Mid-Atlantic Review, Week 1
By D3soccer.com Contributor
Ahhhh, we’re back. Right where we want to be - soccer season. The two-a-days and three-a-days are over, fitness tests are long gone, scrimmages are a faded bruise on the thigh, and dates have been circled on the schedule. The air will soon turn chilly and rivalries will be renewed. Let’s see how the teams ranked in our Preseason Top 25 and those regionally ranked at the end of last season fared this week and what’s on tap for next week.
Messiah (2-0-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 2 / MA Region No. 1
Friday night, the Falcons plastered Grove City (0-2-0) with 37 shots, but could only get 3 past Wolverine keeper Columbia Harkrader, who made 16 saves in the loss. Senior Maddie Kohl scored twice for the Falcons on two assists from fellow senior Ellie Lengacher. Kohl then returned the favor, assisting on Lengacher’s goal in the waning minutes of the game. The victory was Coach Scott Frey’s 400th, giving him a record of 400-23-26 while at Messiah, a winning percentage of more than 0.920, best in the NCAA across all divisions of coaches with 10 or more years of experience. Another amazing statistic is that his 400th win came in less than 450 games at the helm. Congratulations to Coach Frey on your 400th win from all of us here at D3Soccer.com.
The two preseason favorites to win the Middle Atlantic Conferences met Saturday night in Grantham, PA, when Freedom top pick Stevens (1-1-0) met Commonwealth favorite Messiah in a Top-25 matchup that proved worthy of all the hype. The Falcons struck early on All-American senior Brooke Firestone’s goal in the sixth minute, and the Falcons withstood the tremendous pressure put forward by the Ducks for the rest of the half to take a 1-0 lead to the locker room. The Ducks came out after halftime and put the Falcons on their heels for the first 15 minutes of the half, but the Falcons again weathered the storm and began mounting attacks of their own. Firestone broke through again with the insurance goal in the 74th minute off of a corner kick that was initially cleared out by a Duck defender. Stevens had several good chances after the Falcon goal, but couldn’t put any past Messiah junior keeper Lydia Ewing, who finished with six saves. For the night, the Falcons outshot the Ducks 19-15 (9-6 SOG) and led 11-8 in corners taken.
Coach Frey front-loads his schedule every year to ensure that his teams are up to facing the best in the country, and this year is no different. After facing two projected conference champions last week, the Falcons continue to challenge themselves by facing two nationally-ranked top ten teams this week. They will host No. 10 Johns Hopkins (2-0-0) Wednesday night before making the long trek to the Finger Lakes to face perennial foe and No. 7 William Smith (2-0-0) Saturday afternoon. The Herons have been a thorn in the side of the Falcons the last few years, with Messiah unable to beat the Herons since 2014. These matches are always tough, defensive battles, and this year will be no different. Since 2011 when these two started their annual slugfests, only one game has been decided by more than one goal (a 2-0 Heron victory in 2016). All others have been ties or 1-0 decisions. While there are several good matches this weekend, this will undoubtedly be the match of the week.
Johns Hopkins (1-0-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 10 / MA Region No. 2
The No. 10 ranked Blue Jays met No. 20 ranked Lynchburg (1-1-0) Saturday morning in the Roanoke Invitational Soccer Showcase in a matchup of two perennial powers. You expect to see this matchup in November, not August. Hopkins came out strong and scored early on senior Emily Maheras’ strike past the keeper in the fifth minute of action. The Hornets had a couple of attempts prior to the end of the first half, but couldn’t get one past Blue Jay sophomore keeper Caitlin Hendricks, who made several diving saves. Sophomore Rachel Jackson added an insurance goal in the 85th minute, her 12th goal in only 20 games played. Hopkins finished with an advantage of 20 shots to 11 (7-5 SOG) and an edge of 6 corners taken to 3 for the Hornets.
On Sunday evening against Roanoke (1-1-0), Jackson kept at it, scoring in the first minute on a Maheras assist in the 1-0 victory. The Blue Jays’ stellar defense took over from there, limiting the Maroons to just 4 shots, with only a single one of those on goal. For the evening, the Blue Jays outshot the Maroons 23-4 (12-1 SOG) and held a 7-3 advantage in corners.
Hopkins ramps it up this week with several high-profile matches, traveling to Messiah (2-0-0) Wednesday night to face the No. 2 Falcons before heading to Hoboken Saturday morning to face the No. 13 Ducks of Stevens (1-1-0). They then turn around the next day and host the always formidable New York University (2-0-0) of the powerful University Athletic Association Sunday afternoon.
