Nov. 3, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The eight Patriot League teams have been vying for the four prized slots to the League Tournament, and the time has finally come to determine the last team standing.
Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament Preview - 11.3.11
Colgate earned the right to host the 2011 edition of the Patriot League Tournament after posting a 4-1-2 record against League opponents for 14 points. The Raiders had to sweat it out during the final weekend of the regular season after dropping a 1-0 loss at home to visiting American on Saturday. Colgate watched on as Army and Lafayette wrestled to a scoreless draw Sunday at West Point, which clinched the top seed for the Raiders for the ninth time in history. Colgate has hung on to win the League title in six of the previous eight times in which it has hosted.
Lafayette qualified for the League Tournament for just the fourth time ever and first since 2001. The Leopards jumped out to a 4-0-0 mark in the League and finished up 4-2-1 for 13 points. They tied for second with Navy and earned the No. 2 seed because of a 1-0 win in Easton, Pa., Oct. 7 when the two met during the regular season. Lafayette would have liked to host the four-team playoff, as it went 6-0-0 at home this year, its best showing in program history.
Navy and Bucknell were scheduled to battle Saturday at noon in Lewisburg, Pa., in a winner-take-all battle for the final bid to the League Tournament, and even started the match 30 minutes early in an attempt to get it in. But the unusual late-October snowstorm interrupted even the best of intentions. The match was halted nine minutes in, and the teams were able to restart the contest from the beginning Sunday at Susquehanna University. In the end, it was Ashlynn Soellner’s first-half tally that stood up in Navy’s 1-0 victory, lifting the Mids to the League Tournament for the 14th time overall and first since 2009.
Army grabbed the four seed for this year’s playoff and is in the postseason for the second straight year. The Black Knights hosted last year’s tournament and posted a 1-0 win over Colgate to advance to the title contest in the 11th all-time meeting between the two programs in the playoff.
The rivalry will play out again at Van Doren Field when the tournament kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. with the Army-Colgate contest. Navy and Lafayette will take the field in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. The winners of the two contests will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. with the Patriot League title and an NCAA Tournament bid at stake.
Of the four teams in this year’s tournament, Colgate is the most recent to win the League crown and advance to the NCAA field, having done so in 2009. Army’s last title was in 2008, while Navy won back-to-back trophies in 2006-07. Lafayette is seeking its first ever Patriot League championship.
2011 Patriot League Tournament Preview
SEMIFINALS – FRIDAY – VAN DOREN FIELD, HAMILTON, N.Y.
No. 4 Army Black Knights (10-3-5, 3-1-3 Patriot League) at No. 1 Colgate Raiders (11-5-2, 4-1-2 Patriot League), 5 p.m.
2011 MATCHUP T, 1-1 (2OT) (10.7 – West Point, N.Y.) LAST PL TOURNAMENT MEETING Army, 1-0 (OT) (11.5.2010) TOURNAMENT HISTORY Colgate 7-3-1 COLGATE PLT ALL-TIME 23-8-1 ARMY PLT ALL-TIME 10-13-2
COLGATE The Raiders clinched the No. 1 seed and hosting responsibilities for the Patriot League Tournament despite losing Saturday night at home to American, 1-0 ... Ironically, it was Army’s scoreless tie with Lafayette Sunday that preserved the top seed for Colgate and ensured its 12th all-time meeting with the Black Knights in the League Tournament ... Colgate has consistently been the League’s highest-scoring offense this season, having tallied the most markers (34) and averaging the most goals per game (1.89) ... The team boasts four All-League performers with Jillian Kinter (8g, 7a) and Jenna Raepple (7, 3) earning First-Team accolades ... Kinter was named Offensive Player of the Year, and Raepple was honored as the Rookie of the Year ... Caroline Brawner (4, 3) and Maddie Malone (3, 6) picked up Second-Team laurels ... The Raiders are hosting the tournament for the ninth time and the first since 2009, and are gunning for their 12th League crown ... Head coach Kathy Brawn, who is in her 21st season, has been on the sidelines for all 32 of the program’s League Tournament matches ... The Raiders are 13-2-1 at home in the League Tournament.
