Thursday, September 22, 2005

Big Weekend on Tap

The first weekend of the fall season is upon us ... and Conference play begins in earnest. Here are some of the key games to watch this weekend.

Field Hockey
It is the first full weekend of Centennial play and a couple of contests may tell us who is for real in the hunt for one of the five playoff spots this season. McDaniel (4-2) travels to Muhlenberg (5-3) in the CC opener for both schools, while Swarthmore (4-2) visits #16 Gettysburg (4-2). The last seven meetings between the Terror and the Mules have been decided by one goal, including the last four by a 2-1 score. In all, five of the 12 meetings between the teams since 1993 have gone into overtime. The Garnet has not won at Memorial Field since 1997 (5-2) and look to end a four-game losing streak to the Bullets.

Women's Soccer
Two key matches on the slate for Saturday, as Haverford (4-2, 0-1) visits Franklin & Marshall (5-0, 1-0), and Ursinus (6-0, 2-0) hits the road to take on Dickinson (3-1-2, 1-0). The Fords have won two straight from the Diplomats, including a 6-1 decision last fall. The Bears are also riding a two-game win streak vs. the Red Devils and have won three of the four matches in Carlisle since 1997. Also keep an eye on the Johns Hopkins-Muhlenberg match. The undefeated and 16th ranked Blue Jays (8-0, 1-0) have not defeated the Mules (1-3-2, 0-0-1) in Allentown since 1997.

Men's Soccer
The big weekend match is at Clothier Field, as Swarthmore (5-1, 1-0) takes on Gettysburg (4-2-1, 1-0). The Garnet is ranked No. 9 in this week's regional poll, but has not defeated the Bullets since a 3-1 triumph in the 1985 MAC semifinals. In fact, Gettysburg has not allowed a goal to Swarthmore since the 3-2 overtime win in 1994, outscoring the Garnet, 33-0.

The key match of the weekend is tonight, as Haverford (9-4, 1-0) comes to Lancaster to meet Franklin & Marshall (8-1, 2-0). The Diplomats have dominated the series, leading 16-4, winning 12 of the 13 matches since the formation of the Conference. The Fords' lone win in that stretch was a 3-0 sweep of F&M in 2001.

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