Stevens (1-1-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 13 / SA Region No. 3
The Ducks powered past Lebanon Valley (1-1-0) by a score of 4-1 Friday afternoon, with goals coming from three players. Senior Gabby Saade scored a pair for the Ducks, with fellow senior Julia Panko and freshman Louise Gottwald adding lone goals. The Ducks outshot the Flying Dutchmen 23-10 (16-8 SOG) and held the edge in corners at 7-5.
The last time that Stevens came to Messiah (2-0-0) in 2017, they were outplayed, out-possessed, outshot 21-6, and out-cornered 10-2, but walked away with a scoreless tie. They scrambled all night to contain the Falcons and had to feel fortunate to walk away with a tie. Saturday night in Grantham, the No. 13 ranked Ducks came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 score, but they had to feel great about the way they played. They went toe-to-toe with one of the best programs in the nation and know that had some breaks gone their way, they could have easily walked away with a tie or even a victory in this back-and-forth, end-to-end match. Senior All-American Julia Panko was a force in the midfield and gave the No. 2 ranked Falcons fits trying to defend her. The Ducks controlled the pace for long stretches of the game and looked the better team for parts of it. When it was all said and done, the Ducks were outshot 15-19 (6-9 SOG) and trailed in corners 8-11, but this young team had to feel that they can play with any team in the country this season.
The Ducks host a pair of games this weekend, first No. 10 Johns Hopkins (2-0-0) in an important regional matchup Saturday morning, followed by the Cardinals of St. John Fisher (1-0-0) Sunday afternoon.
Swarthmore (1-1-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 14 / MA Region No. 3
The Garnet hosted TCNJ (2-0-0) Friday and gave the third ranked Lions all they could handle. Despite falling behind early in the seventh minute, the Garnet fought back and put several good chances on frame that the TCNJ keeper turned away. The field announcer at Swarthmore could easily have gotten laryngitis Friday night for this contest, as 48 players saw the field in this game, 27 of them for the Garnet. Swarthmore showed off their depth by twice substituting nine players at a time. If there was any doubt about the strength of this team with their departing senior class, fears were assuaged despite the loss.
The Garnet hosted Eastern Connecticut (0-2-0) Sunday night and on the strength of four Kim Kochenmeister goals beat the visiting Warriors by a score of 7-1. The sophomore tied a Centennial Conference record for most goals in a single game with her performance. Brittany Weiderhold, Sophia Stills, and Nikki Gibbons each added a goal. The stat line didn’t reflect the lopsided score, as the Garnet only led 15-10 in shots (10-5 SOG), but they did carry a significant advantage in corners at 6-0.
The Garnet travel to Drew (0-1-0) Saturday afternoon to face the Rangers before returning home Sunday afternoon to host the Coast Guard Bears (0-1-0).
Scranton (0-1-1 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 4
The Royals participated in the Haverford Kick-Off Classic Saturday afternoon against Montclair State (0-1-1) and battled to a 0-0 scoreless tie. The extremely evenly matched teams each put up 11 shots with three on frame, and each keeper made three saves. Due to the format of the tournament, a shootout was conducted where the Red Hawks downed the Royals 3-1 to move onto the championship game on Sunday.
The Royals were nearly out of October last year before suffering their first loss of the season; this year they were barely out of August. Haverford (1-1-0) handed Scranton a 2-1 loss by jumping out to a 2-0 lead and withstanding a late Royal push Sunday afternoon. Freshman Devon Schroeder scored in the 87th minute to pull within one, but the Royals were unable to complete the comeback. Scranton was outshot 7-11 (2-7 SOG), but held a slight advantage in corners taken at 6-5.
The Royals will be glad to leave Haverford’s Kick-Off Classic and return home to host their first home game of the season at Weiss Field Saturday afternoon, hosting the Brewers of Vassar (1-1-0).
Misericordia (1-0-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 19 / MA Region No. 5
The Cougars traveled to Oneonta State (0-1-0) Friday evening and walked away with a 3-0 victory thanks to an offensive onslaught by their sophomore class. Kendall Pearage scored two goals and added an assist, while classmate Zoee Farr added a goal to round out the scoring. Two more sophomores, Michaela Fasolino and Kaylee Sturans added assists. The Cougars outshot the Red Dragons 16-9 (7-4 SOG), but trailed in corners taken 1-2.
The Cougars will be busy playing host this week to three non-regional opponents. First, they welcome the Cortland State Red Dragons (1-0-0) of the East Region Tuesday night, followed by the South Atlantic Region’s Kean (2-0-0) on Friday night to determine who are the better “Cougars”. Finally, on Sunday afternoon they’ll turn back to the East Region to host the always tough Farmingdale State Rams (1-0-1) on Mangelsdorf Field.
