South Atlantic Week in Review- Week 5
By D3soccer.com Contributor
We are halfway through the season. Halfway! Conference play has started for most teams, while a few are wrapping up non-conference bouts. There will be shake-ups in the Top 25, but mostly towards the bottom of the table, where several teams dropped key matchups. The South Atlantic has been a stormy sea this season, with several sides sailing into the regional rankings and right back out. There will be shake-ups again this week, maybe even some big names dropping out. Let’s take a look...
Christopher Newport (8-0-2 / 1-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 2 / SA Region #1
Christopher Newport played their non-conference finale Wednesday night against No. 23 Lynchburg (4-3-1 / 0-1-0) in what has become quite the rivalry over the last few years. Last season, the two schools split their two games, with the Captains winning the important one - the NCAA Quarterfinal matchup to advance to the Final Four. The two teams always seem to battle back and forth, with explosive offenses meeting aggressive defenses. This year was no different. The teams battled in regulation, with each scoring a goal and putting up eight shots on goal. Riley Cook scored the tying goal in the 66th minute, and the Captains upped the offensive pressure on the Hornets, outshooting them 10-3 (3-2 SOG) in the extra sessions. Neither team was able to score in overtime, so they settled for a 1-1 draw. Overall, the Captains outshot the Hornets 27-18 (11-10 SOG) and took 13 corner kicks to Lynchburg’s two. With her goal, Cook tied with Victoria Perry as CNU’s all-time points leader with 109 career points.
Saturday belonged to Riley Cook, as she had another record-breaking performance against York (Pa.) (3-7-0 / 0-1-0) in their Capital Athletic Conference opener. Cook scored four times in the 5-1 win to set several records, the most impressive being that she now sits as the all-time leader in scoring at Christopher Newport. The four goals also equal the program record for goals scored in a single game, and her 53 career goals makes her the only Captain ever to attain the 50-goal mark. Hailey Shaw scored the other goal for the Captains, and Emily Talotta had two assists in the lopsided win. The Captains outshot the Spartans 28-3 (12-2 SOG) and took six corners to York’s three.
The Captains will continue with Capital Athletic Conference play by hosting Southern Virginia (2-7-1 / 0-1-0) Wednesday night and Mary Washington (4-5-0 / 1-0-0) Saturday evening. The CAC is one of the few conferences where the member teams play each other twice each season in a home/away format.
TCNJ (8-1-0 / 2-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 5 / SA Region #2
The Lions fought against York (Pa.) (3-7-0 / 0-1-0) for 58 minutes Monday night without being able to beat Spartan freshman keeper Jillian Kozak, who had been able to gobble up everything launched at her up until that point. The freshman had absorbed over a dozen shots and had not surrendered a goal. That all changed in the 59th minute when junior Randi Smith sent a centering pass to sophomore Alexandra Ryan, who beat Kozak just inside the left post. The result was never in doubt after that, as the Lions had controlled possession and not surrendered a single shot. For the match, the Lions took 25 shots to zero for the Spartans (8-0 SOG) and held a seven to one advantage in corner kicks.
No Roadrunners were able to escape Saturday afternoon in Ewing, NJ when the Lions throttled Ramapo (4-4-1 / 0-1-1) by the score of 7-0 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest. The Lions pelted the Roadrunners with 44 shots, 20 of which were on goal, while holding their opponents to a single, wayward shot. Seven different Lions scored - Nikki Butler, Lauren McLaughlin, Kelly Carolan, Ally Weaver, Lindsay O’Keefe, Caroline Rubin, and Gianna Menerva, and four recorded assists - Randi Smith, Nora Burdge, Lindsay O’Keefe, and Jessica O’Brien. The Lions also led in corners taken at 8-1.
The Lions hit the road for two New Jersey Athletic Conference matches this week, first visiting Rutgers-Camden (2-6-0 / 1-1-0) Wednesday night and then William Paterson (5-2-2 / 1-1-1) Saturday evening.
Centre (12-0-0 / 1-0-0) D3Soccer.com No. 9 / SA Region #3
Centre passed their first test of this challenging week by not looking ahead and concentrating on taking care of Franklin (0-8-1 / 0-0-0) Tuesday night, which they did by the score of 5-1. The Colonels never left anything in doubt, scoring three first-half goals and two in the second. Centre got two goals from Kristin Dean and single offerings by Cameron Zak, Sarah Sirkin, and Meghan Paynter. All-American Alana Hughes did not score in the contest but served up four assists. The Colonels outshot the Grizzlies 29-2 (17-1 SOG) and took 16 corners to zero for their opponents.
