November 12, 2019

South Atlantic Week in Review- Week 11

By Contributor

The NCAA Championship Tournament field has been set. Five out of the eight teams ranked in the third South Atlantic Regional rankings made it into the tournament. Let’s take a look at where our top teams in the region will be playing...and who will be staying at home.

TCNJ (16-1-1 / 8-0-1) No. 4 / SA Region #1

#1 seed TCNJ hosted #4 seed Rowan (10-8-1 / 4-4-1) Tuesday night in a New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinal, scoring an early goal and a late goal en route to a 2-0 win. The Lions controlled play, putting up 16 shots to just five for the Profs (9-1 SOG), and looked to be ready to pull away after Amelia Curtis’ goal in the first five minutes, but Rowan kept the match close. While never able to net the equalizer, they kept the Lions from extending their lead until the 88th minute when Julianna Bertolino scored for the home team.

The Lions hosted #2 seed Montclair State (13-6-2 / 7-1-1) Friday night and won their third straight NJAC Championship, beating the Red Hawks by a score of 3-2 in double overtime. The Lions took a 2-0 lead into halftime after Julianna Bertolino scored in the 13th minute and Kelly Carolan converted a penalty kick in the 21st minute. But, the Red Hawks came storming back, getting their own penalty kick conversion in the 65th minute and a breakaway goal in the 78th to even the score and send the match into overtime. The Lions were the only team that managed any shots in the overtime periods, but the gritty defensive play by both teams made it appear that the game was headed to penalty kicks to decide the NJAC Champion and automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. However, in the 109th minute, a hard foul in the box by a Red Hawk defender set up Amelia Curtis’ penalty conversion and sent the Lions off to celebrate their 19th New Jersey Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Championship.

The Lions, recipients of the NJAC automatic berth, will now host a pod for the first weekend, taking on CUNYAC Champion John Jay (12-6-1 / 5-0-0) while at-large bid Tufts (12-3-2 / 7-2-1) will take on SUNYAC champ Cortland State (12-5-2 / 7-0-2) in the other matchup.

Christopher Newport (15-2-3 / 8-1-1) No. 8 / SA Region #2

#2 seed Christopher Newport hosted #3 seed Mary Washington (11-10-0 / 6-5-0) Wednesday evening in a Capital Athletic Conference and fell to the Eagles by the final of 1-0. The Captains were outshot 9-15 (4-6 SOG) and trailed 2-3 on corner kicks taken.

The Captains, one of the teams listed in the “In Good Shape” section of our NCAA Tournament field projection article, will dance, but won’t get to do it at home like they did last year. They will travel to Baltimore, MD, to take on MASCAC Champion Worcester State (11-7-2 / 5-1-1). The other matchup in the pod will feature CC Champ and host Johns Hopkins (14-2-4 / 6-1-3) taking on NEAC Champion Penn State-Berks (15-6-0 / 11-0-0).

Centre (21-0-0 / 7-0-0) No. 6 / SA Region #3

Centre continued to dominate their Southern Athletic Association competition, scoring a 6-0 rout over #5 seed Berry (8-7-3 / 3-3-1) Friday night in a conference semifinal game. Six different Colonels scored for Centre, with Alana Hughes leading the way with what would prove to be the game-winner in the 17th minute. Averi Faulk, Mills Mullen, Sarah Sirkin, Meghan Paynter, and Taylor Gebhart would all add goals of their own, as the Colonels put up 28 shots, 16 of which were on goal, while taking seven corner kicks to the Vikings’ two. The defense wasn’t about to be outdone by the offense, though, limiting Berry to just one shot in the match.

Centre hosted #2 seed Rhodes (13-6-0 / 5-2-0) Sunday afternoon in the Southern Athletic Association championship match and won their 8th consecutive SAA championship and maintained their title as the only team ever to hold the crown. The Colonels grabbed the lead late in the first half, when Mills Mullen put in a header goal in the 43rd minute. Alana Hughes added two second-half insurance goals en route to a 3-0 win. The Colonels dominated the statistics even more than the scoreboard, outshooting the Lynx 23-4 (13-1 SOG) and taking 15 corners to one for Rhodes.

