Notebook: Falcons Defense Still Soaring
Sept. 30, 2009
By Amy Farnum
SHOOTING FOR PERFECTION: Top-ranked, undefeated and un-scored upon Seattle Pacific will look to keep up its incredible pace this week with a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches, including a contest against the squad that handed the Falcons their last loss.
The Falcons will host Western Oregon on Sept. 30 to defend their 37-game home winning streak. SPU will also enter the game with a scoreless streak of 953:07, including all 810 minutes this season. The defending national champions have not surrendered a goal since last year’s NCAA semifinal contest against Metro State.
When the streak started at the end of last season, SPU’s defensive unit included three seniors and combined for 221 career starts. This year, the Falcons’ back line had no collegiate starting experience before this season, and includes freshmen Andrea Chan, Taylor Lundquist and Taylor Sawyer.
“The back line is playing like a bunch of seniors,” said head coach Chuck Sekyra.
If the Falcons extend their 26-game (25-0-1) unbeaten stretch against Western Oregon, they will then be challenged by Western Washington at Orca Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Oct. 3 – the site of their last loss on Sept. 20, 2008. SPU has won 20 consecutive contests, including a 9-0-0 mark this season.
MAKING HER MARK: Armstrong Atlantic State senior forward Kristin Burton continues to rewrite the Peach Belt Conference record book, becoming the league’s all-time point leader last week, and is also within reach of the career goals and assists marks.
The two-time PBC Player of the Year notched a goal and an assist in a 4-0 win over Georgia Southwestern State last weekend to give her 186 points. For the week, Burton contributed two goals and three assists as she garnered her third straight PBC Player of the Week award.
With 78 career goals, Burton is just five goals shy of the PBC-record 83 goals, and with 30 career assists, she needs just five assists to match the league record of 35. Burton ranks in the Division II top five in both goals and points.
The No. 18 Pirates look to extend their three-game winning streak at USC-Aiken in a league match on Sept. 30.
COMING UP ROSES: The College of Saint Rose held on to its No. 3 ranking for the fourth consecutive week after the Golden Knights shutout their third straight opponent with a 1-0 win over Saint Anselm last weekend. The ranking ties the highest spot in program history.
Saint Rose ranks sixth in the nation with a 0.33 goals against average led by the goalkeeping duo of sophomore Susan Cowan (3-0, 0.21 GAA) and junior Deanna Esposito (5-0, 0.49 GAA). The Golden Knights have outscored their opponents 20-3 in the last three games, led by junior All-American midfielder Amanda Deck, who has netted three game-winners on the year.
The Golden Knights put their perfect 9-0-0 mark on the line on Sept. 30 as they travel to Southern Connecticut State for a Northeast 10 Conference match-up.
LION LEADERS: The University of North Alabama re-entered the NSCAA Division II Top 25 at No. 25 after a two-week absence after putting together a 4-0-1 mark since falling out of the rankings following a loss to Newberry. The Lions’ national ranking of No. 18 on Sept. 8 was the program’s first. UNA is ranked No. 4 in the South Region behind West Florida, Rollins and Florida Tech.
Freshman Chloe Roberts is Division II’s second-leading scorer with 16 goals, including a tally against Trevecca Naazrene in the Lions’ 3-0 win on Sept. 29. Roberts and senior teammate Tassia Augusto are tied for third in the nation with 3.3 points per game, and lead a Lion offense that ranks fourth in Division II in scoring with 4.5 goals per game.