CAA Men's Soccer Championship Preview
RICHMOND, Va. (November 7, 2012) - Following a pair of overtime contests in Monday's quarterfinals, the CAA Men's Soccer Championship resumes on November 9 and 11 at Drexel University's Vidas Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
In Friday's semifinal action, #2 Northeastern (11-2-4, overall, 6-1-3 in CAA) takes on #3 James Madison (9-6-3 overall, 6-2-2 in CAA) at 5 p.m., followed by #1 Drexel (12-3-2 overall, 8-1-1 in CAA) against #4 Hofstra (11-5-3 overall, 5-4-1 in CAA) at 7:30 p.m.
The two semifinal winners will advance to Sunday's 2 p.m. championship game, which provides an automatic berth to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship.
Six different teams have captured the CAA Men's Soccer Championship over the past six years, showing the league's quality and depth. Hofstra won the title in 2006, followed by Old Dominion (2007), George Mason (2008), UNCW (2009), William & Mary (2010) and Delaware (2011). The streak could continue in 2012 as the top three seeds in this year's event - Drexel, Northeastern and James Madison - aren't on that list.
Drexel, which captured the outright CAA regular-season title for the first time, enters the tournament on a seven-match unbeaten streak (6-0-1). The Dragons' defense has allowed just 15 goals in 17 matches and has posted shutouts in six of their eight conference wins. The unit is led by senior goalkeeper Tim Washam (0.72 GAA, 8 ShO) and junior defender Tal Bublil. Junior Nathan Page (9g, 1a) is the Dragons' top threat offensively along with sophomore Fabio Machado (3g, 5a) and junior Ken Tribbett (3g, 2a). Drexel is ranked #22 nationally this week by Soccer America.
Northeastern is making its sixth CAA tournament appearance in the past seven years. The Huskies were unbeaten (8-0-4) in 12 straight matches from Sept. 15 to Oct. 27 before dropping a 1-0 decision at Old Dominion in their season finale. Senior forward Don Anding leads the CAA with 28 points and ranks second in the conference in goals (11), assists (6) and game-winning goals (5). Sophomores Donovan Fayd'Herbe de Maudave and Simon Cox have each contributed four goals. The Huskies have also been strong defensively with senior goalkeeper Oliver Blum topping the CAA with a 0.64 GAA.
James Madison, which advanced to the final 16 of the NCAA Tournament a year ago, is looking to capture its first CAA championship since 2001. The Dukes, who are 5-1-1 in their past seven matches, outlasted #6 UNCW 4-3 in overtime in Monday's quarterfinals. Senior midfielder Paul Wyatt leads JMU with nine goals and 21 points after scoring twice in the win over the Seahawks. Sophomore Josh Grant has contributed seven goals. The Dukes' defense has been anchored by freshman defender Bjarki Adalsteinsson and freshman goalkeeper Kyle Morton (1.19 GAA).
Hofstra is aiming to claim its first CAA championship since reeling off three straight titles from 2004-06. The Pride advanced past #5 George Mason 5-3 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 double-overtime tie in Monday's quarterfinals. Hofstra has four players with 13 or more points this season, led by sophomore forward Maid Memic (8g, 4a) and junior forward Chris Griebsch (4g, 10a). Freshman Joseph Holland has scored six goals. Defensively, junior back Shaun Foster is one of the nation's top defenders and senior keeper Adam Janowski owns a 1.10 GAA with five shutouts.
Admission to the championship is $5 for adults. Youth age 12 and under are admitted free along with students from the participating CAA schools with a valid college ID.
For fans not able to attend, all three games of the championship will be video streamed live at CAASports.com. Also visit the men's soccer championship page on CAASports.com for game stories, statistics and video recaps.
2012 CAA Men's Soccer Championship
Vidas Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
November 9 - Semifinals
#3 James Madison vs. #2 Northeastern - 5:00 p.m.
#4 Hofstra at #1 Drexel - 7:30 p.m.
November 11 - Finals
CAA Championship Game - 2:00 p.m.