Arcadia (2-0-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 6
The Knights participated in the Haverford Kick-Off Classic, taking on host Haverford (1-1-0) Saturday afternoon. The Knights were unkind visitors, handing the Fords a 3-0 loss in their own tourney. Upperclassman carried the load for the Knights, with juniors Emily Readinger and Mackenzie Hoffman joining senior Amanda McHugh with goals, while juniors Kayla Murphy and Jules Oswald tallied assists. Arcadia outshot Haverford 15-9 (8-5 SOG) and held a slim edge in corners taken at 6-5.
Arcadia walked out of Haverford as Kick-Off Classic Champions by beating Montclair State (1-0-1) by a score of 4-1 Sunday afternoon. The Knights fell behind early when the Red Hawks scored in the sixth minute, but they responded with two first half and two second half goals. Junior Megan Mannato scored twice to pace the Knights, with senior Bridget Sway and junior Emily Readinger adding singles. The Knights outshot the Red Hawks 16-6 (10-4 SOG) and led in corners 4-1.
The Knights head to Ursinus (2-0-0) Wednesday night to face the Bears before heading home to Jean Lenox West Field to host another match with Montclair State (1-0-1) Friday evening and the Seagulls of Salisbury (2-0-0) Sunday afternoon.
Penn State-Berks (0-1-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 7
The season-opening woes continued for the Nittany Lions on Friday night at Wilkes (1-0-0), as they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Colonels. The Nittany Lions have not won a season opener since 2013, having tied or lost every season opener over the last six years. Despite outshooting the Colonels 9-7 (3-3 SOG) and leading slightly in corners 8-6, the Nittany Lions couldn’t battle back from a goal deficit for a second time. Freshman Lauren Korpics scored for the Nittany Lions, putting in her own rebound midway through the second half to tie the game, but the Lions couldn’t keep Wilkes from scoring again.
The Lions are at Dickinson (1-0-0) Tuesday night before returning home to host the Diplomats of Franklin and Marshall (1-0-0) Saturday afternoon.
Dickinson (1-0-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 8
The Red Devils hosted New Paltz State (0-2-0) Friday night, beating the Hawks 3-1 at Miller Memorial Field. Senior Addy Zandi led all scorers with two goals. Freshman Meg Tate, a graduate of nearby Carlisle High School, thrilled the hometown crowd with the opening goal and added an assist. The Red Devils dominated the Hawks on the stat line, outshooting New Paltz State 19-4 (9-3 SOG) and leading in corner kicks 7-1.
The Red Devils will host the Lions of Penn State-Berks (0-1-0) Tuesday night before traveling down to Virginia to take part in Christopher Newport’s “Captains Invite” tournament, where they’ll face Virginia Wesleyan (2-0-0) Friday night and then square off against the hosts, the No. 4 Captains of Christopher Newport (2-0-0) Saturday night.
Susquehanna (1-1-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 9
The River Hawks won the 13th Annual River Derby against Lycoming (1-1-0) Friday afternoon, their sixth consecutive victory in the derby. Goals from freshman Emily Wertz, sophomore Anna Werner, and sophomore Caroline Lewis paced the River Hawks, who pasted the Warrior keeper with 29 shots in the 3-0 victory. Susquehanna dominated the stat sheet, outshooting Lycoming 29-1 (24-1 SOG) and leading in corner kicks 5-0. Warrior sophomore keeper Jess Riorden made 19 saves for Lycoming in the loss.
The River Hawks fell in a defensive struggle at Muhlenberg (2-0-0) Sunday night, falling 1-0 on a second half penalty kick. The River Hawks led in shots taken at 10-6 (4-3 SOG), but trailed in corners taken at 2-4.
The River Hawks continue their “Road Warrior” ways this week, traveling north to New York to take on two Oneonta teams. On Friday afternoon, they’ll square off in a “Battle of the Hawks” when they take on Hartwick (2-0-0) at Elmore Field. They’ll wake up the next day to make the short drive to Oneonta State (0-1-0) in a quest to slay the Red Dragons on their home pitch Saturday afternoon.
So, there you have it. The first week is in the books. No shockers anywhere, but some quality matchups. We will soon see in the next few weeks if those same teams from last year and every year will stay on top, or if some new challenger is out there ready to make a move. It’s our favorite time of year again - NCAA D3 WOMEN’S SOCCER SEASON!
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