The Colonels have the SAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championship Tournament and will travel to Ohio for the first weekend, first taking on Landmark champ Scranton (11-5-3 / 5-2-0), while OAC champ and host Ohio Northern (17-2-2 / 9-0-0) takes on PAC Champion Grove City (12-6-2 / 7-1-0) in the other game.

Emory (13-4-0 / 5-2-0) 17 / SA Region #4

Emory, a member of the University Athletic Association, has no conference playoffs. As the other teams around the region were competing in conference playoffs, the Eagles were finishing up their regular season and strengthening their NCAA Championship Tournament resume. The Eagles hosted fellow UAA member Rochester (N.Y.) (9-6-2 / 1-5-1) Saturday morning and had to rally after falling behind to get the 2-1 conference win. Aubrey Blanchard and Peyton Robertson scored for the Eagles, who dominated the shot count at 29, but struggled putting them on target, with only seven being on frame. The Eagle defense held the Yellow Jackets to a mere four shots, with just one on goal.

Emory was a team in the “Locks - with Rubber Stamping” section of our “Women’s At-Large Berth Analysis and Predictions” article, and now find themselves traveling across the country to California to play another at-large bid Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (10-4-3 / 6-4-2), while NWC champ and host Pacific Lutheran (16-2-2 / 14-1-1) takes on Pool B at-large berth awardee UC Santa Cruz (13-3-2 / 1-0-0) in the other pod matchup.

Randolph-Macon (20-0-1 / 10-0-0) 14 / SA Region #5

#1 seed Randolph-Macon had no problems dispatching #8 seed Lynchburg (11-8-1 / 5-5-0) Wednesday afternoon, ending the Hornets’ season with a convincing 4-1 victory. Gabby Nelson figured in all four Yellow Jacket goals - scoring two, garnering an assist, and being fouled in the box to force a penalty kick. Casey Kent and Tyria Smalls scored the other goals for R-MC. The Yellow Jackets outshot their vespa sisters 24-12 (9-5 SOG), with both teams attempting three corner kicks.

The Yellow Jackets hosted #4 Bridgewater (Va.) (12-7-2 / 7-3-0) Saturday afternoon in an ODAC semifinal match, and despite putting on the pressure throughout regulation time, had to wait until overtime to squeak out a 1-0 win. The Yellow Jackets put up 20 shots to nine tor the Eagles (9-4 SOG), and took five corner kicks to one for Bridgewater. But, they couldn’t find the back of the net until the 92nd minute when Bonita Soliday scored her first goal of the season, sending the Jackets into Sunday’s championship match.

Sunday, the scoring woes continued when they hosted #2 Virginia Wesleyan (13-3-4 / 7-2-1) in the ODAC championship match. Neither team could score in 110 minutes of soccer and the champion was determined by penalty kicks. The Marlins controlled play in the first half, putting up six shots to the Yellow Jackets’ one, while the second half saw much more level play, with each team getting off eight shots. Randolph-Macon had the better of the play in the overtime periods, getting off five shots to only one for the Marlins, but neither team could score. The Yellow Jackets would prevail in penalty kicks by the score of 5-3, with each Jacket converting her penalty.

With the ODAC’s automatic berth, the Yellow Jackets will head to Pennsylvania to No. 1-ranked Messiah’s pod, first taking on at-large Haverford (12-4-2 / 6-2-2) in the first round, while MAC Commonwealth champ and host Messiah (18-1-1 / 7-0-1) takes on NECC Champion Lesley (14-3-2 / 6-1-0) in the other matchup.

