A Battle looming in Georgia
The two-time defending champion Grand Valley State Lakers continued their climb to the top of the rankings, jumping up one spot to the No. 3 this week. Jr. F Kendra Stauffer led the way as the Lakers registered consecutive 7-0 victories this past week.
Staffer, behind a four-goal performance paced the Lakers, with five goals and two assists. The Lakers have had a scorching hot October, outscoring their opponents 29-1 in six games.
The big game of the week takes place Wednesday night when the North Georgia Nighthawks travel to the Walden Soccer Complex at Columbus State in a battle that will most likely determine the Peach Belt Conference title.
North Georgia enters the game dropping nine spots to No. 12 after an upset at the hands of Clayton State last week. The Cougars are riding an eight game winning streak that saw them jump nine spots from No. 17 to No. 9 in the most recent NSCAA Coaches Poll. The Nighthawks are backed by three of the PBC’s top ten scorers, while Jr. F Nicole Corcione leads the Cougars as the PBC’s leader in goals, assists and points. It should be an explosive performance.
No. 1? No problem.
There is a new No. 1 this week. That’s because the DII giant killers were at it again.
For the second time this season, the Northern State Wolves took down a No. 1 seed on their home court. Last time it was Minnesota-Duluth that fell to the Wolves. This past week, it was the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears who would lose 3-1.
The Wolves followed their upset with a 3-0 victory over Minnesota State, which improved Northern State’s record to 19-0 and propelled them four spots up the ladder to the No. 2 ranking in the nation in the most recent AVCA Coaches Poll. The loss dropped the Golden Bears three spots to No. 4.
The new No. 1 are the Tampa Spartans. Coming off of a clean three game sweep in the Gulf South Conference/ Sunshine State Conference Crossover in West Georgia, the Spartans improved 16-3 on the season, including a perfect 6-0 record in the SSC. The Spartans have been led by Sr. MB Jessica Wagner — who is tops in the SSC with a .456 hitting percentage — and Sr. OH Berkley Whaley who leads the SSC with a 4.28 kills average.
Adelphi holds strong as showdown for the Northeast-10 looms
After not being ranked a mere two weeks ago, the Adelphi Panthers held strong this week at the No. 8 spot. They are one of four Northeast-10 Conference members rounding out this week’s NFHCA Coaches Poll. With a loss against No. 9 Stonewall already in the books, Adelphi is in must-win mode as Merrimack (No. 6) and Assumption (No. 7) lurk ahead on this week’s schedule.
The Panthers rode a six-game win streak into the No. 8 spot last week and responded with back-to-back shutouts this past week, defeating Mercy 5-0 and Franklin Pierce 4-0. Jr. D Rachel Colvin anchored the defense, taking home her third Defensive Player of the Week honor this year, while So. GK Amanda Gargiulo took home her second Goalie of the Week honors, behind her NE-10 best 0.86 Goals-Against Average. It was Gargiulo’s fourth consecutive shutout.
Assumption sits atop the NE-10 with an 8-0 conference record, but Adelphi and Merrimack are right behind at 7-1. This week should provide a lot more clarity in the NE-10 as well as the national rankings.