CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The final dominoes fell in place Sunday, clinching the top seed and hosting responsibilities for the Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament for Colgate while filling out the rest of the field for the 2011 edition of the four-team playoff.
The tournament gets underway with both semifinal contests Friday. The Raiders will host No. 4 seed Army at 5 p.m. in a rematch of last year's semifinal matchup that saw the Black Knights take a 1-0 win in overtime at West Point. The second semifinal contest will feature second-seeded Lafayette taking on No. 3 Navy at 8 p.m.
Sunday's championship battle is slated for 1 p.m. All three matches will be contested at Van Doren Field in Hamilton, N.Y.
The Raiders will host the League Tournament for the ninth time overall and second instance in the last three years. Colgate enters the four-team playoff with an 11-5-2 record and won the League's regular-season crown with a 4-1-2 record for 14 points. Colgate fell 1-0 to American Saturday night in Hamilton, N.Y., opening the door for Lafayette to potentially claim the No. 1 seed with a win Sunday at Army.
The Leopards needed a win in the match with the Black Knights, but instead the two clubs settled for a scoreless draw at Shea Stadium at West Point. Lafayette still managed to secure the No. 2 seed thanks to the point earned in the draw. The Leopards had already clinched their first League Tournament bid since 2001 before the weekend's action. Lafayette is making its fourth appearance in the League Tournament all-time and first under current head coach Mick Statham.
Navy wrapped up the final outstanding bid with a 1-0 victory against Bucknell early Sunday afternoon. The match was originally slated for Saturday, and it got underway 30 minutes early in anticipation of the deepening nor'easter that rode up the Atlantic coast and dropped several inches of heavy, wet snow from Pennsylvania and New Jersey up into New England. The match was suspended just nine minutes into the contest. The teams agreed to reschedule the showdown for Sunday at Susquehanna University, with Ashlynn Soellner's first-half marker standing up as the tournament bid-clincher. Navy wrapped up the No. 3 seed and is in the League postseason for the 14th time overall and first since 2009. Lafayette and Navy tied with 13 points, but the Leopards own the head-to-head tiebreaker to climb into the No. 2 position.
Army, which hosted last year's tournament, is the No. 4 seed in 2011. The Black Knights finished with 12 points during the regular season. Like Colgate and Navy, Army knew it was in the League playoff entering the weekend and was looking to pick up points to secure a higher seed. Navy's victory lifted the Mids over Army, with the Black Knights needing a win over Lafayette to jump into the No. 2 slot.