Oct. 17, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The race for the four spots in the Patriot League Tournament reaches a fever pitch this weekend, as eight League contests are scheduled for the weekend.
Patriot League Women's Soccer Release - 10.17.11
Lafayette maintained its stance as the top team in the League thanks to a 1-0 victory over Holy Cross Saturday afternoon. In fact, the Leopards actually increased their lead from two points to four over Army and Colgate, which had to settle for draws against Lehigh and Navy, respectively.
The weekend was also critical for American, which earned a 1-0 victory against Bucknell Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital. The Eagles captured their first three points of the season in League play and secured the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker with the Bison, who also have three points in the standings with three matches to play.
For both Lehigh and Navy, which are separated by three points in the standings (and a Mountain Hawk win over the Mids earlier this season standing as the difference), it was a key defensive play that helped garner their weekend draws. Senior Kate Herren was named the BRINE Defensive Player of the Week after her opportune breakup of a crossing pass headed toward an open Colgate attacker with a wide-open in the first half of Saturday’s match in Annapolis, Md. She dove in to break up the play and deflect the ball over the net to get the Mids out of trouble. Later in the match it was Herren’s corner kick that was headed into the net by Ashlynn Soellner that tied the game late in the second half to force extra time.
Meanwhile in Bethlehem, Pa., senior Hannah Cochran’s move to center back continues to pay dividends for Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks have only allowed one goal in the five games since she made the switch, including Saturday’s scoreless match with preseason League favorite Army. During a Black Knight flurry early in the second half, Cochran blocked an Errin Helbling shot off the goal line and the Lehigh defense cleared the ball out of trouble to preserve the tie. Lehigh held Army scoreless for the first time in eight outings.
Navy is the first team back on the pitch when it hosts South Carolina State Monday at 4 p.m. It’s the second of a four-match stretch at home for the Mids, who will have a big weekend coming up when they host Army Friday and Holy Cross Sunday.
Holy Cross will step out of League play as well with a match Tuesday against visiting Brown. After that, the rest of the week’s slate is entirely based around League play.
The Crusaders visit American for a 3 p.m. bout Friday to begin the weekend. Lafayette, which would get into the League Tournament with a win Friday, has a tough test when it visits Colgate at 7 p.m. Navy hosts Army at 7 p.m. in the annual Star Match between the two, while Lehigh hopes for another strong defensive effort in its 7 p.m. contest at Bucknell.
Four matches are set for Sunday, and all four bids to the League Tournament could be known by the middle of the afternoon. Army visits American at 12 p.m., while the other three matches - Holy Cross at Navy, Lafayette at Bucknell and Lehigh at Colgate - will kick off at 1 p.m.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ALLISON STONE, LAFAYETTE Jr., M, Rockville, Md.
Stone picked a great time to score her first career marker, as she one-timed a loose ball out of a scrum in the 29th minute and it stood up as Lafayette took a 1-0 victory from Holy Cross during a windy match Saturday in Easton, Pa. The Leopards moved to 4-0-0 in the League to strengthen their hold on first place, and ended the regular season with a program-best 6-0-0 mark at home.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KATE HERREN, NAVY Sr., D, Auburn, Wash.
Herren was crucial on both sides of the ball for Navy in its 1-1 tie with Colgate on Saturday. She made a diving play to clear away a pass intended for a wide-open Colgate attacker that would’ve led to a close scoring chance in the 27th minute with the match still scoreless. In the 84th minute with the Mids down 1-0, her corner kick into the box found Ashlynn Soellner, who tied the match with her header. Herren is tied for the League lead with six assists.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
KLARE LAZOR, AMERICAN So., GK, Exton, Pa.
Lazor made six saves, including three in the second half, as American stayed alive for a Patriot League Tournament bid with a 1-0 victory over visiting Bucknell Sunday. Her biggest stop of the game came in the 78th minute, when she denied Bucknell’s Evelyn Nicinski on an in-close opportunity as the Bison were pressing for the equalizer.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
NICOLE PAVIGLIONITE, AMERICAN Fr., F/M, Branford, Conn.
