CAA Women's Soccer Championship Preview
RICHMOND, Va. (November 1, 2012) - After two thrilling quarterfinal matches that were decided on penalty kicks, the CAA Women's Soccer Championship resumes on Friday evening at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field in Williamsburg, Va.
In Friday's semifinal action, #2 Drexel (13-3-2, 7-2-1 in CAA) takes on #3 UNCW (12-6-2, 7-3 in CAA) at 5 p.m., followed by #1 William & Mary (14-5, 8-2 in CAA) against #5 Hofstra (10-8-1, 6-4 in CAA) at 7:30 p.m.
The two semifinal winners will advance to Sunday's 2 p.m. championship game.
Showing the conference's depth from top to bottom, six different teams have been crowned CAA champions over the past six years. Old Dominion (2006), Hofstra (2007), Northeastern (2008), UNCW (2009), James Madison (2010) and William & Mary (2011) have taken home the title during that period.
William & Mary, which is currently ranked #3 in the Mid-Atlantic region by the NSCAA, captured the CAA regular-season title for the second year in a row. The Tribe has won a league-record 10 CAA Tournament crowns and is looking to become the first team to win the tournament in back-to-back years since 2001. Leading W&M offensively are senior midfielders Mallory Schaffer (10g, 3a) and Cortlyn Bristol (5g, 13a) and junior forward Dani Rutter (7g, 3a). In goal, freshman Caroline Casey sports a 0.76 GAA and has recorded six shutouts.
Drexel is making its first CAA Tournament appearance following the best season in school history. The Dragons, who are ranked #5 in the Mid-Atlantic region, set school records for wins, CAA wins and road victories (7) and were unbeaten at home. Drexel relies on the CAA's top defense, which has given up only 12 goals in 18 matches and has recorded 10 shutouts. That unit is anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Eve Badana (0.67 GAA, 10 ShO) and sophomore back Melissa Chapman (3g). Thirteen different Drexel players have scored a goal this year, topped by junior Sam Greenfield (5g, 1a).
UNCW is making its first CAA Tournament appearance since 2009 when the Seahawks captured their first conference championship. UNCW advanced to the semifinals by edging #6 Delaware 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 double-overtime tie last Sunday. The Seahawks registered a league-high 43 goals this season and feature the CAA's top scorer in senior forward Stephanie Rose, who contributed 13 goals and 11 assists. Freshman forward Maddie McCormick (7g, 3a) and midfielders Stephanie Bronson (5g, 3a) and Kim Currie (4g, 5a) also had strong seasons. Senior goalkeeper Caitlin Hunter has a 0.88 GAA with seven shutouts.
Hofstra has made the CAA Tournament field in 10 of the last 11 years and owns a pair of conference championships (2005, 2007). The Pride reached the semifinals by topping #4 Northeastern 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 double-overtime tie last Sunday. Hofstra has four players who have compiled 17 or points this season - freshmen Leah Galton (11g, 4a) and Jill Mulholland (6g, 5a) and sophomores Sam Scolarici (9g, 1a) and Lulu Echeverry (7g, 4a). In goal for the Pride is junior Emily Morphitis, who has a 1.49 GAA with four shutouts.
Admission to the championship is $5 for adults and $3 for youth (3-17). Students from the participating CAA schools will be admitted free 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 women's soccer championship page on CAASports.com for game stories, statistics and video recaps.
2012 CAA Women's Soccer Championship
Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field - Williamsburg, Va.
November 2 - Semifinals
#2 Drexel vs. #3 UNCW - 5:00 p.m.
#5 Hofstra at #1 William & Mary - 7:30 p.m.
November 4 - Finals
CAA Championship Game - 2:00 p.m.