How the West was Won - Week 3
By Ryan Bascue
First week of conference play (unless you’re the SCIAC), every game is important. Every team is fighting for a place in the conference tournament. Each week this column hopes to highlight developments in the highly competitive West region. As the stories unfold the Division III world will learn “How the West Was Won”.
Player(s) of the Week; Week Two
The United Soccer Coaches have named SCAC’s Centenary (La.) (6-1-0 / 4-1-0) junior Kyra Montes the Women's Division III National Player of the Week. The forward becomes only the second women's soccer player in SCAC history – and the first in five seasons – to win national player of the week honors from the USC. She scored a goal and added two assists to lift the Ladies over Texas Lutheran (1-3-1 / 0-3-0), 4-3, in overtime. Montes became the fourth player in the school’s NCAA Division III era history to record a hat trick, as Centenary erased a 2-0 second half deficit to knock off Schreiner (1-3-1) in overtime on September 9. Through the first two weeks, Montes has six goals, three assists, 15 points, and 20 shots; all of which leads the SCAC. She was also named SCAC Offensive player of the week. Also, in the SCAC, claiming Defensive player of the week was Southwestern’ s (3-2-0 / 1-0-0) Mary Cardone. Cardone claimed three saves in net for the Pirates against Texas-Tyler (4-1-0 / 1-1-0) on September 7.
In the ASC, Texas-Dallas (6-0-0 / 2-0-0) Stephanie White was named Offensive player of the week. White scored three goals over the week including the equalizer against Redlands (2-2-1 / 1-0-1) and then notched a pair against Lesley (3-3-0 / 1-0-0) in the Comet’s 4-0 win over Lesley. Defensive player of the week honors went to LeTourneau (6-1-1 / 1-1-0) senior defender Kristen Wunder who helped lead a defense that restricted opponents to a single goal on the week in a double-overtime tie at Rhodes (2-3-1), along with two shutouts and a total of 23 shots allowed.
In the NWC, offensive player of the week was George Fox’s (3-0-1 / 0-0-1) Chloe Shumaker. Shumaker, scored the game winner against UC Santa Cruz (2-5-0) and was credited an assist in the match as well. On defense, Pacific Lutheran’s (2-2-2 / 1-1-0) Natalie Robinson recorded nine saves en route to a 2-0 shutout against Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-2-1 / 2-0-0) and five saves against Calvin (4-1-1) in a 1-1 tie.
In the SCIAC, Pomona-Pitzer (5-1-0 / 2-1-0) freshman midfielder, Anna Ponzio was named Offensive Player of the Week. Ponzio scored at least one goal in each of the three contests for a total of four goals in three matches. Against NAIA Vanguard (6-1-0) she had a goal and an assist she also scored two goals against Caltech (1-4-0 /0-4-0) and a goal against La Verne (0-4-2 / 0-3-1). On defense, the Sagehens claimed another Player of the Week award in Isa Berardo. Berardo, had two shutouts tallying up eight saves including four against Vanguard in the 2-1 victory.
Around the West Quick Hits
On Sunday, Centenary’s hot start was spoiled by 5-0 loss to the Trinity (Texas) Tigers (4-1-1 / 3-0-0). Kaity Ward scored two in the first half in the 6th and the 35th minutes to help lift the Tigers. Chelsea Cole would score off an assist by Lindsey Peng (54th minute) Peng then quickly found the back of the net on her own the following minute. Tori Schott closed out the scoring in the 85th minute.
Claremont Mudd-Scripps (4-2-0 / 2-1-0) knocked No. 18 Pomona-Pitzer (5-1-0 / 2-1-0) from the ranks of the undefeated,1-0. Kira Favekah broke through the Pomona-Pitzer defense in the 56th minute for the eventual game-winner. The Athenas held on for victory withstanding constant pressure by the Sagehens looking for an equalizer.
In a battle of unbeatens, Texas-Dallas (6-0-0 / 2-0-0) defeated Texas-Tyler (4-1-0 / 1-10) 2-0. Keely Fillman scored both goals for the Comets. She notched the first in the 26th off a Stephanie White assist. Fillman’s second would come in the 81st on a Sofia Munoz assist. The Comets are starting their 2018 campaign undefeated and are a strong force in the ASC. They currently are ranked fifth in the region by the United Soccer Coaches.
Looking Ahead, Intriguing Matches
In the ASC, the most intriguing match-up is Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-2-1 / 2-0-0) at Texas-Tyler on Thursday. Texas-Tyler is reclassifying into Division II and while they are playing an ASC schedule, they are ineligible for the ASC championship and their matches are not recorded in the ASC standings The Patriots will be looking to rebound from their first loss to Texas-Dallas. Mary Hardin-Baylor has opened up conference play at 2-0-0. As last year’s runner-up in the ASC, and the second favorite in the coaches’ preseason poll, they have high expectations of another strong run in conference play.
In the SCIAC, Cal Lutheran (4-0-2 / 3-0-1) at Pomona-Pitzer features two squads near the top of the table with likely conference tournament seeding implications down the road. Both teams have started their 2018 campaigns well with a combined 9-1-2 record. The top half of this conference in particular is very competitive with contests having playoff implications on the docket each and every week.
In the SCAC, Centenary (La.) no matter the opponent, is likely to be an exciting match. The Ladies are having one of their best starts in recent memory. They are currently sitting in first place despite yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Trinity (Texas) with a 6-1-0 / 4-1-0 start to their season. Kyra Montes has been a firecracker all season; very interesting to see what she does to help her team each week. This week they take on Southwestern and Texas Lutheran both teams should provide solid tests.
In the NWC, the most anticipated match in the upcoming week is George Fox at Willamette (5-0-1 / 1-0-1). Both teams are performing well after the first three weeks and are two of the forty-two remaining (as of Sep. 16) unbeatens in women’s D-III soccer. This is the classic unstoppable force, immovable object match up as the Bruins have yet to concede while Willamette leads the conference with eleven tallies.
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