The matchup on Friday night at Oglethorpe (7-1-0 / 0-1-0) was built up as a meeting between two undefeated stalwarts of the Southern Athletic Association. The match did not live up to the hype, as the Colonels took it to the Stormy Petrels, especially in the second half, where they scored five goals en route to a 6-0 SAA victory. The Colonels got three goals from Sarah Sirkin, Two from Alana Hughes, and one from Taylor Gebhart. Hughes also added two assists in a mere 43 minutes of play. The Colonels outshot Oglethorpe 29-5 (16-3 SOG) and took four corners to zero for the Stormy Petrels.
The Colonels faced a ranked opponent for the first time this season on Saturday afternoon at Emory (6-2-0 / 0-0-0), taking on the No. 20 Eagles in Atlanta. Many wondered how Centre would match up against a ranked opponent, and they managed just fine. The Colonels’ Sarah Sirkin, coming off of a hat trick the night prior, scored in the 17th minute and the defense fended off the Eagles’ attack for the remainder of regulation. The Colonels were outshot 12-20 (6-9 SOG) but took three corners to one for the Eagles.
The Colonels return to Southern Athletic Association play in Georgia by traveling to face Berry (5-2-2 / 0-0-1) Saturday afternoon.
Emory (6-2-0 / 0-0-0) D3Soccer.com No.20 / SA Region #4
Emory geared up for their big weekend by pummeling Covenant (2-4-1 / 1-0-0) by a score of 6-0 Tuesday night. Although they took less than their nation-leading average of 32.6 shots per game, they still managed to put up 28 on the Scots while holding them to three (17-2 SOG). Freshman Sydney Rosenkrantz scored two goals after the game had been decided, while sophomore Lindsey Breskow scored the game-winner in the fourth minute. Natalie Klar, Paige Santee, and Kylie Hall added goals for the Eagles.
Saturday afternoon against No. 9 Centre (12-0-0 / 1-0-0), the Eagles controlled play for much of the match, outshooting the Colonels 20-12 (9-6 SOG), but couldn’t put one in the back of the net in the 0-1 loss. Emory’s senior keeper Haley Pratt made five saves in the loss.
The Eagles bounced back from the previous day’s loss by taking down Rhodes (7-3-0 / 1-0-0) by a 2-1 score Sunday afternoon. Natalie Klar and Samantha Hilsee scored for the Eagles, building a 2-0 second half lead before the Lynx cut the deficit in half in the 77th minute. The Eagles dominated the stat sheet, putting up 31 shots to 6 for Rhodes (16-3 SOG) and took 13 corner kicks to zero for the Lynx.
Washington and Lee (8-0-1 / 1-0-0) D3Soccer.com RV / SA Region #5
Can we start taking Washington and Lee seriously now? Other than an early season draw with annual stalwart Denison (4-4-3 / 1-0-0), the Generals have been perfect this year. What they didn’t have was a victory against a ranked opponent on their resume. They have victories against Rowan (4-4-0 / 1-1-0) and Greensboro (7-3-0 / 1-0-0), but those teams appear to be struggling a little this year. The question is this: Are the Generals for real?
Saturday against Lynchburg (4-3-1 / 0-1-0), the Generals answered a resounding, “Yes!” by taking it to the Hornets for a 3-0 ODAC victory against a team that had just tied the No. 2 team in the nation. Laney Smith, Sophia Roche’, and Lindsay White all scored goals for the Generals, and the defense (ranked 18th in the country in goals-against average) kept the vaunted Hornet offense off the board. The Generals recorded their seventh shutout of the season in just their 9th game. The Generals outshot the Hornets 16-9 (6-3 SOG) and took four corners to Lynchburg’s one. It’s time to take the Generals seriously.
The Generals host an Old Dominion Athletic Conference match with Emory and Henry (2-6-1 / 0-2-0) Saturday afternoon, their only outing of the week.