ARMY The Black Knights are in the League Tournament for the second straight year under third-year head coach Stefanie Golan ... Once again Army is one of the top defensive teams in the League and nation as well ... Senior goalkeeper Monica Lee leads the League in goals-against average (0.47) and save percentage (.899) while ranking fourth with 80 stops this season ... Sophomore Molly McGuigan anchors a young but skilled defense and was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season ... Sophomore Kim An is the League’s top scorer with nine goals and sits second with 19 points, trailing only Jillian Kinter ... Army’s last playoff appearance as the No. 4 seed was in 2007, when it lost 2-1 in overtime to No. 1 Bucknell in the semifinals ... The last time Army met Colgate in the semifinals when the Black Knights were the fourth seed was 2004, when the teams tied 1-1 and the Raiders advanced 2-1 on penalty kicks ... Army is 0-3-1 all-time as the No. 4 seed.
SEMIFINALS – FRIDAY – VAN DOREN FIELD, HAMILTON, N.Y.
No. 2 Lafayette Leopards (9-5-2, 4-2-1 Patriot League) vs. No. 3 Navy Midshipmen (12-5-3, 4-2-1 Patriot League), 8 p.m.
2011 MATCHUP Lafayette, 1-0 (10.7 – Easton, Pa.) LAST PL TOURNAMENT MEETING Navy, 1-0 (11.9.2001) TOURNAMENT HISTORY Navy, 1-0 LAFAYETTE PLT ALL-TIME 0-3-0 NAVY PLT ALL-TIME 11-10-0
LAFAYETTE The Leopards secured the No. 2 seed, their highest-ever ranking in the League Tournament, and will take on the third-seeded Midshipmen of Navy in Friday’s second semifinal ... Junior Lauren Smedley was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year and is second in the League in goals-against average (0.66) and save percentage (.887) while tying for first with 86 saves ... Lafayette totaled four on the All-League team, with Smedley the lone representative on the first team ... Catherine Galgano, Janelle Pierson and Alex Reisinger were second-team honorees ... Pierson is tied for 10th in the League with nine points and tied for sixth with four markers ... Lafayette has not won a tournament contest, falling in the semifinals of all three previous appearances ... Lafayette lost 1-0 to Navy in its last time in the League playoff on Nov. 9, 2001.
NAVY Head coach Carin Gabarra has been on the sidelines for all 21 of Navy’s previous matches in the League Tournament and will be there again when the 22nd takes place Friday night at 8 p.m. ... Navy’s four-year stretch of qualifications ended a year ago when the Mids were just on the outside of the four-team field ... The Mids are making their 14th overall appearance ... Navy is second in team scoring in the League with 32 markers, just two behind Colgate, and is second averaging 1.60 per game, while the team’s nine shutouts are also second best ... The Mids are the hottest team entering the tournament, going 4-0-1 in their last five ... Ashlynn Soellner, who earned a spot on the All-League’s First Team earlier this week, sits tied for seventh in the League with 10 points (5g) ... Senior Kate Herren has been a defensive stalwart all season for the Mids en route to First-Team All-League honors and several BRINE Defensive Player of the Week nods ... Keeper Alexes Lopez-Shaw has inched up into third in the League with a 0.82 GAA and sits third with seven clean sheets.
CHAMPIONSHIP – VAN DOREN FIELD, HAMILTON, N.Y. – SUNDAY AT 1 P.M.
POTENTIAL MATCHUPS Colgate is 1-0-1 against the two teams in the other semifinal posting a 2-0 victory at home over Lafayette and going to a 1-1 draw with Navy in Annapolis, Md. ... Army is 0-1-1 against the other two, after the scoreless draw with the Leopards last week at West Point and losing 3-2 at Navy after squandering a 2-0 lead ... Lafayette is 0-1-1 with the loss to Colgate and the tie with Army, while Navy is 1-0-1 with the win against the Black Knights and the tie with the Raiders ... Colgate, Navy and Army sit 1-2-3 in most victories in the League Tournament (23, 11, 10).
