Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Senior Jasmine Mohandesi has helped lead American back to the Patriot League Tournament. The Eagles' previous appearance was in 2009.
Senior Jasmine Mohandesi has helped lead American back to the Patriot League Tournament. The Eagles' previous appearance was in 2009.

Nov. 2, 2012

2012 Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- After a regular season that lasts two and a half months, followed by a seven-game Patriot League schedule where the teams are constantly jockeying for position, the four to emerge for the League tournament were American, Colgate, Lehigh and Navy. The four squads will begin the 2012 edition of the Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament with the semifinals Friday. Second-seeded Colgate takes on No. 3 American at 3 p.m., while top-seeded Navy battles No. 4 Lehigh at 7 p.m. Sunday's championship is set for 2 p.m., and all three matches will take place at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis, Md.

Subscribers to Patriot League All-Access will be able to watch all three tournament contests online.

Women's Soccer Championship Central;
Patriot League All-Access;
All-Patriot League/Major Awards Release;
Academic All-Patriot League Release

The Mids went 6-0-1 against League opponents and are hosting the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2008. Navy missed the postseason in 2010, but returned a year ago as the third seed and advanced to the championship final. This time around, the Mids are looking to finish the job and claim the League trophy and accompanying NCAA Tournament berth.

Second-seeded Colgate is in the four-team field for the 20th time in 22 years, a remarkable run of consistency that is unmatched by any other League program. The Raiders hosted last year's tournament, but ran into a fourth-seeded Army team in the semifinals that was peaking at just the right time. Colgate and Navy played to a 1-1 draw in Hamilton, N.Y., during the regular season, handing the Mids the only blemish to their League record.

After dropping their first League match to Navy, American rattled off four straight shutout victories to clinch its first tournament bid since 2009. The Eagles have relied largely on their defense, as they're tied for third in the League giving up 1.44 goals per contest. They have a young defensive corps in front of a sophomore goalkeeper, while their attack and midfield features senior leadership.

Lehigh rose back into the Patriot League Tournament picture thanks to three straight League wins to end the season, plus a little bit of help in the rest of the standings. Be that as it may, the Mountain Hawks are back in the four-team field for the first time since their 2010 title run under third-year head coach Eric Lambinus.


• Navy is 3-0 in the semifinals as the No. 1 seed, but is 0-3 in the championship match at home in the League tournament.

• Lehigh is making its sixth appearance in the tournament, but its first as the No. 4 seed.

• American's one League crown (2002) came when the Eagles were the No. 3 seed.

• Colgate is 6-1 all-time as the tournament's No. 2 seed, including 3-1 in the semifinals and 3-0 in the championship.

• The Patriot League champion will find out its NCAA destiny Monday when the selection show is streamed on at 4:30 p.m.

• The four tournament teams combined to go 11-0-2 at home during League play this season.

• Navy remained eighth in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Mid-Atlantic rankings released Monday.

• Seventeen of 23 All-Patriot League selections, five of 11 Academic All-League honorees and all six major award winners will be in action at the tournament.

Patriot League Tournament Preview

No. 2 Colgate Raiders (9-5-4, 4-1-2 Patriot League) vs. No. 3 American Eagles (6-9-3, 4-2-1 Patriot League), 3 p.m.

2012 MATCHUP T, 2-2 (2OT) (10.27 - Washington, D.C.) LAST PL TOURNAMENT MEETING Colgate, 1-0 (2OT) (11.8.2009) TOURNAMENT HISTORY Tied, 1-1 AMERICAN PLT ALL-TIME 4-5-0 COLGATE PLT ALL-TIME 23-9-1

AMERICAN The Eagles clinched a berth in the Patriot League Tournament with a 1-0 win at Holy Cross Oct. 19 ... It was the last of four straight shutouts for American against League teams, and it was enough to get it into the postseason for the first time since 2009 ... The Eagles sewed up the third seed with last weekend's 2-2 draw at home against Colgate, their semifinal opponent Friday ... Senior Jasmine Mohandesi has been the Eagles' clutch performer ... She has a team-high five goals, of which three are game-winners ... Her 11 points also lead the team ... Michelle Montillio has a team-high four assists to go with three goals for 10 points ... Sophomore Charlene Belanger has played in 16 games this season with a 1.32 goals-against average and four clean sheets.

COLGATE The Raiders are no strangers to the League tournament, qualifying for the 20th time in 22 years ... Each appearance has been under the guidance of head coach Kathy Brawn ... Colgate owns the most victories all-time in the League tournament with 23 ... The Raiders have no shortage of firepower, led by Offensive Player of the Year Jillian Kinter (13 goals, 9 assists) and Rookie of the Year Catherine Williams (10, 8) ... Colgate is second in the League averaging over 15 shots per game, while their 2.39 goals per contest are also second best ... Kinter's five game-winning goals lead all League players ... Caroline Brawner (15 points) and Jenna Raepple (11) round out the Raiders' list of players in double figures in points ... Senior Ashley Walsh mans the net, and has stopped 75 percent of shots sent her way with a 1.62 GAA.

No. 4 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (5-12-0, 3-4-0 Patriot League) at No. 1 Navy Midshipmen (18-1-1, 6-0-1 Patriot League), 7 p.m.

