Nov. 5, 2009

By Amy Farnum

BATTLING FOR A TITLE:  Top-ranked Ohio Wesleyan is looking to repeat as North Coast Athletic Conference champions this weekend after turning in a practically perfect regular season in 2009.
OWU will host Denison in the NCAC championship game on Nov. 7 after downing Hiram, 2-1, in the league semifinals on Nov. 4.

The Battling Bishops breezed through the NCAC regular season schedule with a 9-0 mark, extending their winning streak in NCAC games to 23 to tie the conference record set by Ohio Wesleyan from 1998-2001.

The Bishops surrendered just two during the regular season, setting an NCAA all-divisions record for fewest goals allowed in regular-season play, bettering the mark of three set by Macalester (Minn.) in 1997 and matched by York (Pa.) in 2008. The previous Ohio Wesleyan record was five goals allowed in 16 games during the 2006 season. Ohio Wesleyan has compiled 17 shutouts this season, breaking the school record of 16 set in 1991.

OWU defeated Denison, 2-0, earlier this season.  The winner of Saturday’s game will automatically qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship.

Stevenson University knocked off defending league champion No. 16 Salisbury, 1-0, on Nov. 3 to advance to the championship game of the Capital Athletic Conference as the Mustangs stretched their winning streak to seven games.

Sophomore Kyle Baker netted the game’s lone score in the first half.  It is the first time Stevenson will participate in the CAC championship game since joining the league in 2007.  

The victory also avenged a 4-0 setback to Salisbury on Oct. 7, the last time Stevenson (12-8) has lost a match.   The Mustangs are just three wins shy of setting a new school record for victories.

Stevenson will face No. 12 York (Pa.) in the CAC title game on Nov. 7.   Only three schools have won the CAC title in 18 years.

CAPTAINS’ CHOICE: No. 5 Christopher Newport University claimed six of 11 spots on the USA South All-Conference first team, including sophomore Winston Mattheisen, who was tabbed the league’s Player of the Year.

Mattheisen leads CNU in scoring with 11 goals and three assists, including two goals in the Captains’ latest victory – a 5-2 win at Ferrum over the weekend.  The victory gave CNU an unbeaten conference season and the No. 1 seed in USA South tournament.

The Captains will meet fourth seeded Averett on Nov. 6 in the USA South semifinals in Martinsville, Va.

PIRATE PRIDE: Whitworth University cracked the NSCAA Division III Top 25 at No. 15 this week after extending its unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) with a pair of road victories over Willamette and Linfield last weekend.  The Pirates also moved up to second in the NCAA West Region rankings.

The two wins put the Pirates in the driver’s seat of the Northwest Conference title hunt as the final season of regular season play approaches.  They will host Whitman College on Nov. 7, and a win would give Whitworth its third straight NWC title.  

It has been nearly 20 years since a NWC school has accomplished the three-peat. Whitworth was the last to do it - winning three in a row from 1988-90. PLU has the longest championship streak in conference history, winning six straight in 1982-87.