Nov. 5, 2009

By Amy Farnum
NCAA.com

THREE-PEAT? After completing a perfect regular season for the third time this decade, second-ranked Williams will try to become the first New England Small College Athletic Conference team to win three straight league titles as the Ephs host the tournament this weekend. The program also achieved the feat in 2001 and 2007.

Williams enters the weekend as the league’s scoring leader for the third consecutive season, averaging 3.40 goals per season – more than a goal higher than any other team in the conference.  Annelise Snyder and Brett Eisenhart both have contributed 11 goals, while the defense has allowed just three tallies in 15 games.

The Ephs will host fourth-seeded Tufts in the first NESCAC semifinal game on Nov. 7.

FALCON FEVER: Top-ranked Messiah continued its domination against Commonwealth Conference opponents as the Falcons posted a resounding 8-0 victory over Albright College on Nov. 3 to advance to the league’s championship game on Saturday.  

The Falcons outshot Albright 38-1 in the match as they took one step closer to their third straight Commonwealth title.

“I’m pleased with how we came out and played, and with our approach to the game,” said Messiah head coach Scott Frey. “Again, I thought we did a good job of creating chances. I thought our play on the wings was very good, our backs continue to keep it pretty tight and our play in the midfield was good. All in all, it was a good win for us to start the tournament.”

Messiah will now host second-seeded Arcadia in the Commonwealth championship game on Nov. 7.

TIGER TALES: No. 3 Trinity University (Texas) claimed its 14th Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title, and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs as the Tigers defeated two league foes on the road by a combined score of 14-1.  

Sophomore forward Abigail Loar tallied her first career hat trick in an 8-0 win over Oglethorpe – the Tigers’ first hat trick since 2007.  The native of Littleton, Colo., followed it up with a pair of goals against Sewanee as Trinity improved to 14-0-0 on the season, including a perfect mark in SCAC play.

Loar, who received SCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for her efforts, has 12 goals and four assists on the year.  

The Tigers, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA West Region, conclude their regular season with two SCAC home games against Rhodes on Nov. 7 and Hendrix on Nov. 8.

BEYOND THE MILESTONE:
William Smith College head coach Aliceann Wilber became just the second Division III women’s soccer coach to record 400 career wins with a 1-0 defeat of RIT last weekend, but the Herons are not finished adding victories to their mentor’s total.

The No. 9 Herons went on to shutout Union College, 2-0, in the first round of the Liberty League Tournament on Nov. 4.  It was sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Davis’ 11th shutout of the season.  

Wilber, who led the program to the 1988 NCAA title, has compiled a 401-118-47 in 30 years at William Smith.  The top-seeded Herons advanced to the championship game on Nov. 7, which they will host.

VIKING VICTORS: Augustana’s Katie Oakes garnered College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Player of the Week after leading the Vikings to a pair of wins as they clinched the program’s first-ever regular season league title.

The senior forward from Wheaton, Ill., netted the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over North Central, and followed it up with a pair of scores in a 4-1 defeat of Elmhurst last week.  

The Vikings finished the CCIW schedule with a flawless 7-0-0 mark, earning the top seed in the league tournament.  Augustana began the CCIW championship with a convincing 5-0 win over Milliken on Nov. 4, and moves on to host the final game against Illinois Wesleyan on Nov. 7.

The sixth-ranked Vikings are 17-1-1 on the season as they look to add to their school-record win total in the postseason.