Final Weekend of CAA Women’s Soccer Regular Season With Playoff Hopes on the Line
October 27, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – One-thousand five-hundred and eighty-eight minutes later, the University of Delaware women’s soccer team is ready to head into the final weekend of Colonial Athletic Association competition with a pair of games the Hens will use to make a push for the postseason.
There are several key factors that help Delaware know exactly what it needs for the postseason. The Hens are the only team with two games this weekend and they will know what they need to do come game time.
In a make-up game from September, Delaware travels to Richmond, Va. on Friday to face the Seahawks of UNCW in a neutral site game. The Sept. 23 game was rained out at Delaware Mini-Stadium. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at VCU Sports Backer Stadium.
Delaware caps the regular season with Drexel on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game, which will serve as Senior Day for the Blue Hens, will kickoff at 1 p.m. at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
For links to live stats for both games, as well as live video for the George Mason game, please visit Delaware’s women’s soccer page at BlueHens.com and navigate to the schedule/results page. Links for each game will be in the Multimedia Column on the right of the schedule.
Sunday’s game against Drexel will serve as Delaware’s senior day. Prior to the Game, the head coach Scott Grzenda and his assistant coaches, Ginna Lewing and Brian Sprinkle, will honor four players; Stacie Dulkis, Amy Pickard, Breanna Stemler and Leigh Victory.
Laura Klebe, a senior, will opt to return to Delaware next year. She earned a medical redshirt her freshman season after playing just four games in 2008.
Playoff Scenario (from CAA):
With two games left while the rest of the conference has just one, Delaware has the chance to lock in a spot in the postseason for the first time since 2005.
William & Mary and VCU already have 18+ points; Northeastern, JMU and George Mason could also get to 18+ points with a win, which locks five spots. If UD gets to 17 with a win over UNCW and then Drexel beats Delaware on Sunday to also get to 17, the Dragons would win the tiebreaker for the last spot on head-to-head.
But the Hens could get help from other sources, such as VCU beating James Madison on Saturday or Towson beating George Mason.
Playoff Location Locked For Williamsburg:
The Tribe of William & Mary have locked up the No. 1 spot in the CAA tournament, going 9-1-0 in conference through last weekend’s games.
All games for the 2011 Virginia 529 CAA Women’s Soccer Championship will be played at Martin Family Stadium at Albert/Daly Field on the campus of William & Mary.
The CAA tournament will be played in Williamsburg, Va., beginning on Nov. 3 for the first round. The two semifinal games will be on Nov. 4 while the championship game will be played on Nov. 6 after a day of rest between the semis and the title game.
The tournament, which expanded to six teams this year, will allow the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds a first-round bye, while No. 3 faces No. 6 in one quarterfinal game at 5 p.m. while No. 4 takes on No. 5 in the other at 7:30.
In the semifinals, the No. 2 seed will play in the 5 p.m. game and awaits the winner of the No. 3/No. 6. Top-seeded William & Mary will take on the No. 4/No. 5 winner at 7:30 on Nov. 4.
The championship match will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6 and will feature the winner of each semifinal game.
The Series: UNCW
Friday afternoon’s matchup will be just the sixth time Delaware and UNCW have met. The all-time series is tied at 5-5-0. Delaware won the first five games against the Seahawks, but UNCW has stolen the last five.
The last four games have been decided by one goal each while UNCW has won the last three meetings by a score of 1-0 in each game. The last multi-goal game between Delaware and UNCW was in 2007 a contest UNCW won 3-2.
Delaware and UNCW have only met once as non-conference opponents, with that meeting happening in 2000 at the East Carolina Tournament. That is lone neutral site meeting in the series, prior to Friday’s game. Delaware won that initial contest 1-0 to hold a 1-0-0 advantage in neutral site games.
The Series: Drexel
The Delaware versus Drexel match is a game that has occurred every season since 1997, a run of 14 straight years.
