October 21, 2010

No. 7 Wheaton women top No. 5 Augie; Stevens men fall

Mid-week Update by James Derrick

The NCAA released their official regional ranking of 2010 on Wednesday, and we have both mens and women's rankings available in our Daily Dose blog, which is on the right side of the front page. Comment or post a question about the rankings and the implications for post-season play. Also check the scoreboard for all of Wednesday's results.

In men's action, UW-Whitewater, Stevens Tech, and Swarthmore's worlds fell apart this midweek as they each suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of North Park, Rutgers-Newark, and Richard Stockton, respectively.

After a shaky first half from an undefeated and 8th ranked UW-Whitewater, Logan Fye was able to draw first blood, sending home the opener from a corner in the 55th minute. Seemingly in control with more shots and possession, the game went south for Whitewater when North Park was awarded a penalty. With Kris Grahn's conversion, North Park forged ahead, controlling the match until extra time. It would not take long for Grahn to hammer the winner, and shatter Whitewater's undefeated season.

No. 5 Stevens Tech, who entered their Tuesday match yielding just one goal on the season and losing none, began their match with Rutgers-Newark, who has experienced a rollercoaster of a season, by pounding two shots on goal, and a screamer just wide. But it would be Rutgers-Newark, however, who would soon take control with a slew of shots. Preventing any real threats from there, Stevens found themselves sitting comfortably on the defense heading into the break. But a minute before the half, they failed to prevent a Jervis Witherspoon shot from finding the back of the net, as Rutgers-Newark jumped into the lead. With Stevens pushing for the vital equalizer early in the second half, Rutgers-Newark was able to counter, where Robert Campos found himself on the receiving end of a long cross to head home the back-breaker. Stevens drops to 9-1-4 on the season.

In women's play, Wednesday promised two top 25 thrillers between Augustana and Wheaton, and Johns Hopkins and TCNJ. They did not disappoint. Throughout the season, the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin has been home to three of the most-talented and in-form teams in the nation, with Illinois Wesleyan at No. 3, Augustana at No. 5, and Wheaton currently sitting at No. 7.

Tonight's match between Wheaton and Augustana was the first match between either, and Wheaton ran away big winners, as Ali Kopelman and Katelyn Kishkunas delivered to devastating effect. Augustana's failure to deal with Wheaton's set-pieces proved the dramatic diference-maker in a game that turned one-sided all too quickly for Augustana. Wheaton first capitalized from a corner, where set-piece master Kishkunas found Kopelman's head to draw first blood and take a vital first half lead. But Augustana drew level early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty. Fighting themselves back into the game, Wheaton put their fight to a rest when Kishkunas again found Kopelman just four minutes later, and proceeded to pound shot after shot. Kishkunas found Kopelman yet again on a corner, for them to complete the perfect pair-treble. With the clock dying, Kishkunas completed her fourth assist upon finding the head of Kristen Clark on another corner.

No.16 Johns Hopkins demonstrated why they are now one of the best teams in the nation with a solid 2-nil victory over TCNJ. And in similar fashion it was the head from set-pieces that gave Hopkins the edge in an otherwise relatively even match. Two quick goals, on either side of the half was enough for Hopkins to deflate the No. 8 Lions. Johns Hopkins is in the midst of a resurgence in their campaign, coming off a tough loss over the weekend to Muhlenberg.

Back to men's action, No. 3 Swarthmore has experienced their share of thrilling matches this season, but this evening, the thrill collapsed and the Garnet were left in the wake of Richard Stockton's astounding form in a 2-1 overtime loss. All seemed normal when Morgan Langley scored again for Swarthmore, but a Brian Thomsen header promised a very abnormal result for Swarthmore. Kyle Evans was the hero as his 101st minute shot handed Richard Stockton the spoils, and left Swarthmore reeling. Swarthmore is now 11-1-2, while Richard Stockton improves to an 11-4-2 overall record.