2012 MATCHUP Navy, 1-0 (OT) (10.7 - Annapolis, Md.) LAST PL TOURNAMENT MEETING Navy, 2-0 (11.3.2006) TOURNAMENT HISTORY Navy, 1-0 LEHIGH PLT ALL-TIME 3-3-1 NAVY PLT ALL-TIME 12-11-0

LEHIGH The Mountain Hawks return to the Patriot League Tournament after capturing the 2010 championship and narrowly missing out on making the four-team field to defend their crown last season ... Third-year head coach Eric Lambinus guided Lehigh to its title two seasons ago when he was in his first year in Bethlehem ... Junior Murphee Greeley, a second-team All-League honoree, leads the team with five goals and 12 points ... Izzy Li has the team lead with three dishes ... Freshman Ani Nahapetian has emerged in goal for the Mountain Hawks ... She's made 11 appearances with a 1.69 GAA and a .774 save percentage with two shutouts ... Lehigh is making its first appearance in the League tournament as the No. 4 seed.

NAVY The Mids are trying to overcome the disappointment of making the 2011 championship as the third seed before falling to rival and No. 4 Army in the title match ... Navy has done it on both ends of the field, leading the League in team scoring (51 goals, 2.55 per game) and also in team defense (18 goals allowed, 0.89 GAA) ... The Mids own a League-best nine shutouts, of which junior first-team All-Leaguer and Goalkeeper of the Year Elizabeth Hoerner accounts for four ... Navy is the League's best team distributing the ball with 62 assists ... Like Colgate, the Mids don't have a shortage of goal scorers ... Junior Ashlynn Soellner and sophomore Morgan Dankanich are tied for the team lead with 10 goals ... Soellner leads with 27 points, just ahead of Dankanich's 24 ... Nine players have at least eight points.


POTENTIAL MATCHUPS American split with the other two semifinal teams, defeating Lehigh while falling to Navy ... Colgate went 0-1-1 against the two on the other side of the bracket, grabbing a draw with the Mids while losing at Lehigh ... Navy is 1-0-1 against the two teams in the 2 vs. 3 matchup, while Lehigh went 1-1-0 this season ... American is 1-2-0 all-time against Navy and 0-1-0 against Lehigh in the tournament ... Colgate is 6-3 versus Navy and 1-0 against Lehigh in the playoff ... Lehigh is 1-0 against American and 0-1 head-to-head with the Raiders in the touranment ... Navy is 2-1 versus American and 3-6 all-time with Colgate in the tournament.

Patriot League Tournament Notebook

Navy secured the No. 1 seed on the final day of the regular season to host the 2012 edition of the Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament. The Glenn Warner Soccer Facility will house all three matches of the four-team tournament for the first time since 2008. The Mids captured the regular-season title for the seventh time in program history, and are searching for their fourth League crown overall and first since back-to-back titles in 2006-07.

You will be hard pressed to find a season in which Colgate has not qualified for the Patriot League Tournament. The Raiders, under the tutelage of 22nd-year head coach Kathy Brawn, qualified for the four-team field for the fifth straight season and 20th time overall. Always dangerous in the postseason, Colgate has won a League-high 11 championships, with the last coming in 2009.

Lehigh missed out on the 2011 Patriot League Tournament a year after winning the crown at West Point, but the Mountain Hawks are back in the four-team field in 2012. And they did it in style, claiming the fourth and final berth on the final day of the regular season. Lehigh won its last three League battles, and received a little bit of help down the stretch with Navy's victory over Bucknell on the final day. The Mountain Hawks are the No. 4 seed and will take on host Navy in the semifinals. The two battled into overtime during the regular season before the Mids earned a 1-0 victory.

2012 marks American's return to the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2009. That was in the first season in the tenure of head coach David Bucciero, who is now in his fourth season at the helm. Coincidentally, the Eagles' last opponent in the Patriot League Tournament was Colgate in the finals of the `09 tournament. The Raiders won that contest 1-0 in double overtime. American put together a solid regular-season campaign against League teams going 4-2-1, including four straight clean sheets.

The top two seeds in the Patriot League Tournament were also the big winners when the All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards were revealed Thursday. The Mids and Raiders garnered six selections apiece on the All-League squad, while Navy captured three of the five major individual honors. Colgate's Jillian Kinter was named Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, while Catherine Williams nabbed the Rookie of the Year honor. Navy's Jade Seabrook (Defensive Player of the Year), Elizabeth Hoerner (Goalkeeper of the Year) and Carin Gabarra (Coach of the Year) collected the rest of the trophies.

Jillian Kinter claimed her second straight Offensive Player of the Year award from the League's head coaches, and it's well deserved. The Colgate senior has the most points (35) of any League student-athlete since 2007, and she's the third consecutive player to garner the top offensive accolade in back-to-back seasons.

Navy junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner has made quite a living with her hands during the 2012 regular season, but she might not have enough of them to carry all of her accolades so far. The Lititz, Pa., native was named the Goalkeeper of the Year and garnered first-team All-Patriot League laurels from the head coaches after leading the League with a 1.07 goals-against average and sitting third with a .800 save percentage through the regular season. She added to her awards haul when she was named the Patriot League Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year Thursday by the League's sports information directors. She owns a 3.77 cumulative grade-point average as an honors oceanography major at the U.S. Naval Academy. She joins former Mid keepers Lizzie Barnes (2008) and Beth Reed (2009) as Goalkeeper and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the same season.

Army went on a tear at just the right time. After getting into the postseason as the No. 4 seed, the Black Knights blanked top-seeded Colgate 2-0 in the semifinals and No. 3 seed and rival Navy by the same 2-0 final to capture the 2011 Patriot League Women's Soccer title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. Joey Molacek was named the Tournament MVP after scoring both of her team's goals in the semifinals and picking up an assist in the championship victory. Army keeper Monica Lee stopped seven shots for her academy- and Patriot League-record 15th shutout of the season. It marked just the third time in the 22-year history of the Patriot League Tournament that the Nos. 3 and 4 seeds both advanced to the championship game.