Lynchburg (4-3-1 / 0-1-0) D3Soccer.com No. 23 / SA Region #6
Lynchburg found themselves back in Newport News Wednesday night, a place they’ve become very familiar with the last few years. The first meeting last season resulted in a 2-1 Hornet victory over Christopher Newport (8-0-2 / 1-0-0) that solidified Lynchburg as the powerhouse in the south. The second meeting resulted in a 0-1 loss that sent the Hornets home and the Captains to North Carolina and into the National Semifinal. Looking to exact some revenge on the No. 2 team in the nation, the Hornets played even with the Captains during regulation and took the lead on senior Sarah Barnes’ goal right after halftime. While the game had been a back-and-forth affair to that point and either team could have had the lead, in reality, the Hornets had seen the better chances, but couldn’t take advantage of some defensive lapses by Christopher Newport. The Captains attack was re-energized following the Hornet goal, and eventually they evened the score in the 66th minute. The Hornets were on their heels for much of the second half and overtime sessions but managed to put four shots on goal to the Captains’ seven. Neither team could break through in the extra sessions, so they had to settle for a draw. Oftentimes, ties seem to feel as if there is a winner and a loser, and the Hornets had to feel the winners, as they were able to come away from Newport News this time stating that they had just tied the No. 2 ranked team in the nation.
The Hornets were shocked by Washington and Lee (8-0-1 / 1-0-0) Saturday afternoon, losing by a final of 0-3 in a lightning-shortened match. It was the largest margin of victory by either team in their last 16 meetings and only the sixth Hornet loss to an ODAC opponent since 2010. It was only the second time this season that the Hornets have been shut out. Lynchburg was outshot 9-16 (3-6 SOG) and trailed in corner kicks taken at 1-4.
The Hornets host ODAC rival Bridgewater (3-4-2 / 0-1-0) Saturday afternoon, their lone match of the week.
Randolph-Macon (9-0-0 / 1-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / SA Region #7
Randolph-Macon fought a tough battle at Bridgewater (Va.) (3-4-2 / 0-1-0) Saturday afternoon and looked to be headed to extra time when senior Gabby Nelson got behind the Eagle defense in the 87th minute. Nelson put the ball past the approaching keeper and into the net for the 1-0 win and to help keep the Yellow Jackets perfect on the season. Randolph-Macon held a slight statistical advantage in the tightly played game, putting up 19 shots to the Eagles’ 15 (12-8 SOG), but trailed in corners 2-5. The Yellow Jackets’ perfect 9-0 start to the season has not happened since 1995.
The Yellow Jackets have a single match this week, hosting Guilford (5-3-1 / 1-0-0) in an ODAC matchup Saturday afternoon.
Rowan (4-4-0 / 1-1-0) D3Soccer.com NR / SA Region #8
Rowan dropped a tough match at Montclair State (6-2-2 / 2-0-1) Saturday afternoon, losing 0-1 in overtime. The Profs controlled play in the first half, outshooting the Red Hawks 8-4, but couldn’t put one past MSU keeper Lindsay Freewalt. The Profs peppered Freewalt with seven shots on goal in the contest, but Freewalt saved them all. Montclair State may have played their way into the regional rankings with this game, and Rowan may have played their way out.
Virginia Wesleyan (4-2-2 / 0-1-0) D3Soccer.com RV / SA Region #9
Virginia Wesleyan traveled to Roanoke (7-2-1 / 1-0-0) Saturday afternoon and fell 0-1 in a tight defensive battle to the Maroons. Roanoke scored in the 7th minute and then went into a defensive posture, limiting offensive opportunities for the Marlins. Fouls were nearly as prevalent as shots, as the Marlins outshot the Maroons 9-5 (5-2 SOG). The Marlins only managed to get four shots off in the second half, with only one of those being on target.
Roanoke (7-2-1 / 1-0-0) D3Soccer.com NR / SA Region #10
Roanoke hosted Virginia Wesleyan (4-2-2 / 0-1-0) Saturday afternoon in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference matchup and battled to a 1-0 victory. Senior Hailey Davis beat the Marlin defense at the 7 minute mark and the defense made it stand, disrupting the Marlin offense and limiting opportunities. The Maroons played team defense and held the Marlins to just four shots in the second half and only five shots on goal for the entire contest. Senior keeper Chris Martin made five saves in the win.
The Maroons have a single match this week, a Friday night, prime-time ODAC showdown at Shenandoah (7-3-0 / 1-0-0).
Watching… and how they fared this week.
So, there you have it - week five is in the books. We really are at the halfway point. Hard to believe for seniors and their parents. Week five in the South Atlantic was the last of the non-conference bouts (for the most part). Now comes the time to make sure that you are in line to make the conference playoffs. Now is the time to start thinking about the postseason, because it is right around the corner. Now is the time to win. Tune back in next week to see who did - and who didn’t.
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