October 24, 2010

Hardin-Simmons keeps rolling

More news about: Hardin-Simmons women's team
Katie Kuykendall
Katie Kuykendall and Hardin-Simmons remain unbeaten.
Hardin-Simmons athletics photo

Messiah, Hardin-Simmons, Otterbein, Trinity, and Johns Hopkins left their opponents reeling in their respective matches, subjecting them to the menacing form demonstrated by these top teams as they push for the national title come tournament time. Holders Messiah held nothing back in their match with conference opponent Albright, as the top-ranked team proceeded to dismantle their opposition by a 9-nil scoreline. Despite total domination throughout the match, Messiah would have to wait 20 minutes before opening their account. Just nine minutes later and the score was 4-0. Ali Rogers made sure her to stamp her name on the match, bagging a fine treble, with one of the goals requiring her to simply walk in the ball, leaving the defense and keeper in her wake. Messiah remains absolutely unblemished at 15-0, scoring 81 goals, and yielding just 2. Can they be stopped?

No. 2 Hardin-Simmons rebutted with the proof that they are just as good with their complete demolition of Schreiner, and Katie Kuykendall was again the antagonist for the losers, as she brilliantly masterminded five goals, and bagged one herself as HSU won 8-nil. A resume almost identical to that of Messiah, Hardin-Simmons boasts 15 wins, with 82 goals for, and 2 against. If all remains the same, one can only hope for a dream final between the two.

No. 4 Otterbein kept pace with the deadly top 2, as they smashed six past a defenseless Muskingum. Otterbein spent the entirety of their game racking up 11 corners, firing off 37 shots, and by the second minute Muskingum was down 1-0. Otterbein is now 14-0-1, and looking for a deep run into the national tournament.

No. 9 Trinity too spent their Saturday bolstering their seasonal goal tally, as they walked out 5-0 winners against Chapman. Trinity is now undefeated in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, and looking to leap-frog Centre, who lost this weekend. They are currently 13-1 overall this season. 15th ranked Johns Hopkins concluded a brilliant week - they upended No. 8 TCNJ Wednesday - with a brilliant 8-0 win over Bryn Mawr to keep their hopes of a regular season title alive. Currently second under Dickinson, Hopkins provided Bryn Mawr with a taste of humiliation, with Erica Suter bagging a hat-trick.

The CCIW has enjoyed a tremendous season, and this weekend was no different, as No. 5 Augustana did battle with No. 3 Illinois Wesleyan. In a match overshadowed by the elements, Augustana summoned their strength after their demoralizing 4-1 loss to Wheaton midweek, to play a thrilling match against an undefeated Illinois Wesleyan. Despite keeping both keepers active, neither team was able to break-down their opponents, and Augustana proved much more effective in dealing with set-pieces on the defensive side. The draw now places No. 7 Wheaton, who trounced Elmhurst 3-0 on Saturday, at the top of the conference with a 5-0 record. Wheaton will now await their final top 25 conference showdown, where they travel to Illinois Wesleyan, a game that could very well determine the regular season title, and first seed entering the conference tournament. The second place side could find themselves in a grueling battle with Augustana in the semis. In Wheaton's win over Elmhurst, Jaime Orewiler was the hero with a fine hat-trick.

No. 14 Allegheny and 20th ranked Centre imploded with conference tournaments just around the corner, and the NCAA Tournament looming. Allegheny, who was at one point the only team in the nation to an overall clean sheet, succumbed for the first time in this campaign, losing 2-1 to conference opponent Wittenberg. After leading early on, Allegheny allowed a Kailey Striebel shot to draw Wittenberg level. Wittenberg maintained an advantage in shots from that point on, and in the 81st minuted bagged the go-ahead-goal to topple Allegheny. A rough week for Allegheny, they began with a draw to second place Wooster, concluding the week with the loss to first place Wittenberg. Allegheny now sits 4th in the conference after a bright start.