The Hens have dominated the series, holding a 12-1-1 record against the Dragons. Over the last four seasons, Delaware has no allowed a single goal, winning three of the four games 1-0 and taking last season’s tilt 2-0 on the road.
Delaware’s netminders are currently working a 374-minute scoreless streak against Drexel. Current senior Breanna Stemler has logged 135 of those scoreless minutes, making eight saves, including six last season. The Blue Hen offense always comes alive against Drexel, outscoring the Dragons 26-4 in their meetings.
Four current Delaware players have at least one point against Drexel. Amy Pickard (at left) has a pair of goals while Stacie Dulkis and Shannon Kearney have one marker apiece. Chelsea Duffy tallied an assist on Kearney’s goal last season.
Scouting the Hens (as of 10/27/11):
The Hens split their results last week, falling 2-0 at George Mason but rallying to take down Towson 4-2 on Sunday. Ali Miller (above at right) posted two goals and a helper while Amy Pickard registered two assists and a goal.
Delaware’s offense is one of the best in the CAA, tied for third in total goals (30), third in goals per game (1.76), tied for third in total assists (28) and third in assists per game (1.65).
This is the first season Delaware has reached the 30-goal mark since 2007 when Delaware scored 31. The Hens’ 28 total assists are the most since 2001 when the team put up a monster 35 helpers, led by Ginette Bufone’s 11.
Amy Pickard and Ali Miller are a dynamic duo, with Pickard posting 24 points (9g, 6a) and Miller with 20 points (9g, 2a). They are the first pair to earn 20+ points since 2001 when Brittany Campbell had 22 (9g, 4a) and Caryn Blood recorded 21 (9g, 3a).
The two are ranked among the top 150 offense players in the country, according to the NCAA most recent statistics rankings. Pickard is 79th in points per game (1.35) while Miller is 123rd in the same category (1.18). They are each tied for 83rd in goals per game, each averaging 0.529.
Pickard is in sole possession of sixth place in the career points column, putting up 57 (24g, 9a) in her Blue Hen career. She needs just two more points to catch Blood and Fran Termini in fifth place with 59 points. Pickard is tied for fifth all-time in goals with Campbell and will need just two more markers to draw even with Termini in fourth.
Between the pipes, Breanna Stemler has made 71 saves, bring her career total to 187 which ranks third all-time at UD, behind Lindsey Shover’s 244 and Melissa Kulp’s 353.
Scouting the Seahawks (as of 10/27/11)
UNCW slipped to 3-14-0 overall and 1-8-0 in the league after falling 2-0 to Hofstra on Sunday. The lone Seahawk win in conference action came last week in a 3-0 victory over Northeastern.
Despite their record, the Seahawks have been competitive in a majority of their games, dropping seven contests by just one goal.
Stephanie Rose leads the way with eight points on four goals. Close on her heels is Kim Currie and her seven points, stemming from three goals and one assist. Amanda Holmes, Erin Pardini, Laura Wilson and Kelly Dodd have each tallied one goal.
In goal, Caitlin Hunter has played in a bulk of the time, recording 1,334 minutes this season. During that time, she has made 15 starts while stopping a league second-best 92 shots. Her saves per game average (6.13) is tops in the country.
Scouting the Dragons (as of 10/27/11):
Drexel is 6-8-4 on the season and moved to an even 4-4-2 mark in the CAA after George Mason on Sunday 2-1.
Drexel’s overall record is not from a lack of trying, playing in five overtime games this season. They hold a 1-0-4 record in overtime games this season, with a key 1-0 win over James Madison on Oct. 14 in extra time.
Jenna Lindsay is the lone Dragon with double-digit points, hitting six goals with two assists for 14 points. Megan Hammaker is the second leading scorer with eight points on three goals and a pair of assists.
The Dragons have split time in goal, but Eve Badana has the bulk of the time, logging 1,212 of the team’s 1,707 minutes this season. Victoria Troccoli has played in the other 495 minutes. Badana has 65 saves while tallying three shutouts. Troccoli has 17 saves but has allowed eight goals.
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