Mid-Atlantic Review, Week 11
By D3soccer.com Contributor
The NCAA Championship Tournament field has been set. Few real surprises for the Mid-Atlantic Region, and several schools in the region will square off against each other early on. With so many “favorites” around the nation getting upset in their conference tournaments, there weren’t that many at-large bids to go around. Let’s take a look at where our top teams in the region will be playing...and who will be staying at home.
Messiah (18-1-1 / 7-0-1) D3Soccer.com No. 1 / MA Region No. 1
No. 1-ranked and seeded Messiah hosted #4 seed Albright (12-8-0 / 5-3-0) Thursday night for a MAC Commonwealth semifinal game, their 20th straight Commonwealth semifinal match where they carried in a 19-0-0 record in those games. When the Falcons and Lions met a few weeks ago in conference play, the Falcons squeaked out a 2-1 victory, where the Lions scored their first-ever goal against the Falcons. Messiah’s defense made sure no such indignation occurred again, as they held the Lions to three shots, none of them on target.The offense, meanwhile, put up 44 shots with 19 of those on target in a 6-0 rout. Sunny Gelnovatch opened the scoring and added another in the second half, while Maddie Kohl added two of her own. Falcons Lindsay Haseltine and Shelby Burger each scored a goal. The Falcons led in corners taken 14-1.
Messiah hosted #2 seed Arcadia (15-3-3 / 5-1-2) Saturday afternoon in the MAC Commonwealth Championship game, the fifth straight time that the two have met for the title. The previous meeting this season between the two was a Falcon-dominated affair everywhere but the scoreboard, with Messiah putting up 40 shots while holding the Knights to just 6. But, at the end of that game (thanks to a tremendous defensive effort by the entire Arcadia team), the scoreboard read 0-0. This time, the match was much more even statistically, with Messiah holding a slim 17-12 shot advantage (8-3 SOG) and trailing five to seven in corner kicks. What would appear to be another dead heat was actually a 3-0 Falcon win. The championship is their 17th MAC Commonwealth title and makes them the recipient of the automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Brooke Firestone opened the scoring in the first half and Korinne Kovatch added two second-half insurance goals.
With the MAC Commonwealth’s automatic berth, the Falcons will host the first two rounds in Grantham, welcoming NECC Champion Lesley (14-3-2 / 6-1-0) for their first round game, with ODAC champ Randolph-Macon (20-0-1 / 10-0-0) and fellow Mid-Atlantic Region member and at-large selection Haverford (12-4-2 / 6-2-2) facing off in the other half of the pod.
Dickinson (14-2-4 / 8-0-2) D3Soccer.com 12 / MA Region No. 2
Dickinson hosted #4 seed Gettysburg (13-4-1 / 6-3-1) Saturday afternoon for a Centennial Conference semifinal and thanks to a Meg Tate hat trick, came away with a 3-0 win and a spot in Sunday’s championship game. Tate scored two first-half goals just over a minute apart in the 12th and 13th minutes, then added a penalty conversion in the 59th minute to seal the win. The Red Devils held a 10-5 advantage in shots (8-2 SOG) and trailed in corner kicks taken at four to six.
The Red Devils hosted #2 seed Johns Hopkins (14-2-4 / 6-1-3) Sunday afternoon in the Centennial Conference championship game, falling behind 0-2 in the first half and unable to mount a comeback. The Red Devils were outplayed in the first half, falling behind on goals in the 24th and 35th minutes and unable to mount any serious attack. They battled evenly with the Blue Jays in the second half, ending the game with more shots than Hopkins (13-11) and holding even at shots on goal with seven.
The Red Devils were the team at the top of the list in the “Locks - No Discussion Needed” section of our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, meaning that they were one of the top teams in the nation not getting an Automatic Qualifier. Despite that, they were the last at-large team called during Monday’s selection show and there had to be more than a few sighs of relief as the last matchup was revealed. They will travel to New England to take on Skyline Champion Farmingdale State (14-5-3 / 9-0-1) at host Amherst (14-3-1 / 6-3-1), the NESCAC Champion, who will take on NAC Champion Maine Maritime (13-4-0 / 8-0-0) in the other pod game.
