How the West was Won - Week 7
By Ryan Bascue
Entering the final two weeks (already…how is that possible?), with the predictable exception of the SCAC, the top spot in each conference is up for grabs with multiple contenders. Berths in the conference tournaments, again with an SCAC exception, remain unsettled and likely may stay that way until the final weekend.
The West Region has two of the remaining ten undefeated women's teams in the country and were 46 seconds from having a third until the Occidental Tigers (7-1-4 /-1-4) gave up the winner to the Redlands Bulldogs (8-4-1 / 7-2-1) in the final minute of second overtime on Saturday.
Player(s) of the Week; Week Six
In the ASC, Offensive Player of the Week honors went to Hardin-Simmons (10-1-1 / 7-0-1) freshman, Randie Dennison scored a pair of game winners for the Cowgirls including one in the fifth minute against Louisiana College (1-10-1 / 0-7-1). She then followed that performance with a hat trick against Belhaven (2-11-1 / 1-7-0). This week’s Defensive Player of the Week honors were shared by a pair of goalkeepers, Texas-Dallas (13-0-1 / 7-0-1), Monica Dallacasa and McMurry’s (5-8-1 / 3-4-1) Cindy Villasana. Dallacasa recorded a pair of shutouts against Mary Hardin-Baylor (8-3-2 / 7-1-0) and Concordia (Texas) (5-7-0 / 4-4-0). Villasana also recorded back to back shut outs against Belhaven and then Louisiana College.
In the NWC, Sofia Ellington of Whitman (3-10-1 / 3-7-0) claimed Offensive Player of the Week. Ellington notched a pair of goals against Lewis & Clark (3-9-2 / 1-8-1). Then she was credited with two assists and an equalizing goal against George Fox (3-7-2 / 1-7-2) to force overtime. Jamie Lange of Puget Sound (8-4-2 / 7-1-2) claimed Defensive Player of the Week. Lange recorded 22 saves and two shutouts against Pacific Lutheran (8-3-3 / 7-2-1) and Linfield (7-3-4 / 4-2-4)
In the SCAC, Chelsea Cole of Trinity (Texas) (10-1-1 / 9-0-0) claimed Offensive Player of the Week honors. Cole aided in four of the six Tiger goals including the game winner and a pair of assists against Southwestern (6-4-0 / 4-2-0) and the equalizer against Centenary (8-5-0 / 5-5-0). Katelyn Peters of Johnson & Wales (6-4-0 / 5-3-0) claimed Defensive Player of the Week honors. Peters, recorded a pair of wins and eight saves in a shutout against the University of Dallas (3-6-1 / 2-4-0) and a 3-1 win against Austin College (0-11-0/ 0-7-0).
In the SCIAC, Occidental (6-0-4 / 5-0-4) swept Player of the Week Honors. Katherine Kim was named Offensives Player of the Week. Kim netted the game winner against Pomona-Pitzer (9-2-1 / 6-2-1). And helped aid the Tigers in a 0-0 draw with Cal Lutheran (5-2-4 / 4-2-3). Defensive Player of the Week honors went to Karla Alas-Lopez. Alas-Lopez helped aid a defense that pitched two shut outs. The Tigers have only allowed two goals all season and one in SCIAC play.
Game of the Week
The Hardin-Simmons and Texas-Dallas match did not disappoint. The match ended up in a 1-1 overtime draw. The Comets drew first blood in the 35th minute on an Ashyn Sims deflection on a corner kick. The Comet’s strong defense kept the Cowgirls at bay till the 84th minute when Kendell Groom knocked in the equalizer for the Cowgirls from way out. The two teams went into the first overtime and both teams just traded possessions no team really gaining ground. In the second overtime, the Cowgirls got two shots on goal but both were saved by Dallacasa. The Comets did get off a late shot but that was saved by Caitlin Christiansen. The Cowgirls outshot the Comets 16-6 but Dallacasa had eight saves to Christiansen’s two. This has ASC championship written all over it unless something unforeseeable happens. This was an incredibly dicey and physical game. Every possession was hard fought and earned and each team made sure the other felt each other’s presence. This is the only time these two undefeated ASC teams will face each other this season until the conference tournament. But after watching the Comets play, they are for real, put them in the Top 25 already. They have one of the best defenses in the not only the conference but the region as well. Hardin-Simmons is still the team to beat in this conference but going down the stretch Texas-Dallas has the best chance to give the Cowgirls grief come November.
Hardin-Simmons travels to Belton to take on Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cru’s only loss in conference play has come from Texas-Dallas. And that game was decided on a late goal (in the 88th minute no less) by the Comets. UMHB could give the Cowgirls some trouble as this is a rematch of last year’s ASC conference championship. Expect a tough and well-fought game. This game matters for ASC tournament seeding.
In the NWC, Willamette (11-0-3 / 7-0-3) heads to Puget Sound for a battle between two 7-win NWC teams. The last time they faced, Willamette won the match 2-0 giving the Loggers their only conference loss of the season. Willamette has been slowly pushing their way to the top of the conference standings but the Loggers are right behind them and could really shake up the top of the NWC in one weekend. Pacific Lutheran, another team in the conference with seven wins, and Linfield also will face each other this week. Last time they played the Lutes came away with a 1-0 victory over the Wildcats. Linfield has been one of the more inconsistent teams in the NWC. Some weeks they look like they have a chance to compete for a conference championship e.g. the 2-2 double overtime draw against first place Willamette or raise a few eyebrows like the following week of that great effort e.g. tying second to last place George Fox 0-0. Not sure which Linfield team will show up, but if the right one does the Lutes could be in trouble.
Occidental and Pomona-Pitzer are basically flip-flopping down the stretch despite the fact that the Tigers beat the Sagehens this past weekend, Pomona-Pitzer still remains the top of the SCIAC because they have one more conference win. Cal Lutheran takes on the Sagehens this week. This conference has been really fun to watch. There have been 7 ties in this conference. And three overtime wins throughout the regular season. This conference is anyone’s for the taking. The stars are aligning for several of the teams but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
This is the final stretch for conference tournament seedings and who earns the right to host. Three weeks left till tournament time. Who will be in and who will be watching from home? This is how the West was Won.
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