The NJAC continued to show its dominance with all three of its top 25 teams winning again. TCNJ recovered well from their midweek setback to trounce NJAC rival New Jersey City University 4-0. Following their 2-0 loss to Johns Hopkins on Wednesday- their second in three matches- TCNJ smashed four past NJCU to keep pace with NJAC leaders William Paterson and Rowan. Brenna Rubino's early brace ensured the win for TCNJ, as they improved to 13-2-1. They currently sit third in conference.

No. 10 Rowan escaped upset to Kean in an absolute thriller of a match. Rowan shot out of the blocks, and drew first blood in the 12th minute, but all was not well, as Kean grabbed two quick goals, 50 seconds apart from each other, to take a shock lead. Just before half, however, Rowan responded, scoring two quick goals of their own to reestablish their grip on the match, and conclude a turbulent first half. Rowan blasted 19 shots on Kean, but Kean failed to concede, and bagged a shock leveller in the 76th minute. With the clock winding down to the last seconds in the second overtime period, a draw was a foregone conclusion. However, with ten seconds left, Jess Babice lofted in a cross to Marina Mangano, who nodded home the winner with two seconds left on the clock. Rowan's thrilling victory puts them at a 14-1-1 record, while they currently sit second in the conference. 24th ranked William Paterson maintained their perfect conference record with a solid 3-0 win against Rutgers-Newark. Michelle Marabondo was again the hero, bagging a brace to go up 2-nil. The win improves them to an 11-2-4 overall record, and they currently sit atop the conference.

On the West Coast, both nationally-ranked teams found themselves winners on Saturday. 19th ranked Cal Lutheran continued to impress with a 3-0 win over Redlands. The win improves them to 16-1-1 overall, and tied for first in the SCIAC with Occidental. The showdown between the two is set for next Saturday, with the winner taking the regular season title. No. 15 Puget Sound won 1-0 over Northwest Conference foe Lewis and Clark following a fourth minute goal to seal the deal. Unfortunately, this afternoon's match did not proceed as smoothly, as Puget Sound drew with Willamette 1-1. Puget Sound sits first in the conference, but with only one point to separate themselves with current second place Linfield.

Loras claimed a 2-0 victory in a tough conference bout against Simpson. No. 6 ranked Loras dominated the match, but struggled against a well-organized Simpson defense, until the 54th minute goal from Madeline Tennant. Within ten minutes, the match was sealed at 2-0. Loras improves to 16-1. No. 12 Emory left it late, but wound up 2-0 winners as well against a tough Berry team. In an even match, Emory found it difficult to break-down Berry's defense to break the deadlock. Berry nearly landed several shots of their own in the close encounter, but their organization hit a sour note in the last minutes, as they self-destructed to provide Emory with two late goals. Emory, who is 12-1-2, currently sits third in the UAA standings, but is just two points behind leaders Chicago. Calvin too claimed a 2-0 win over conference opponent Albion. Calvin dominated from early on, and stamped their claim to the victory with a fifth minute goal. They currently sit just behind Alma in the MIAA standings, thanks to their loss to Kalamazoo.

No. 13 William Smith concluded a successful weekend with a 2-1 win over St. Lawrence, and a 2-0 win over Clarkson. While today's win saw William Smith take early control and cruise to 2-nil, yesterday's match saw St. Lawrence force the match to overtime, as William Smith was forced to claw back from a third minute deficit. The double win puts William Smith two points in the clear at the top of Liberty League standings, just above Vassar.

In other weekend matches, No. 21 Lynchburg downed Virginia Wesleyan 1-0 to continue on their unbeaten run, while Stevens was forced to overcome a sixth minute deficit against Hartwick. Leaving it late, they scored two in the last ten minutes to win 2-1. 25th ranked Concordia (MN) used a second half goal to defeat Principia. Elsewhere, No. 18 Ithaca drew 0-0 with conference opponent Nazareth, but still remain on top in the Empire 8, No. 11 UW-Stevens Point drew 1-1 with University of Chicago, and No. 23 Eastern Connecticut State drew 1-1 U-Mass Dartmouth.

Jim Matson, Christan Shirk, Ryan Harmanis, and other staff writers and contributors help cover the games and results across the nation.

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