Johns Hopkins (14-2-4 / 6-1-3) D3Soccer.com No. 10 / MA Region No. 3
Johns Hopkins played #3 seed Haverford (12-4-2 / 6-2-2) at Dickinson Saturday afternoon in a Centennial Conference semifinal game and rode an early goal to a 1-0 win and a berth in the championship match against Dickinson Sunday. Emily Maheras scored off of a corner kick in the 8th minute, and the Blue Jay defense did the rest, limiting the Fords to just 11 shots with six of those on goal, all of which were saved by sophomore keeper Caitlin Hendricks.
The Blue Jays played at #1 seed Dickinson (14-2-4 / 8-0-2) Sunday afternoon in the Centennial Conference championship game and won their 12th CC Championship. Hopkins seems to like the conference playoffs at Dickinson, as they have won them all three times the playoffs have been hosted there. The Blue Jays took the lead in the first half by controlling possession, being the first to the ball, and winning almost every battle. Emily Maheras converted a penalty kick in the 24th minute when Riley O’Toole was fouled in the box, and Maggie Coulson put a free kick into the bottom left corner of the net in the 35th minute. The Hopkins defense then held off the Red Devil attacks, holding on for the 2-0 victory.
With the Centennial automatic berth, the Blue Jays will host the first two rounds, facing off against NEAC Champion Penn State-Berks (15-6-0 / 11-0-0), while at-large bid Christopher Newport (15-2-3 / 8-1-1) takes on MASCAC champ Worcester State (11-7-2 / 5-1-1) in the other game of the pod.
Arcadia (15-3-3 / 5-1-2) D3Soccer.com 19 / MA Region No. 4
#2 seed Arcadia hosted #3 seed Stevenson (8-9-2 / 5-2-1) Thursday night in a MAC Commonwealth semifinal, their second straight game against the Mustangs and the second time this season when they had to face the same opponent twice within a five day period (Montclair State, September 1st and 6th). The two teams drew 0-0 after 110 minutes five days ago, but the Knights had dominated the statistics, outshooting the Mustangs 38-9 (13-4 SOG). Their semifinal appeared to be the same type of game, but this time Arcadia scored in the 31st minute on Karlie Flowers goal and weathered the Mustang assault with tough defense, limiting Stevenson’s chances to just a few. The Knights were able to put the game away for good in the 89th minute when Amanda McHugh headed in an Emily Readinger cross. This time, the Knights held a 21-4 shot advantage (8-2 SOG) and took seven corners to none for Stevenson.
The Knights traveled to #1 seed Messiah (18-1-1 / 7-0-1) Saturday afternoon to meet the Falcons in the two teams’ fifth consecutive and final MAC Commonwealth Championship match. The Knights fell behind in the first half and despite several offensive pushes, couldn’t net an equalizer and eventually gave up two more scores in the second half to fall 0-3 to the No. 1-ranked Falcons. The Knights trailed 12-17 in shots (3-8 SOG), but took two more corner kicks than the Falcons at 7-5. This will be the last Commonwealth final between the two, as the Knights move over to the Freedom side of the Middle Atlantic Conference next season.
Arcadia was a team in our “Safe, No Worries” section of our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, and on Monday heard that they would once again be traveling to Pittsburgh to take on fellow Mid-Atlantic Region member and at-large selection Swarthmore (12-5-0 / 6-4-0). The two teams will travel over 300 miles to play a school located about 30 miles from the other. The other game in the pod features UAA member and host Carnegie Mellon (11-5-1 / 4-3-0) and CSAC champ Cairn (12-4-4 / 7-1-1). Arcadia traveled to Pittsburgh for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, falling in the second round to Carnegie Mellon.