In other shocking and exciting news, Hope once again claimed the scalps of 10th ranked Calvin to deal them a second loss this season. Staying true to the match's roots, the game proved a thriller, as Hope left it late, but walked off as heartbreakers after a Josh Turner game-winner. Calvin jumped to the lead in the 14th minute, but their first half lead would be anything but secure, as Hope came from behind, levelling in the 59th minute, and winning it in the 82ndminute. While a huge boost for Hope, the win could very well have spelled doom for both teams who are looking for the automatic bid, as Kalamazoo sits atop of the MIAA tables, with Adrian and Olivet trailing close behind. Although the points spread could see one of the teams leap-frog the leaders, the final weeks will be a true test of strength, poise, and guts for the typical conference leaders.

In other men's top 25 news, normalcy resumed as the top teams proved their status in big midweek wins. No. 1 Messiah, No. 2 Dominican and newly promoted, 25th ranked Bowdoin derailed their opponents in large-margin victories. Messiah pounded Alvernia with 25 shots, while their defense suffocated any Alvernia threat, allowing just one shot. Within the first 25 minutes, the match belonged to the holders, as they went up 2-0. Messiah is now 13-1, with 13 straight wins. Dominican continued to vie for the top-spot, as they ran-out 4-0 victors over Concordia (Ill.). Dominican is now 14-0-1.

Bowdoin came off their big weekend-wins against Babson and Williams, with a whitewash of Southern Maine. In their 7-0 victory, Bowdoin Danssaert rounded-off a perfect treble, putting away the match in the first five minutes. Christopher Newport found their winning ways following the weekend mayhem to upend Shenadoah 3-0. The Captains stayed in control throughout the match as they allowed just three early shots, and netted the winner early in the 8th minute., with two late goals to finish a complete win. Christopher Newport extends their record to an impressive 14-1-1.

No. 7 Ohio Wesleyan escaped a draw with a 1-0 overtime win over conference opponent Wittenberg. Holding onto the top spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference, Ohio Wesleyan went to work early on Wittenberg, posting two painfully close shots within the first minute, yet a virtually impenetrable Wittenberg defense prevented Wesleyan from finding the net, despite the 16 shots that fell on target. With the clock winding down in the second period of extra time, Tyler Wall pounced on a ball inside the box, placing it far post past Wittenberg's keeper for the win. Ohio Wesleyan sits atop the NCAC and is currently 11-1-2.

Middlebury, York, Oshkosh, and newly promoted Kenyon kept things close as they all won by a goal-margin. Middlebury set themselves up for a nervy finish after giving up a 6th minute lead in the 61st minute. But substitute Jon Portman's strike a minute later calmed the match, and ensured 18th ranked Middlebury the vital NESCAC win. With the win, Middlebury goes top in the extremely competitive conference, while Wesleyan slips into the mire with just two conference wins. York (Pa.) needed an overtime goal to keep down a resilient Gettysburg, and keep pace on conference rivals Salisbury. Gettysburg, who's record is poor but who has also caused several headaches to the conference's top teams, needed just one minute to draw first blood. With York forced to chase the game, Gettysburg dug in to deal York their 5th loss of the season. The lead would only last 18 minutes. Unable to finish off the Bullets in regulation, Mike O'Connell bagged his second of the game in the 95th to seal the win and progress to 13-4.

No.21 Oshkosh was able to avoid the same fate as their WIAC counterparts and maintain their undefeated season with a 1-0 win in a defensive match. Ripon, who executed their fare share of shots, provided stalwart defense to prevent Oshkosh from scoring, but a late foul in the box, Tim Stadler was able to convert for the win.

Kenyon, who finds themselves in the rankings for the first time this season, narrowly defeated North Coast Athletic Conference opponent Hiram by a goal. Also leaving it late, Kenyon would need Felix Hoffman's 78th minute goal for the win, despite dominating the match. Kenyon is battling with Ohio Wesleyan and Alleghany for the top seed in the conference tournament, but currently have an 11-1-1 record.

19th ranked Muhlenberg still has yet to lose a single match-to-date, but drew yet again - six times this season, almost as many as they've won - against TCNJ. The Lions kicked-off their season in losing fashion, but have since undergone a resuscitation, going undefeated in their last seven games, two of those being against top 25 opponents. Both are competing in tough conferences and still vying for the top spot as they continue conference action this weekend.

