Delaware Looks to Keep Rolling into CAA Play; Hosting UNC Wilmington Friday, Georgia State Sunday
Sept. 21, 2011
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
PHILADELPHIA –It’s that time of the year again for the Blue Hens, as the University of Delaware Prepares to enter its 10th season of Colonial Athletic Association women’s soccer.
This is what the teams have been waiting for through the first half of the year, gearing up for conference play. The 12 teams in the conference will be vying for the six spots in the tournament. On the line at the tournament will be the league’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Blue Hens will open league play with UNC Wilmington Friday night at 7, followed up with a tilt against Georgia State on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games will be contested at Delaware Mini-Stadium
For those fans unable to attend the game, the University’s athletics media relations department will be running a live statistical feed, which can be accessed by going to BlueHens.com and opening the Fan Zone drop down and choosing Game Day Live Stats. Please click on Women’s Soccer to access the feed.
Duffy Earns Weekly Honors:
Sophomore midfielder Chelsea Duffy was tabbed as this week’s PhillySoccerNews.com SoccerSavings.com Player of the Week. She was the first CAA player to win the honor this season.
The Glassboro, N.J. (Gloucester Catholic HS) native had a hand in each of Delaware’s goals against the Black Knights. Duffy put the Hens up 1-0 in the first half and followed up with an assist to senior Amy Pickard. After Army tallied a mark in the 82nd minute, Duffy was credited with the game-winning assist.
Friday night’s game will be the first Cockpit game for UD Students. The first 10 students to check-in at the Cockpit Table will receive a FREE Grotto Pizza Gift Card!
The first 100 fans in attendance at Sunday’s game will receive 2011 schedule posters, featuring Stacie Dulkie, Laura Klebe, Breanna Stemler, Amy Pickard and Leigh Victory. After the game, the Hens will stick around for an autograph session.
New York State of Mind
After knocking off Army 2-1 on Sunday, Delaware improved to 3-0-0 on the season against opponents from the state of New York.
Delaware’s first victory over the Empire State came with a 3-0 shutout of Stony Brook, followed by a big 4-1 win over Siena, the 2010 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion.
The Blue Hens will have one more opportunity to face a New York school when Hofstra visits Newark next week for the Oct. 2 matchup.
Looking for Number 200:
Picking up two wins last week, head coach Scott Grzenda is now within reach of the 200-career wins mark. The Hens’ 2-1 win over Army was enough to give the only coach the program has ever know his 198th career win. He is now just two victories shy of the 200-win benchmark and will become the 41st NCAA Division I coach to reach the plateau.
Delaware has only faced the Seahawks and Panthers a combined 16 times, 10 of which have been against UNC Wilmington.
The all-time series between Delaware and the Seahawks is knotted at 5-5-0 after the UNC Wilmington edged Delaware 1-0 last season in Wilmington. The two squads first met in 2000 as participants in the East Carolina University Tournament. Delaware won the inaugural match up 1-0.
UNC Wilmington has won the last three games 1-0 and taken the last five meetings after the Hens won the initial five meetings.
Delaware did not meet the Panthers until 2005 when Georgia State became a member of the CAA. Delaware is 3-2-1 all-time against GSU, including Amy Pickard’s last-second game-winner in Pantherville last season to give the Hens a 3-2 victory.
Pickard has a knack for finding the net against Georgia State, having put away two goals in the three games she has played against the Panthers.
Scouting the Hens:
Delaware, now 4-3-1 after Sunday’s 2-1 win at Army, is on a three-game winning streak. It marks the first time since the final three games of the 2010 season the Hens have won three in a row.
Pickard, who is tied for ninth in the league in points, is the team’s leading point getter, putting in three goals and two assists for eight points. Three Hens have five points, including Chelsea Duffy and Mel Pennington, who each have two goals and a helper. Leigh Victory sets the bar with three assists and a goal for her five points.
Delaware is ranked sixth in the league in goals, putting away 12 sofar this season, aided by its four goal effort against Siena. The Hens are sitting in sixth in points, averaging 4.62 per game.
Between the pipes, Breanna Stemler has started all eight games this year, seeing 685 minutes of action. During that time, she ahs turned away 23 opponent shots, carrying a save percentage of 74.2 She is a big reason Delaware is ranked third in the conference in goals against average (0.99), having put up two shutouts already this season.
Scouting the Seahawks
UNC Wilmington will be bringing its 2-5-0 record into conference play, having scored just five goals during the first half of the season. The Seahawks are currently riding a three-game skid, Dating back to a 2-1 victory at Davidson.
Despite the low goal output, the Seahawks have allowed just nine goals so far this year.
Amanda Holmes is the Seahawks’ leading scorer, tallying one goal and one assist. UNC Wilmington spreads out the offense, with four different Seahawks scoring one goal; Erin Pardini, Kim Curie, Laura Wilson and Stephanie Rose.
As a squad, the Seahawks have managed just 80 shots on the year, but have allowed opponents 98.
In goal for UNCW, Caitlin Hunter has played in all 629 minutes this year, stopping 81.0 percent of her opponents’ shots. Her 41 saves rank her second in the league, just three behind Jocelyn Papciak of Towson.
Scouting the Panthers
Georgia State comes to town with a 3-6-0 record, but has won its last two games, outscoring UNC Ashville and Gardner Webb 7-4.
On the offensive side of the field, Sarah Bannett leads the way, tallying nine points on four goals and a helper. Jewel Evans has three goals and one assist for seven points as Whitney Raven, Allison Gonzalez and Eryke Hawkins have two goals apiece. Jordan Young has a team-high three assists.
The Panthers have split time in goal nearly in half between Rebecca Ingram and Kellianne Collins. Ingram has played in 490 minutes of soccer this year, making 21 saves while Collins has stopped 17 shots in her 430 minutes of action.