Patriot League Tournament Notebook
COLGATE HOSTS 2011 PATRIOT LEAGUE WOMEN’S SOCCER TOURNAMENT
It came down to the final day of the regular season, but Colgate emerged as the top team in the standings when all was said and done. The Raiders are the hosts of the Patriot League Women’s Soccer Tournament for the ninth time overall and first since 2009. Lafayette had an opportunity to host with a win at Army on the final day of the season, but the Leopards and Black Knights settled for a draw at West Point, which clinched the No. 1 seed for Colgate. The Raiders will open the tournament at 5 p.m. hosting fourth-seeded Army, while second-seeded Lafayette takes on No. 3 Navy at 8 p.m. The winners will go head-to-head Sunday at 1 p.m. with the League title and an NCAA Tournament berth on the line.
BACK AFTER A DECADE
Lafayette clinched its highest seed ever in the League Tournament when Sunday’s scoreless draw at Army delivered the No. 2 position for the Leopards. 2011 also marks Lafayette’s first appearance in the League Tournament since 2001. The Leopards have been seeded fourth in the League playoff twice before, while their previous high of the third seed came in 1992.
A FIRST FOR THIS FIELD
There aren’t many firsts left to accomplish in the 22nd edition of the Patriot League Women’s Soccer Tournament, but this year’s playoff is the first time that the four-team field consists of Army, Colgate, Lafayette and Navy.
COLGATE CAPTURES A COUPLE
The regular season was good for Colgate for several reasons. Going beyond just the League standings and the team capturing the No. 1 seed for the tournament, a pair of Raiders secured major individual honors Tuesday. Junior forward Jillian Kinter was named Offensive Player of the Year and freshman attacker Jenna Raepple garnered the Rookie of the Year honor. The awards were voted on by the head coaches. Both student-athletes were also named First-Team All-Patriot League.
LAFAYETTE WITH TWO, TOO
With nine victories during the regular season, Lafayette posted the most wins for the program in 10 years. The Leopards continued their banner year when two of their own were honored with major awards earlier this week. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Smedley earned First-Team All-League honors and was named Goalkeeper of the Year for the second year in a row, becoming the first to earn that accolade in back-to-back years since the award was introduced in 2004. In addition, sixth-year head coach Mick Statham was the unanimous choice for Coach of the Year. The awards were voted on by all eight of the League’s head coaches who couldn’t cast a ballot for themselves or their players.
TWO STRAIGHT FOR MCGUIGAN
Joining Smedley as a back-to-back winner of a major individual award this season is Army sophomore Molly McGuigan, who was named Defensive Player of the Year once again. McGuigan was also tabbed the preseason pick for the award, completing the clean sweep for the Black Knight in 2011. McGuigan was one of a League-best six Army student-athletes who garnered All-League accolades Tuesday, as she was named to the First Team.
SEVENTEEN OF 24 ARE HERE
A total of 24 student-athletes collected All-League honors earlier this week after the League’s eight head coaches commenced their voting. Seventeen of those players are participating in this weekend’s tournament. Army led the way with six selections when the team was announced Tuesday, followed by Colgate and Lafayette with four apiece. Navy placed three on the All-League Team.
American senior Jenna Stasiewicz was named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s soccer and earned a spot on the second annual Academic All-League team when the awards were announced Wednesday. Stasiewicz started all 19 of American’s matches this season and was a major cog in the Eagles defense during the season. She has shined in the classroom as well, posting a 3.918 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in public communication with a minor in graphic design at American. She’s appeared on the Dean’s List in all six of her semesters and has recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA in four semesters.
2010 TOURNAMENT RECAP
For the third year in a row, all three tournament contests finished with 1-0 finals. In the end, it was Lehigh that captured its first-ever Patriot League Championship and made its inaugural trip to the NCAA Tournament after 1-0 victories over Bucknell in the semifinals and Army in the finals. The Black Knights posted a 1-0 win in overtime in the other semifinal against Colgate. Army, which hosted the 2010 edition, became the 10th No. 1 seed to fall in the tournament’s title match. Lehigh senior goalkeeper Lauren Mains made 14 saves in a pair of shutouts and was named Tournament MVP.