Newly ranked No.24 New York University impressed today with a 3-0 win over Rowan. Rowan has struggled significantly this season, and not much changed this evening upon their visit to Manhattan Island. New York, who sits atop the highly competitive University Athletic Association conference, improves to an overall record of 9-2-3.

In other top 25 women's news, No. 1 Messiah continued to impress as they dealt a visiting Alvernia a 3-0 defeat. The match was practically over as it began, following an early, 7th minute goal from Leah Sipe. Corrine Wulf doubled the lead just minutes later to ensure Messiah would coast to a comfortable victory. At 14-0, Messiah continues Middle Atlantic Conference competition on Saturday against Albright. In Ohio, No. 4 Otterbein won comfortably against Marietta this afternoon by a score of 2-0. Otterbein is still undefeated, yielding only 3 goals in their current campaign.

No.6 Loras posted a vital 3-1 win over cross-town rival Dubuque. Loras sits first in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-0, and a 15-1 overall record. 10th ranked Rowan nearly surrendered a two-goal lead to visiting non-conference opponent Salisbury. Scoring two first half goals, Rowan allowed Krista Fassio to pull a goal back, as Salisbury tried to claw their way back with four shots on goal. Rowan, however was able to hold off their attack, improving to an impressive 13-1-1 record.

The highly-anticipated and heated rivalry between Hope and Calvin fell to 17th ranked Calvin, they ran out 4-0 winners over a lackluster Hope team. Carly Prins claimed the spoils as she bagged a fine hat-trick, with her opener coming in just the 5th minute. The win progresses Calvin to an 11-2-2 overall record, while Hope sits at 5-8-3 on the season.

No.11 UW- Stevens Point continues to recover from their midseason loss to Wheaton- their only loss of the season- as they narrowly beat Carroll 1-0. Carly Falk bagged the winner in 71st minute, but Carroll did not go quietly as Stevens Point was forced to undergo a barrage of shots, forcing 7 saves from keeper Liz Hunter. Stevens Point is now 13-1.

In a grueling North Coast Athletic Conference match, both undefeated teams, No.14 Alleghany and Wooster vied for the top spot going into conference tournament. Alleghany left it late to bag what was sure to be the winner, compliments of an Abby Silvestre free-kick in the 78th minute. However, an 82nd strike from Erikka Kay leveled the scores to send the match into overtime. Despite Alleghany's dominance in extra time, they were unable to find a winner, giving Alleghany an overall record of 12-0-3.

18th ranked Ithaca and 21st ranked Lynchburg put a drubbing on both of their opponents tonight, as Ithaca pounded seven goals past Hartwick, and Lynchburg put 5 in on Randolph Macon. Rachel Palladino was the hero for Ithaca as her hat-trick proved devastating to a defenseless Hartwick, while Julie Winn bagged a brace. Ithaca grabbed the lead within the first two minutes to help them stay tied for top in the Empire 8 Conference. Saturday pits conference leaders, and rivals, Nazareth against Ithaca for top seed heading into the tournament. Lynchburg continued in their dominant form to prove they have the ability to repeat last year's brilliant run. Lynchburg also sealed their win within the first two minutes as they allowed just a single shot on goal the entire game. The past three matches have ended in shear humiliation of their opponents, with Lynchburg scoring 24 goals and shipping just one. Lynchburg improves to 13-2-1 overall.

No.19 Cal-Lutheran scored three to cruise to a 3-1 win over SCIAC opponent LaVergne, while No.22 Stevens Tech won out 4-1 against Ramapo in a non-conference bout.

No.23 Eastern Connecticut State and Trinity(CT) played to a scoreless draw, while No.24 William Paterson strengthened their argument as top-25 contenders following a hard-fought win on the road against Drew. In an even match, it was Michelle Marabondo's strike just after the break that proved to be the game-winner, as William Paterson jumps to 10-2-4 overall.

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.