Oct. 27, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The first Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament of the 10-team era saw it's six-team field finalized on Saturday, as Army and Bucknell secured the final two bids for the 2013 playoff. On Sunday the tournament's top two seeds were sewn up, with Navy clinching the top spot and hosting duties for the semifinal and championship rounds and Boston University securing the No. 2 seed.
The Mids won 3-0 over visiting Loyola Maryland, while the Terriers outlasted American 1-0 in overtime on the road.
American and Colgate round out the field.
The quarterfinal rounds will play out on Tuesday, Nov. 5, with the No. 3 seed hosting the sixth seed, and the fifth seed visiting No. 4. The tournament will re-seed entering the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 8, with Navy hosting the lowest remaining seed. Boston University will square off against the other advancing team.
Still to be determined is which two schools will make history as the first hosts of the tournament's inaugural quarterfinal round. Colgate, American, Bucknell and Army could all still capture the third or fourth seeds, but it depends on how next weekend's results play out. The Black Knights host Navy Friday at 7 p.m., while on Saturday Bucknell visits Boston University at 2 p.m. and Colgate hosts American at 7 p.m.
A full breakdown of what is at stake in next weekend's games will be in Tuesday's women's soccer weekly release.
Bucknell opened Saturday's slate of three League matches by posting a 2-0 victory over Holy Cross in Lewisburg, Pa. The victory punched the Bison's first ticket to the League Tournament since 2010. They will make their 16th appearance overall after a two-year hiatus from the postseason. Bucknell qualified for six straight years from 2005-10, but missed out in 2011 by three points and lost out on the tiebreaker a year ago. Bucknell is just one of four programs to claim multiple titles, having won in 2001 and '05, the latter of which came during head coach Ben Landis' first season.
On Saturday night the combination of Army's 3-1 win at Lafayette coupled with Colgate's 1-0 shutout at Lehigh clinched a postseason berth for the Black Knights. Army, which hosted the 2010 tournament and won it a year later as the No. 4 seed, endured a disappointing 2012 and did not qualify for the postseason to defend its crown. The Black Knights are back in for the 18th time, trailing only Colgate's League-leading 21 appearances. Army is tied with Navy for second in League annals with three championships, with two of those crowns coming in the last five years.
Navy, last year's tournament host, has qualified for the third consecutive season and is hoping for a better result than the last two years. The Mids have advanced to each of the last two championship matches, dropping a 2-0 decision to Army in 2011 in Hamilton, N.Y., and falling 1-0 to Colgate a year ago at home in Annapolis, Md. They will make their 16th appearance in the League's playoff and try to capture their fourth championship and first since 2007. The Mids own three League titles and are hosting the semifinal and championship for the second straight season.
It's been a successful debut season so far for Boston University, which is now 1-for-1 in qualifying for the League Tournament. The Terriers earned their way into the postseason last Saturday with a 1-0 win over Loyola, and wrapped up the field's second seed and quarterfinal round bye with Sunday's overtime victory at American. BU has a proven postseason track record with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances and nine America East titles before joining the League for this season.
Colgate owns the longest active streak of women's soccer tournament appearances and will extend that run to six straight years in 2013. Unbelievably, the Raiders have never missed out on the tournament in consecutive years, and didn't qualify just twice (2001, '07). The defending League champions own a League-leading 25 tournament wins and 12 crowns, and will try to become the first back-to-back title winner since Navy in 2006 and '07. Colgate also owns the League's longest string of consecutive championships with six from 1994-99.
American makes the tournament for the second straight season and first time under head coach Anabel Jimenez Hering. The Eagles have qualified in back-to-back years for the first time since claiming four straight tournament bids from 2001-04, the first three of which came during Hering's playing days in Washington. This season will mark the Eagles' eighth tournament appearance, and they'll aim for their second League championship (2002).
The winner of the 2013 Patriot League Tournament earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.