Patriot League Women’s Soccer Tournament Preview

Patriot League

By: Matt Doherty

BOSTON — As the regular season wrapped up this past weekend, the 2015 Patriot League Women’s Soccer Tournament field is set. Here is a look at the six schools that made postseason play.

Standings

1. Boston University­ – 25 points (8­-0-1 PL, 10-­5­-3)

2. Bucknell -­ 20 points (6-­1­-2 PL, 10-­5-­3)

3. Navy -­ 13 points (3-­2­-4 PL, 10­-6-­4)

4. Loyola Maryland­ – 13 points (4­-4-­1 PL, 6-­9­-1)

5. Colgate­ – 13 points (4­-4­-1 PL, 6­-9­-2)

6. American­ – 9 points (2-­4-­3 PL, 5­-10­- 3)

The tournament will kick off tonight with the two quarterfinal games. The two top seeds, Boston University and Bucknell received byes in this round. Therefore, tonight’s games are:

Quarterfinal Schedule

#6 American @ #3 Navy­ Annapolis, Maryland, – Tuesday 6 p.m. ET

#5 Colgate @ #4 Loyola Maryland­ Baltimore, Maryland – Tuesday 7 p.m. ET

After these first round matchups, the tournament will shift to Boston where the Terriers will host both semifinal contests and the championship game. The weekend schedule looks like this:

Semifinal and Championship Schedule

#4 Loyola Maryland vs. #1 Boston University­ – Friday 4 p.m. ET

#3 Navy vs. #2 Bucknell­ – Friday 7 p.m. ET

Championship Game­ Sunday 1 p.m. ET

Outlook

Boston University: The Terriers dominated Patriot League play and are the clear favorites heading into the tournament. BU’s only blemish was a 1­-1 draw against American back in early October. The Terriers have only allowed two goals in nine conference games with the last one being five games ago. The anchors of the defense, senior defender McKenzie Hollenbaugh and senior goalie Alyssa Parisi, both won player of the year honors in their respective positions.

Bucknell: The Bison lost only once league play, a 4­-0 shutout at Nickerson Field, but haven’t dropped a contest since late September. First year coach Kelly Kuss was tabbed PL Coach of the Year this week as Bucknell looks to ride the momentum into tournament play.

Navy: Just like Bucknell, the Midshipmen are another team that could crash the big dance in Boston. The Naval Academy boasts the highest scoring offense in the league, leading in goals, assists, points, and shots per game. They also have a first ­team all Patriot League member in Clare MacAdam, who leads the conference in points. If a few of their four ties went into the win column, the Midshipmen could have been looking at a first round bye. Instead they will host American tonight, a team they beat on the road earlier this year 2-0.

Loyola Maryland: The Greyhounds host the second quarterfinal game tonight against Colgate. Loyola had a difficult non­-conference slate, but managed a 4­-4-­1 record in conference play. Loyola is a dangerous team, much in part to their resident Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year senior Rosy Hayes. This is Loyola’s second straight PL Tournament appearance, losing in the quarterfinals a season ago.

Colgate: Colgate comes in playing up-and-down soccer, as the Raiders have gone 3-­3-­1 in the month of October. However, Colgate has experience. They won the league last year and hosted the tournament before falling to BU in the championship. Colgate travels to Maryland to play Loyola, a team they lost to 3­-2 a week ago.

American: American snuck into the tournament by beating Lehigh in their final match of the season. The Eagles only won two games in conference play, but managed a tie against the Terriers. They also come into the tournament with four points in their last two matches. American faces a tough draw by traveling to Annapolis in the first round. The Eagles lost to Navy 2­-0 on October 21st.

Predictions

Quarterfinal: #6 American vs. #3 Navy­ – The Midshipmen offense is too much for American to handle as Navy punches their ticket to Boston with a 3-­1 win.

Quarterfinal: #5 Colgate vs. #4 Loyola Maryland -­ These are two evenly matched teams, but Colgate wants a shot at the BU team that beat them a season ago to go to the NCAA Tournament. Rosy Hayes will make her impact, but the Raiders beat the Greyhounds 2-­1 in overtime, marking two straight first round exits for Loyola.

Semifinal: #5 Colgate vs. #1 Boston University­ – Colgate gets their shot at revenge, but the Terriers are too much to handle, especially at home where they haven’t lost a conference game since 2007. BU advances to the title game on Sunday with a 3-0 shutout.

Semifinal: #3 Navy vs. #2 Bucknell­ – The nightcap should be a thrilling battle to see who gets a chance to upset BU. These two teams tied 0-­0 back in October, but Navy will find a way to out-score the Bison this time and win 2­-1 in the best match of the tournament leading up to the championship.

Final: #3 Navy vs. #1 Boston University­ The Terriers beat Navy 1­0 on Halloween night, but this game has a whole lot more at stake with an NCAA berth on the line. The story of the day will be the Navy offense against the BU defense. However, the Terriers and their five first ­team all Patriot League members will not lose on their home turf. BU reaches the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in the last 15 years with a 2­-1 win at Nickerson Field.

RESULTS

QUARTERFINAL ROUND

Navy def. American 6-0

Loyola def. Colgate 0-0 (4-3 PKs)

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