Montclair State (13-6-2 / 7-1-1) NR / SA Region #6

#2 seed Montclair State hosted #3 seed Stockton (14-4-3 / 6-1-2) Tuesday night in a New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinal, beating the Ospreys by a 2-0 final. The Red Hawks got a first-half goal by Gabby D’Emlio and one in the second half by Emily Beenders. MSU outshot Stockton 18-12 (9-5 SOG) and took four corners to one for the Ospreys.

The Red Hawks visited No. 4 ranked and #1 seed TCNJ (16-1-1 / 8-0-1) Friday night for the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship, and came back from a 0-2 halftime deficit to knot the game at 2-2. Emily Beenders converted a penalty kick in the 65th minute after a TCNJ handball in the box, and NJAC Rookie of the Year Tori Rolls scored in the 80th minute to draw the game even. The teams battled for the rest of regulation and overtime periods and the championship seemed destined to be decided by penalty kicks, but instead was decided by a single one after an MSU defender was called for a foul in the box with just 1:52 remaining in the second overtime. The Lions converted the penalty kick and set off their celebration and quite possibly ending the Red Hawks’ NCAA Tournament dreams.

Montclair State was a team in the “Squarely on the Bubble (Pick ‘em 2 of 4)” section of our “Women’s At-Large Berth Analysis and Predictions” article, and did not hear their name called Monday for the NCAA Tournament. The large number of “favorites” who were upset in their conference tournaments left little wiggle room for those with subpar SOS or record versus ranked opponents. Montclair State still had a great year, recording 13 wins and taking the No. 4 team in the country to double overtime in their conference final.

Roanoke (13-6-1 / 7-3-0) NR / SA Region #7

#5 seed Roanoke traveled to #4 seed Bridgewater (Va.) (12-6-2 / 7-3-0) Wednesday afternoon and battled back to tie the game in the second half, but fell in overtime 2-1 to the home team. Kathryn Van Orden scored for the Maroons in the 59th minute after the Eagles had scored in the first half, but could never put in another and the Eagles scored the game-winner in the first overtime. The Maroons outshot the Eagles 13-11, but trailed in shots on goal at 2-5. Roanoke also held an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Roanoke, a team not listed in our “Women’s At-Large Berth Analysis and Predictions” article, probably due to their low Strength of Schedule (.599) and record versus ranked opponents (0-3-0), did not hear their name called Monday afternoon and end the year with a very respectable thirteen wins against six losses and a tie.

Salisbury (13-3-3 / 9-0-1) No. NR / SA Region #8

#1 seed Salisbury hosted #4 seed York (Pa.) (9-13-0 / 4-6-0) Wednesday night in a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal game and fell to the Spartans by the final of 2-1. The Sea Gulls took an early lead on Brooke Rossiter’s goal in the 8th minute, but the Spartans came back and scored two second half goals, despite only putting up four shots. The Sea Gulls outshot the Spartans 14-4 (6-4 SOG) and took eight corners to only three for York.

The Sea Gulls were not listed amongst our “Women’s At-Large Berth Analysis and Predictions” article, most assuredly due to their low Strength of Schedule (.530) and record versus ranked opponents (1-2-1). Salisbury was not selected for the national tournament and can celebrate an excellent year that included thirteen wins and a CAC regular-season title.

Well, that’s it for this year. No more South Atlantic Region wrap-ups for this season. Continue to follow the tournament action at, 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. What a whirlwind season it has been in the South Atlantic Region - see you back here next season!


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South Atlantic Weeki in Review


The weekly South Atlantic Week in Review will survey the Division III women's soccer landscape throughout the NCAA South Atlantic Region consisting of twelve  states.  The primary ones are Virginia (ODAC), New Jersey (NJAC), North Carolina (USAC) and Georgia (Various).  The remaining states are home to three or fewer South-Atlantic schools with conference ties elsewhere: Arkansas, Alabama, D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.  We will look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances, identifying who is trending up and who is trending down each week.

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