS UP FOR LOWE’S AWARD
Lehigh senior midfielder Jana Basubas was named one of thirty candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the week leading up to the start of the regular season. A defensive-minded midfielder, she proved last season she can effectively play at both ends of the pitch after she netted career-highs in goals (four) and points (nine). She’s played in and started all 55 of her team’s matches the last three years, and carries a 3.40 cumulative grade-point average majoring in sociology. She garnered First-Team All-League honors last season in helping the Mountain Hawks win their first League title in program history.
ARMY VOTED THE FAVORITE
Fresh off a 14-4-3 season with a 4-0-3 mark in Patriot League play and an appearance in the League championship match, Army was voted the favorite to capture the title in 2011 after finishing atop the preseason poll. Head coaches and sports information directors, who could not vote for their own teams, combined to give the Black Knights 93 points and 10 first-place votes, followed by Colgate’s 79 points and four first-place votes. Defending champion Lehigh took third with 75 points and the final two first-place votes. Navy garnered 55 points for fourth and Bucknell received 52 points for fifth. The poll was rounded out by American (46 points) in sixth, Lafayette (25) in seventh and Holy Cross (23) in eighth. Army topped the preseason poll for the first time since sharing the No. 1 position with Colgate in 1993 and again in ‘94.