Paviglionite registered her first career game-winning goal when she found the back of the net on a header in the 69th minute to give American a 1-0 victory against visiting Bucknell Sunday in a critical League contest. It was Paviglionite’s second goal of the season, and she has started each of the last eight contests. With the win, the Eagles jumped back into the picture for a League Tournament berth, as they trail fourth-place Lehigh by four points with three matches to go.
HANNAH COCHRAN, LEHIGH Sr., D, Staten Island, N.Y.
Cochran came up with a defensive save less than two minutes into the second half, stopping Errin Helbling’s shot near the goal line to preserve the scoreless tie with visiting Army Saturday night. Lehigh gained momentum after that play, outshooting the Black Knights 16-2 the rest of the way in a match that ended in a scoreless draw.
MADISON OLIVER, ARMY Fr., D, Flower Mound, Texas
Oliver, who has been strong all year on the Army back line during her rookie campaign, denied a potential shot on goal late in the second overtime to preserve the Black Knights’ 0-0 tie at Lehigh Saturday night.
LAUREN SMEDLEY, LAFAYETTE Jr., GK, Hamilton, N.J.
Smedley made five saves to preserve the Leopards’ 1-0 win over Holy Cross, keeping them in first place. It was her 19th career clean sheet, tying her for 10th in League history with Lehigh’s Erin Iwaskiewicz.
JILLIAN KINTER, COLGATE Jr., F, Newburyport, Mass.
Kinter scored her seventh goal of the season in Colgate’s 1-1 draw at Navy Saturday afternoon. She leads the team with 19 points (7g, 5a), while the Raiders are now unbeaten in their last seven (5-0-2).
Patriot League Notebook
First-place Lafayette maintained its position as the top dog in the Patriot League for another week thanks to a 1-0 victory over Holy Cross in the team’s final regular-season home match. The Leopards also saw their lead increased when the four teams immediately following them in the standings all picked up draws over the weekend. Lafayette now leads Army and Colgate, which are tied for second, by four points and Lehigh by five with three League contests to go.
With three League contests to go for each team and everybody playing a pair this weekend, the League Tournament picture is expected to clear up quite a bit heading into the final week of the regular season. The path to one of the four bids is the clearest for Lafayette, which can secure a spot even without a win on Friday. Here’s a quick breakdown of clinching scenarios for the League Tournament entering Friday’s matches:
• Lafayette: In with a win at Colgate OR a Navy loss to Army
• Army: In with a win at Navy AND losses by American and Bucknell
• Colgate: In with a win over Lafayette AND losses by American and Bucknell
KNOW YOUR TIEBREAKERS
Teams and fans alike are dusting off their Patriot League tiebreakers for women’s soccer heading into the final two weekends of the regular season. With two matches ending in ties over the weekend and five points separating second place from seventh in the standings, there is still a lot up in the air entering the upcoming Friday/Sunday slate. The most important item to remember regarding the tiebreaker process is in the event three or more teams are tied, that specific tiebreaker process is played out to its conclusion. A complete rundown of the League’s tiebreaker process for women’s soccer is available at http://www.patriotleague.org/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/081308aab.html and is also availabe on page nine of this release.
TRYING TO BUILD MOMENTUM
Navy will play the second of four straight matches at home when it hosts South Carolina State Monday at 4 p.m. The Mids rallied for a 1-1 draw with Colgate Saturday in Annapolis, Md., thanks to an Ashlynn Soellner goal after a Kate Herren corner kick in the waning minutes of regulation. Navy welcomes rival Army to the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility Friday evening for what is always an emotional match, followed by a 1 p.m. contest Sunday with visiting Holy Cross. The Mids saw their four-year stretch of Patriot League Tournament berths come to an end last season.
ONE IN, THE OTHER ON THE EDGE
Lauren Smedley’s five-save shutout of Holy Cross Saturday gave her 19 for her career, putting her into a 10th-place tie on the Patriot League’s all-time clean sheet list. Monica Lee collected her career 18th blanking Saturday night in the scoreless draw with Lehigh to put her one shy of breaking into the League’s all-time top 10. Lee’s performance against the Mountain Hawks was her 11th shutout of the year, making her the second straight Black Knight keeper to post that many in a season, as Alex Lostetter did the same a year ago. Lee’s 11 shutouts are tied for sixth on the League’s single-season list and two shy of the record.
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.
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.