Sept. 16, 2009

By Amy Farnum
NCAA.com

PUTTING IT TO THE TEST: Defending NCAA champion and top-ranked Seattle Pacific could not have started the season off in more perfect fashion after beginning the year with six straight shutouts in non-conference play. 

Now, the Falcons will take a 17-game winning streak into Great Northwest Athletic Conference action as they kick off their league schedule at Western Oregon on Sept. 17.  SPU lost its GNAC opener last year, a 1-0 setback to Western Washington, but bounced back to make its national title run.

Along with their flawless record and current winning streak, the Falcons will put a scoreless streak of 683:07 minutes on the line against Western Oregon, which includes all 540 minutes played this season.  The mark is a school record, and began during the 2008 NCAA semifinals in a 3-1 win over Metro State.

Senior Jesslyn Rahm Kellerman and junior Maddie Dickinson split time in goal for SPU, and each have been credited with three shutouts. Last season, the duo combined for 17 shutouts. 

REACH FOR THE SKY: The Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team received its highest national ranking in program history, moving up to No. 11 on the strength of a 6-0 record and two victories against Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference foes last weekend.

Along with Seattle Pacific and Colorado Christian, the Skyhawks are one of three Division II teams that have not given up a goal this season and are off to the best start in school history.  Junior goalkeeper Christine Schmelzle has played all 569 scoreless minutes for the Skyhawks.

Fort Lewis’ next contest will be challenging as the Skyhawks travel to No. 20 Metro State on Sept. 18 before returning home to host Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 20.

GOAL-ORIENTED:  The goals just keep coming for Franklin Pierce University’s Gabriela Demoner.  The senior midfielder posted her second consecutive three-goal game in a 3-0 victory over Saint Michael’s as the Ravens moved to 5-2 on Sept. 15 and ncreased her nation-leading goal total to 14.

The native of Vitoria, Brazil, entered the week on a pace of 2.2 goals per game, before adding her seventh career hat trick this week.  Demoner is the only player in the nation averaging at least two goals per game.

The three goals improve Demoner’s point total to 30 (14 goals, two assists), which eclipses her 25-point effort (7 goals, 11 assists) from last year.

The No. 22 Ravens return to action at New Haven on Sept. 20 for a NE-10 contest.

HONORABLE:  Armstrong Atlantic State senior forward Kristin Burton garnered her 10th career Peach Belt Player of the Week award, tying a league record for all-time weekly honors, after leading the Pirates to a 1-0-1 mark last week.

The senior forward first notched the game-tying goal against Saint Leo, and then followed it up with a goal and an assist in the league opening 3-0 victory over Lander. 

Burton, a native of Ocala, Fla., paces the PBC with seven goals this season as she continues to climb the league’s all-time goal scoring charts.  With 71 career goals, Burton needs just 12 to match the conference record of 83.

No. 19 AASU travels to Wingate on Sept. 16 for a key Southeast Region match-up.