By D3soccer.com Contributor
As conference schedules close, attention turns to the post-season. Almost all of the Atlantic region`s top teams punched their conference semifinal tickets during Week 9, but Championship Weekend will determine their NCAA fates. Let’s take a look:
Messiah tops in nation, MAC Commonwealth
This past week, in order to secure the #2 seed, the No. 18 Lycoming Warriors (14-3-1 / 6-2-0) needed an 88th minute laser strike game-winner from freshman Colin Wieand to break a scoreless deadlock against the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchman (10-5-1 / 6-2-0). The Warriors and Dutchmen face off against each other again in the other semifinal.
ODAC quarterfinals all chalk
On Sunday the top four seeds all advanced to the ODAC semifinals. Washington and Lee (12-3-1 / 9-0-1), in the #1 spot, was paced by senior Dylan Ritch`s two late goals (79th, 82nd) in dispatching Virginia Wesleyan (5-12-1 / 4-5-1) 2-0. They’ll host the Roanoke Maroons (10-4-3 / 5-2-3) who squeaked by the Eastern Mennonite Royals (9-9-1 / 6-4-0) by a score of 2-1.
In another quarterfinal matchup, the No. 10 Lynchburg Hornets (13-1-2 / 8-1-1) out-shot the Randolph Wildcats (5-8-3 / 4-5-1) 24-1 in their workmanlike 3-0 victory. Senior Dylan McLaurin picked up his 11th shutout of the year. They’ll next meet the Bridgewater (Va.) Eagles (10-6-1 / 6-3-1), the only team to beat the Hornets this year.
The Eagles advanced to the conference semifinals for only the second time in school history after a 2-0 win over the Ferrum Panthers (10-7-0 / 5-5-0).
Washington and Lee will host championship weekend with the semifinals held on Saturday and the conference final on Sunday.
Mary Washington cruises into CAC semifinals
Of the three teams tied at the top with one game to play, only No. 16 Mary Washington (13-1-3 / 5-1-1) won their final game of the regular season to secure the top spot in the CAC tournament. All eight teams make the CAC tournament. There was a blow out, a first career goal game-winner, and two contests were decided by penalty kicks.
Mary Washington easily dispensed Southern Virginia (1-19-0 / 0-9-0), 8-0. On the other side of the bracket, York (Pa.) (10-6-2 / 3-2-2) traveled to the Frostburg Bobcats (7-8-3 / 3-2-2) and played even up for 80 minutes. Tied 1-1, Bobcat freshman Trevor Namie scored the first goal of his career to down the visiting Spartans.
St Mary’s (Md.) Seahawks (11-3-4 / 4-2-1) hosted the Penn State-Harrisburg Lions (14-3-4 / 1-3-3) and had the better of play throughout. But neither team found the net through regulation and 2 extra sessions. Taking the fifth penalty kick, Josh Robbie punched the Seahawks into the semifinal round (4-3).
To determine St. Mary`s next opponent, Christopher Newport (7-8-1 / 3-4-0) traveled to soggy Salisbury (11-3-3 / 4-2-1). They out-played their foul-prone hosts but found themselves in a shootout after the 1-1 end of overtime. The Captains will not move on. Sea Gull goalie Trevor Brookhart stopped two Captain penalty kick attempts, saw another clang off the cross bar, and watched as Cullen Myers finished off the 3-1 pk win.
NJAC semifinals all set
Wednesday`s last regular season games wound up having no impact on tournament seeding. Montclair State (15-1-2 / 8-0-1) had already clinched the top spot and Ramapo (14-2-2 / 6-2-1) held the #2 with their win over William Paterson.
On Saturday, as the #3 seed, the Scarlet Raptors of Rutgers-Camden (13-5-2 / 6-2-1) hosted the #6 seeded William Paterson Pioneers (12-6-1 / 4-5-0). Pioneer junior Kyle Adams scored in both halves while fellow junior Kyle Quigley made six saves in goal to lead the 2-1 win. Quigley is now the career saves leader for the North Jersey school.
In the other Saturday quarterfinal, Stockton (8-9-3 / 4-3-2) took the short drive across South Jersey to face Rowan (13-6-0 / 5-4-0). But Prof Ryan Campbell spoiled the road trip with the first three goals of the match. His converted penalty kick (foul in the box, red card) in the 56th minute staked the 3-0 lead. Down a man the Ospreys tallied twice in the next eight minutes to tighten the rough match (Rowan totaled 25 fouls) but a late Prof tally snuffed out the comeback.
This coming Tuesday the semifinals have William Paterson visiting Ramapo and Rowan heading north to Montclair State.
Haverford on a roll in Centennial Conference
The Haverford Fords (12-4-0 / 8-1-0) won a pair of conference matches this week by a score of 2-1 to lock up the top spot in the Centennial Conference tournament. On Thursday, Nick Jannelli scored in the second minute and then converted from the penalty spot as the Fords held off the Muhlenberg Mules (7-8-2 / 3-5-1). Then, on Saturday, Jannelli again led the way against the Swarthmore Garnet (9-7-1 / 4-4-1). He converted a tying penalty kick in the 87th minute and then with two minutes left in the second overtime period found Michael Carr in front for the game winner.
The CC sends five teams to its post-season tournament. In a play in matchup, Dickinson (10-5-2 / 5-3-1) will host Gettysburg (8-7-1 / 5-4-0) both looking to advance to meet the Fords in the semifinals.
Elizabethtown holds off Catholic, secures Landmark Conference top seed
Playing in the nation’s capital on Saturday, a scoreless draw locked up the top seed and home field advantage for the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (8-4-4 / 5-0-2). The Blue Jays owned the first half outshooting the home team Catholic Cardinals (10-5-1 / 5-1-1) by a 13-3 margin. The Cardinals had constant second half and overtime pressure on the visitors but after 110 minutes neither had found the net. Catholic goalie Jack Long posted his sixth consecutive clean sheet.
Eastern earns top spot in MAC Freedom
The Eastern Eagles (15-2-1 / 7-0-0) completed an undefeated conference season with a hard fought, very wet and windy 1-0 win over King`s College (10-5-2 / 5-2-0) on Saturday. Senior Cade Harmon was the last of five Eagles to touch the ball before it went in goal. The skillful passing and teamwork led to a 10th minute goal which stood up the rest of the way.
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