Stevens (15-3-1 / 7-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 18 / SA Region No. 5
#1 seed Stevens hosted #4 seed Wilkes (8-8-1 / 4-3-0) Wednesday night in their first-ever MAC Freedom semifinal match and rode two early first-half goals to a 2-0 win. Julia Panko converted a penalty in the fourth minute and Brynn Budka added some insurance in the 16th minute to lead the Ducks. The Ducks outshot the Colonels 23-9 (12-2 SOG) and took seven corners compared to two for WIlkes.
The Ducks hosted #2 seed Misericordia (11-6-2 / 7-1-0) Saturday night in their first MAC Freedom conference championship game. While the Ducks were new to the Freedom championship, they had won the Empire 8 the last four years, so they were right at home in championship games. The Cougars, meanwhile, were the three-time defending Freedom champions and in a position of do-or-die, needing to win to advance to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Without the automatic qualifier that comes with the conference championship, the Cougars knew they stood little-to-no chance of garnering a berth in the tournament. The teams battled to a scoreless first half, but the Ducks continued to press and got on the board first in the 47th minute on Gabby Saade’s goal. Ally Wanzor added an insurance goal in the 55th minute and the Duck defense shut down any Cougar attack the rest of the way for a 2-0 championship win. For the match, Stevens outshot Misericordia 20-13, but the teams were even with seven shots apiece on goal. The Ducks trailed slightly in corner kicks at 4-5, but held the Cougars to no corners in the second half, when it mattered most.
With the MAC Freedom’s automatic berth, the Ducks will play LEC Champion Mass-Boston (19-2-1 / 7-0-1), with two New England teams facing off against each other in the other game - at-large berth and host Middlebury (13-2-3 / 6-1-3) and CCC Champion University of New England (13-5-2 / 5-3-0).
Gettysburg (13-4-1 / 6-3-1) D3Soccer.com RV / MA Region No. 6
#4 seed Gettysburg hosted #5 seed McDaniel (13-6-0 / 6-4-0) Wednesday night in the opening round of the Centennial Conference playoffs and scored two first-half goals en route to a 2-1 win. Grace Slevin and Paige Merz scored less than two minutes apart late in the first half and the Bullets held off a late push by the Green Terror to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. Twenty-four fouls were called in the very physical game, while only 16 shots (eight by each team) were taken. The Bullets put up one less shot on goal (5-6) than the Green Terror, but put one more in the net. Corners were also even at two apiece.
The Bullets traveled to #1 seed Dickinson (14-2-4 / 8-0-2) Saturday afternoon for a Centennial Conference semifinal matchup and fell 0-3 despite playing relatively even with the Red Devils, from a statistical point of view. The Bullets fell behind early on Red Devil goals in the 12th and 13th minutes, and could never find the back of the net themselves. The Bullets trailed in shots taken at 5-10 (2-8 SOG), but took six corners to four for Dickinson.
Gettysburg was a team in our “Safe, No Worries” section of our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, and found out they will be going to New England to face defending champion Williams (9-5-2 / 6-3-1), who received an at-large bid, with host MIT (19-1-2 / 10-0-0) and Johnson and Wales (14-7-1 / 10-2-0) facing off in the other game of the pod.
Haverford (12-4-2 / 6-2-2) D3Soccer.com RV / MA Region No. 7
Haverford traveled to Carlisle, PA, the home of Dickinson College, to take on #2 seed Johns Hopkins (13-2-4 / 6-1-3) Saturday afternoon in a Centennial Conference semifinal match. The Fords fell behind early in the 8th minute when the Blue Jays scored off a corner kick, and despite offensive pushes of their own, couldn’t crack the Hopkins defense and fell 0-1. The Fords trailed 11-17 in shots (6-10 SOG) and 3-8 in corner kicks taken. Sophomore keeper Hannah Friedrich made nine saves in the loss and kept the Fords in the game right up until the final whistle.
