Nov. 2, 2012
2012 Patriot League Women's Soccer Championship Central
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Last year the bottom two seeds won their semifinal contests to advance to Sunday's championship final.
The top two seeds were having none of that this year.
Top seed and host Navy and No. 2 Colgate rolled in their semifinal contests Friday, and will meet up Sunday with the 2012 Patriot League Women's Soccer Championship and accompanying NCAA Tournament berth at stake. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
The Raiders blanked third-seeded American 3-0 in the first semifinal, while top-seeded Navy erupted for a 4-1 triumph over No. 4 Lehigh in the night cap on the strength of a Paloma Perez hat trick.
Colgate and Navy tied 1-1 in their regular-season meeting Oct. 12 in Hamilton, N.Y.
Both teams won their Friday battles by three goals, the largest margins for the semifinals since the 1996 tournament.
Navy advances to its 10th championship match, and is seeking its fourth crown. The Mids last captured the League title in 2007, which was the second of two straight trophies. Navy is a perfect 4-0-0 in the semifinals as the No. 1 seed, but has not won the League title in three previous appearances in the championship as the top seed and host.
Colgate is seeking its 12th League crown and 11th tournament title, and will make its 15th appearance in the championship final. The Raiders moved to 7-1-0 overall in the tournament as the No. 2 seed, including 4-1-0 in the semifinals. They have never lost a tournament final as the second seed, going 3-0-0. Colgate's last championship came in 2009.
Colgate and Navy will meet for the 10th time in the tournament Sunday. The Raiders own a 6-3 edge in the previous nine. Three of those battles have come in the championship final, with Colgate maintaining a 2-1 advantage. Their last meeting in the finals came in 2006, a 1-0 Navy victory. The Mids were the second seed that year, Colgate the No. 4.
Recaps of both contests are below.
No. 2 Colgate 3, No. 3 American 0
Box Score | Video Highlights
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - All season Colgate has been known for its offense, and the team's two primary forces up front combined to send the Raiders to the Patriot League Women's Soccer championship match for the 15th time.
Patriot League Rookie of the Year Catherine Williams scored the Raiders' first goal, and Offensive Player of the Year Jillian Kinter tallied the last one as second-seeded Colgate (10-5-4) advanced to Sunday's final with a 3-0 victory over No. 3 American (6-10-3) in the first of two semifinal contests at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Colgate jumped in front in the 27th minute, when Williams punched home a rebound. American goalkeeper Charlene Belanger made the initial save on a Jenna Raepple shot, but Williams was on the doorstep to convert the carom. It's Williams' 11th goal of the season.
The Raiders outshot American 8-3 in the first half, but had to settle for a 1-0 lead at the break.
They didn't have to wait long for more.
Caroline Brawner scored her seventh of the season at the 63:51 mark following a scrum in front of Belanger, and Kinter added her League-leading 14th goal of the season less than six minutes later as insurance.
Kinter's tally came after Brawner tracked down the ball to the left of Belanger wide of the net, and sent it into the middle where Kinter converted a header.
Kinter now has 37 points on the season, the most of any League student-athlete since 2006. Her point total is just two shy of entering the League's single-season top 10.
Colgate outshot the Eagles 17-7 for the match, and had a 13-2 edge in corner kicks.
Ashley Walsh made three saves in goal to secure the shutout for the Raiders. Belanger stopped six for American.
The Raiders improved to 14-5-1 all-time in the semifinals of the League tournament.
No. 1 Navy 4, No. 4 Lehigh 1
Box Score | Video Highlights
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Paloma Perez etched her name in the Patriot League Tournament record book, and in the process has top-seeded Navy one step away from the League title.
The junior first-team All-League honoree tied the League's single-game tournament record with three goals, netting the natural hat trick in the second half to propel the Mids (19-1-1) to a 4-1 victory Friday night over fourth-seeded Lehigh (5-13-0) in the second semifinal of the Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament.
With the win, Navy extended the nation's longest unbeaten streak to 20 (19-0-1). The Mids have not lost since a 3-0 defeat to nationally-ranked Maryland in the season-opener Aug. 17.
Perez tied Army's Alexis Albano, who netted a hat trick in the 1993 League championship match. Perez's six points also tie Albano for the tournament's single-game mark.
It only took 5:02 for Navy to get on the board. Brittany Fruin, who had been named a Capital One Academic All-District selection Thursday, scored on a laser beam from just outside the box placed perfectly into the upper right of the net to give the Mids a 1-0 lead.
Lehigh did not get many chances in the first half, but it was able to turn a rare Navy miscue into a goal. Murphee Greeley scored her sixth of the season unassisted in the 43rd minute after the Mids failed to clear the ball out of danger, and the game was tied 1-1 entering halftime.
Perez scored her first of the game just 3:24 after the break. Just twelve seconds after bouncing a shot off the post, the Mobile, Ala., native converted an opportunity off an Ashlynn Soellner pass to put Navy ahead 2-1.
Perez struck again a little more than 11 minutes later. Morgan Dankanich sent up a through ball that Perez converted past Lehigh keeper Ani Nahapetian to extend Navy's lead to 3-1 in the 60th minute.
Perez finished her scoring at the 79:01 mark, converting another Dankanich pass to finish the scoring.
Dankanich and Soellner each finished with two assists, which also tied the tournament's single-game record. It had happened four times before, the last coming in 2004, but 2012 marks the first instance where it occurred in the same year.
Elizabeth Hoerner made six saves to improve to 17-1-1 on the season. Nahapetian made four stops in net for the Mountain Hawks.
Navy outshot Lehigh 20-11 and had a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
The Mids are 13-11-0 overall in the League tournament and 10-5-0 in the semifinals.