Blue Hens Look to Bounce Back as They Ship up to Boston to Face Huskies Friday, Host Hofstra Sunday
September 28, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Christopher Permar
NEWARK, Del. – Suffering a tough loss on Sunday, the University of Delaware women’s soccer team will look to rebound this weekend when they take on a pair of Colonial Athletics Association foes.
The Hens ship up to Boston for a matchup with the Huskies of Northeastern University Friday night. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Parsons Field. Delaware returns home for a Sunday clash with Hofstra University at 1 p.m. at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
For all media coverage of this week’s games, place visit BlueHens.com and navigate to the women’s soccer home page and click on 2011 Schedule and Results. Links to live audio, video and statistics feeds will be posted on the right side of the schedule page.
Old Foes Meet Once Again
Delaware is very familiar with this week’s opponents. All three schools have been in multiple conferences with one another.
Delaware and Hofstra were conference foes in the North Atlantic Conference during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. The NAC, which changed its name to the America East in 1996, added Northeastern in 1997.
The three schools played in the same conference until Delaware and Hofstra shifted to their current alignment in the CAA. It would be another three years before Northeastern once again joined the Hens and Pride in the same conference, becoming members of the CAA in 2005.
Rain, Rain Go Away
Twice so far this season, the women’s soccer team has had its games affected by weather, most recently this past Friday.
The Hens were slated to open their conference schedule with UNC Wilmington on Friday night, but torrential downpour in Newark left the field at Delaware Mini-Stadium under water, with over an inch of water standing on the field. The game’s officials called the match and it will be made up at a later date.
In Delaware’s season opener against La Salle, lightning in the area stopped action twice, the second time for good as the game was halted with 10 minutes to play. La Salle won the contest 2-0.
RPI and National Statistic Rankings
The NCAA released the first Rankings Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2011 season, and the University of Delaware landed in the top half of the index.
The Hens, with a 4-4-1 overall record, ranked 153 in this week’s RPI, which accounts for all 322 NCAA Division I women’s soccer programs.
In the national statistics categories, senior goalkeeper Breanna Stemler is ranked No. 132 in goals against average (1.149) out of the top 150 in players in the nation.
As a team, Delaware’s goals against average (1.086) is ranked 107 out of 3320 programs in the nation. Delaware is in the top half in two categories; No. 155 in scoring offense (1.44 goals per game) and No. 153 in win-loss-tie percentage (0.50).
Climbing the Charts
Stemler continues to make saves at a torrid pace, making 143 in her career at Delaware. Stemler needs just 16 saves to catch Annie Bevan for seventh place all-time at Delaware. Bevan made 159 stops during her career, which spanned 2006-09.
Senior forward Amy Pickard needs just one goal to tie Kelly Walker for seventh all-time at Delaware. Walker set the mark of 19 from 1997-2000.
Looking for Number 200
After only one opportunity to play last week, 22nd year head coach Scott Gzenda is looking for win number 200. He currently sits at 198 and is now just two victories shy of the benchmark and will become the 41st NCAA Division I coach to reach the plateau.
Thursday’s match up will be the 12th meeting between the Hens and Huskies while Sunday’s action will serve as the 19th time Delaware and Hofstra have meet.
Delaware holds the series advantage at 6-3-2 against Northeastern. The Hens and Huskies have met five times in Boston, where the series is split 2-2-1. Delaware will look to avenge a 3-2 loss at the hands of Northeastern last season. The game was played at Hockessin Soccer Club after heavy rains in the Newark area forced a postponement from Thursday to Friday.
All-time against the Pride, Delaware has struggled. Hofstra has won 14 of the 19 meetings. But the Hens fare better in Newark, where they are 2-4-0, than they do in Hempstead, where Delaware is 2-9-0. They squads have met in a neutral site just once, which Hofstra won.
The Pride are winners of the last 11 matchups. The last time Delaware defeated Hofstra was 3-0 back in 2001.
Scouting the Blue Hens (as of Sept. 28)
Delaware slipped to a .500 record on Sunday after suffering a 2-1 overtime loss against Georgia State. Ali Miller stuck the Hens lone goal to tie things up in the 69th minute, finishing a pass from Stacie Dulkis.
Senior forward Amy Pickard leads the offensive charge with eight points on three goals and a pair of helpers. Miller, a junior forward, is a true finisher, putting up three goals for six points. Chelsea Duffy and Mel Pennington have five points apiece with each scoring two goals and tallying an assist
In goal, Stemler has played in 783 minutes this season. She carries a goals against average of 1.15, making 27 saves, averaging three a game. She stops 73.0 percent of the shots she sees while posting two shutouts.
As a team, Delaware has the second-fewest goals allowed this season (10), trailing William & Mary by just two. The Hens are whistled for the third-fewest fouls in the league, having been called just 75 times. The Hens have only been shown a yellow card on two occasions this year.
Scouting the Huskies (As of Sept. 28)
The Huskies host the Hens with a 6-4-0 overall record a have a 2-0-0 mark in the conference after knocking off defending champion James Madison 4-2.
Veronica Napoli, Northeastern’s all-time leading goal and point scorer, leads the Huskies so far this year, putting away six goals and four assists this year for a league third-best 16 points. She is also third in points per game (1.60), total goals and tied for four in total assists, assists per game (0.40) and goals per game (0.60).
Greta Samuelsdottir is second in points with 10, coming on five goals. Kirby Anderson (2g, 1a) and Kelley Mathews (1g, 2a) are third and fourth with five and four points, respectively.
In goal for Northeastern, Paige Burnett has made a league second-best 53 saves, averaging 5.89 per game. She is tested often in each game, as Huskie opponents average 6.8 shots on goal per game.
Scouting the Pride (Sept. 28)
Hofstra hosts Drexel on Thursday, and currently has a 5-3-0 record and 1-1-0 in the CAA. The Pride have struggled to string together wins since opening the season 3-1. The Pride have not won multiple games in a row since winning three in a row from Sept. 2-9.
Laura Greene, conference Player of the Week on Sept. 5, is far and above Hofstra’s top offensive threat with a CAA-high 19 points, coming on a league-best nine goals and one assist. She leads the CAA in goals per game and is the only player to post more than one goal per outing, averaging 1.12. She leads the league in shots (42), shots per game (5.25) and points per game (2.38).
Hofstra, which was selected to finish second in the conference in the preseason coaches poll, has used two different goalkeepers in its last two games. Kylie Shuster got the start in the Pride’s 1-0 win over VCU while Emily Morphitis opened the conference schedule with a 4-3 loss against conference favorite James Madison.
Shuster has played in 225 minutes of soccer this season, making four saves. She has started two games, winning both contests for a 2-0-0 record. Emily Morphitis has made six starts, stopping 14 opponent shots while surrendering only seven goals. She has the better save percentage between the two keepers (.667) and goals against average (1.25).
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