How the West was Won - Week 5
By Ryan Bascue
We are now fully into the conference schedule across the West and clues to tournament positioning are emerging. In the ASC three teams have untarnished conference marks while much of the rest have realistic chances for the post season. Still in Texas, Trinity, not unsurprisingly, is the clear leader for the regular season championship while all but one are in the conference berth battle.
In sunny Southern California, the Occidental Tigers continue unbeaten with their first tourney appearance in nearly a decade almost in sight. Nearly all in pursuit have legitimate hopes of joining them. The NWC is a tale of have’s and have nots. WIllamette, one of the West’s two undefeated squads, sits tenuously at the top of the table with three contenders closely nipping at their heels.
Player(s) of the Week; Week Four
In the ASC, Hardin-Simmons (7-1, 4-0) senior forward Kenne Kessler broke the ASC and HSU career goals record, moving her total to 77. She recorded a hat trick in the first half of a 6-1 victory at East Texas Baptist (4-4-1, 2-3) Thursday to tie the mark of 76 held by Cowgirl alum Amy Kuykendall (2006-10). Kessler broke the record with a goal in a 4-0 victory at LeTourneau, earning her sixth career Player of the Week honors. Earning Defensive Player of the Week honors this week for the ASC was Texas-Dallas (10-0, 4-0) senior defender Meagan Chavez who anchored a Comet back line that did not allow in goal in three games last week. The Chavez led defense held their foes to 10 total shots, five on goal. Chavez and the Comets have recorded eight shutouts and only one goal in nine games this season.
In the NWC, Offensive Player of the Week honors went to Gena Main of Willamette (9-0-1, 5-0-1) who scored two goals during the week with one goal in each of Willamette's wins. She scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory over Puget Sound (5-4-1, 4-1-1) in a battle of regionally ranked teams (WU #7; PS #9). She provided the winning goal at 79:38 to break a 1-1 tie in the Bearcats' 2-1 victory over George Fox (3-4-1, 1-4-1). This week’s Defensive Player of the Week honors went to Brianna Hunting of Pacific Lutheran (6-2-2, 5-1) played all 180 minutes over the weekend, helping the Lutes earn a pair of road shutouts against two conference opponents. She limited George Fox to just five total shots and just one on frame and limited Linfield to just two shots on goal on Sunday.
In the SCAC, Offensive Player of the Week honors went to Chelsea Cole of Trinity University (8-1-1,7-0). Cole led the Tiger women’s soccer team to an offensive outburst in a 9-0 win over Johnson & Wales (4-4, 3-3) on Sunday afternoon, which also marked Trinity’s 100th consecutive regular season SCAC victory. Cole picked up her second hat trick of the season with three goals and a pair of assists, contributing on more than half of the team’s scores in the game. For the season, Cole leads the Tigers with nine goals and two assists for 20 total points.
Defensive Player of the Week honors went to Mary Cardone of Southwestern University (5-3, 3-1), Cardone led the Pirates to a pair of SCAC shutout victories last week against Centenary (7-3, 5-3) and Schreiner (3-6-1, 2-5). In two games combined Cardone collected nine saves, including a five-save performance in the 1-0 win over the Mountaineers. Cardone and the Pirates are currently riding a four-game shutout winning streak, the longest by the program since 2012. Over the stretch, Cardone has been credited with 15 saves and is currently second in the SCAC with 38 saves on the year.
In the SCIAC, Offensive Player of the Week honors went to Hayley Romo of Redlands (6-3-1, 5-1-1) highlighted the Bulldog’s offensive efforts during the week including 1-0 wins over Chapman (5-7, 2-5) and La Verne (1-7-2, 1-6-1) and a 3-1 triumph over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-3-1, 4-2-1). In Redlands’ 1-0 win over the Panthers, Romo assisted on the game-winning marker and then scored twice in the Bulldogs’ win over the Athenas. She scored the first of her two goals in the third minute of play before notching what proved to be the game-winner.
Winning Defensive Player of the Week honors was Redland’s Brittany Dinkins. Dinkins helped pace Redlands to three SCIAC victories, including shutout wins over Chapman (1-0) and La Verne (1-0), and CMS, 3-1. In 225:20 of action, she allowed just one goal, and turned away 11 shots for a .917 save percentage. In the one-goal win over Chapman, Dinkins made eight saves to preserve the clean sheet and finished the week with a 0.40 goals-against average.
Around the West Quick Hits
Hardin-Simmons (5-0-0 / 7-1-0)and Texas-Tyler (6-3-1 / 3-3-1) faced off for what may be the final time as Texas-Tyler is reclassifying to Division II. HSU ended their rivalry with a 6-0 rout of the Patriots.
The Trinity (Texas) Tigers (9-1-1 / -0-0) shutout Johnson & Wales (CO) (4-4-0 / 3-3-0), 9-0, to extend their SCAC winning streak to 100, dating back to 2008. The current streak is the longest in NCAA Div. III Women’s Soccer history for consecutive conference games won. In four league games this year, Trinity has scored 29 goals and have yet to concede a goal.
Willamette (9-0-1 / 5-0-1) also stayed unbeaten with three conference wins. The offensive scored twice in all three contests while the defense did their part conceding a lone goal to George Fox (3-4-1 / 1-4-1) and blanking Whitworth (6-2-2 / 4-1-1), in a contest with seeding implications, and Whitman ( 1-9-0 / 1-5-0).
Mary Hardin-Baylor (6-2-2, 5-0) travels to Richardson, Texas to take on the undefeated Texas-Dallas. Both of these teams are in a three-way (with Hardin-Simmons being the third team) for first place in the ASC. The Cru was the ASC runner-ups last season and this will be their first real test in the ASC.
Pacific Lutheran certainly will have their hands full this week as they will take on Puget Sound and host Willamette. This stretch in the NWC is just brutal. Even here in week five the NWC still doesn’t have a clear favorite.
The SCIAC has the same problem. Pomona-Pitzer host the Occidental in a top two matchup. There is a revolving door at the top of the conference and who knows what will happen down the stretch. This week there isn’t a lot of exciting match-ups but don’t be surprised if someone wins who wasn’t supposed to win.
In the SCAC, Trinity is rolling as per usual. This past week they won their 100th consecutive SCAC match. That’s an incredible accomplishment. But in this conference, it’s Trinity and whose fighting for second place.
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