Haverford was a team in our “Squarely on the Bubble (Pick ‘em 2 of 4)” section of our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, and heard their name called early on Monday, heading the short distance to the Messiah pod and facing off against Randolph-Macon (20-0-1 / 10-0-0). Host Messiah (18-1-1 / 7-0-1) and NECC champ Lesley (14-3-2 / 6-1-0) will square off in the other game of the pod.
McDaniel (13-6-0 / 6-4-0) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 8
#5 seed McDaniel traveled to #4 seed Gettysburg (13-3-1 / 6-3-1) Wednesday night in the Centennial Conference playoff game and couldn’t overcome two first-half goals by the home team, falling 1-2. Maddie Schwartz scored for the Green Terror in the 54th minute, but they couldn’t complete the comeback, despite putting more shots on goal (6-5) than the Bullets. More fouls (24) were called than shots taken (16) during the physical match.
McDaniel, a team sitting in the “Wrong Side of the Bubble - Although I’ve Been Wrong Before” section of our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, did not receive an at-large bid Monday and saw their season end, probably due to their low SOS (.593) and record against ranked opponents (2-5-0).
Swarthmore (12-5-0 / 6-4-0) D3Soccer.com No. RV / MA Region No. 9
Swarthmore, a team sitting in the “Squarely On the Bubble (Pick ‘em 2 of 4)” section in our “At Large” NCAA Tournament field prediction article, didn’t make the Centennial Conference playoffs as the two-time defending champions, so they sat helplessly watching this week, unable to defend their title on the pitch. The Garnet did hear their name on Monday, finding out they will travel to Pittsburgh to face neighboring Arcadia (15-3-3 / 5-1-2), an at-large bid and school barely 30 miles away from them. Host Carnegie Mellon (11-5-1 / 4-3-0) will face off against CSAC champ Cairn (12-4-4- / 7-1-1) in the other game of the pod.
Susquehanna (14-4-2 / 6-1-0)) D3Soccer.com NR / MA Region No. 10
#1 seed Susquehanna hosted #4 seed Catholic (8-7-4 / 4-2-1) Wednesday night in a Centennial Conference semifinal match and got mired in a 0-0 draw that went 110 minutes and into penalty kicks, where the River Hawks prevailed 3-2 to advance to the championship game. Junior keeper Madi Welliver was the hero of the day, stopping the final Cardinal conversion attempt and propelling them into Saturday’s matchup with Scranton. The River Hawks led in shots taken at 9-5 (4-3 SOG) and led 3-1 in corner kicks. It was some retribution for the River Hawks, who were ousted from last year’s NCAA Tournament in Rochester, NY, in a PK shootout.
The River Hawks hosted #3 seed Scranton (11-5-3 / 5-2-0) Saturday afternoon for the Landmark Conference Championship, falling 0-3 to the Royals. It was the fourth consecutive time that the two have met for the crown, with Scranton now holding a 3-0-1 advantage, with Susquehanna winning in a penalty shootout last season. The game was a physical one played mostly in the midfield, with more fouls being called (15) than shots taken (10), and only four total shots on goal produced between the two teams.
Susquehanna, a team not listed in our “Women’s At-Large Berth Analysis and Predictions” article, probably due to their low Strength of Schedule (.521) and no record versus ranked opponents (0-0-0), did not hear their name called Monday afternoon and end the year with a Landmark Conference regular season title and a very respectable fourteen wins against four losses and two ties.
Well, that’s it for this year. No more Mid-Atlantic Region wrap-ups for this season. Continue to follow the tournament action at D3Soccer.com, your most comprehensive source for the NCAA DIII Women’s Soccer National Championship Tournament. We will have in-depth previews for the Sectionals and Semifinals, and complete coverage for the Semifinal and Final games. It’s been a great season - see you next year in the Mid-Atlantic Region!
Comments or feedback for the author? E-mail us.