fieldhockey-d2 flag | September 27, 2013

Preview: No. 3 West Chester looks for win streak

This weekend is full of games involving top-10 teams, though only one pits two of those teams against each other.

Storylines to watch this weekend are whether two-time defending national champion West Chester can avoid a third loss this season and whether the four undefeated teams can avoid their first loss.

No. 1 Shippensburg

The Red Raiders have opened the season with seven consecutive wins, including one against then-No. 1 West Chester two weeks ago. Shippensburg can run that total up to nine this weekend after hosting Mansfield on Friday and No. 8 Bloomsburg on Saturday.

Bre White leads 11 different Shippensburg scorers with eight goals and six assists for 22 points – all of which are team highs. In fact, her 22 points are twice as many as second-leading point scorer Lauren Taylor. Carenna Neely has blocked 17 saves and given up seven goals.

No. 2 Millersville

Not only have the Marauders won their first five games – including one against two-time defending national champion West Chester -- and they have won them convincingly. Millersville ranks second in scoring margin at 3.8 goals per game. It also ranks fourth in scoring average at 4.4 per game and second in goals-against average with 0.60 goals per game.

They have to avoid looking too far ahead to October when it faces three consecutive top-10 teams, and worry about hosting Seton Hill on Friday and Mansfield on Saturday. Millersville did not face Seton Hill last year and defeated Mansfield 2-1 in 2012.

No. 3 West Chester

After starting the season with a pair of convincing victories, the Golden Rams have split their past four games. In that time, they have dropped two spots in the poll, one after each loss. But those losses have come against the only two teams currently ranked higher in the polls.

West Chester doesn’t face a top-10 team this weekend when it hosts Indiana (Pa.) on Friday and Seton Hill on Saturday. Megan Callanan has scored six goals this season, but trails Kelsi Lykens by two points for the team lead of 15 (five goals, give assists).  

No. 4 Stonehill

Based on recent results, Stonehill looks poised to pick up a 3-1 victory against Saint Michael’s on Saturday. The Skyhawks have won their previous four games, all by that 3-1 score. Last season, the Skyhawks did score three times against Saint Michael’s but didn’t even give up a goal.

So far this season, Erika Kelly has 13 goals which is more than half of Stonehill’s total goals. Elizabeth Genovese has started all seven games this season, playing every minute, and making 35 saves and giving up 13 goals.

No. 5 C.W. Post

The Pioneers have a quick weekend, going to Franklin Pierce for a game on Friday. They have stayed perfect in their first six games this season and have outscored their opponents 31-5. If last season’s result is duplicated on Saturday, the Pioneers will have a 35-5 advantage in goals this season after the weekend.

Carlee Dragon has the team lead with 11 goals and 28 points, while Keliann Margiotta has six goals and 19 points on the season.

No. 6 Limestone

After playing three games in three days last weekend, there’s no rest for the Saints who play two more games on consecutive days this weekend. On Friday, Limestone hosts Lindenwood and Bellarmine comes to visit on Saturday.

Rachel Goromonzi has the team lead with seven goals while Jill Funkhouser has the lead in assists with three. Lindsay Hinton has played every minute this season, making 32 saves and giving up 10 goals.

No. 7 Mercyhurst

Mercyhurst hits the road for two games this weekend. It plays at East Stroudsburg in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opener on Friday and then travels to Dowling for a non-conference match on Saturday.

Mercyhurst has a 3-3 record heading into PSAC action and its ranking is the highest in team history. Blair Pembleton leads with five goals, while Marissa Fasso has scored four times.

Mercyhurst already has beaten East Stroudsburg this season, defeating the Warriors 4-2 earlier this month while Saturday’s game will be the first time the Lakers have faced Dowling.

No. 8 Bloomsburg

After winning its past two games, Bloomsburg has thoughts of an upset when it travels to play top-ranked Shippensburg on Saturday. Aside from the implications to the national rankings, Saturday's game will also be the first contest to count toward the PSAC standings. Huskies have a 44-13-1 advantage in the all-time series though the Red Raiders won last season.

Felicia Domenici has the team lead in both goals (nine) and points (20) with BrittanyMathews (five goals, 13 points) second in both categories. Megan Eppley has started all seven games in goal, making 23 saves and ceding 11 goals.

No. 9 Kutztown

Kutztown has a pair of conference matchups for the first time this season this weekend, starting on Friday with Slippery Rock, and on Saturday against Indiana (Pa.) at University Field.

Kutztown defeated The Rock 2-1 on the road earlier in the season in a non-conference battle. Erin Reynolds struck for two goals off of two penalty strokes to give KU the win. The Golden Bears have yet to face the Crimson Hawks this season, though Indiana (Pa.) defeated Kutztown 5-2 last season. Kayla Denlinger has made 43 saves (16 goals allowed) so far this season in goal.

No. 10 Slippery Rock

Tenth-ranked Slippery Rock hits the road to take on No. 9 Kutztown in its PSAC opener on Friday. A win on Friday would give The Rock some payback for Kutztown’s 3-2 victory win last season.

Slippery Rock holds the edge against opponents 14-13 in goals, 70-53 in shots on goal and 64-54 in penalty corners through six games. Lindsay Brown leads The Rock in scoring with four goals and four assists. Courtney Lee and Carlee DuMars have played near even minutes in goal this season for Slippery Rock. Lee is 2-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .760 save percentage, while DuMars is 1-1 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .682 save percentage.

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