Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Down to the Wire

The choices are clear ... you can stay inside and watch a presidential infomercial ... you can wait for World Series game 5 1/2 to begin ... or you can take in a Centennial Conference game that has playoff implications. I guess you could always do all three with some planning.

Field Hockey
There are four games that will impact the playoff field and seedings involving the four teams that are tied with 4-4 Conference records. Muhlenberg (4-4, 8-8) and McDaniel (4-4, 7-9) have the toughest opponents, taking on #3 Ursinus (8-0, 13-2) and #10 Johns Hopkins (7-1, 14-2), respectively. Washington (4-4, 9-5) travels to Bryn Mawr (0-9, 1-14) and Haverford (4-4, 8-8) takes on traditional rival Swarthmore (1-7, 5-11) in a pair of games that may favor the visitors.

Swarthmore at Muhlenberg (Men's Soccer)
The #17 ranked Garnet (6-1, 12-2-1) travel to the Lehigh Valley to take on the Mules (4-2-1, 11-3-1) in a match that could decide the site for next weekend's Conference tournament. Swat holds a 1-point advantage over Johns Hopkins in the quest for the top seed. A win against 'Berg and on Saturday against Haverford would give the Garnet home field. Of course the road is not an easy one in the Conference, as Swarthmore is 0-6 in its last six trips to Varsity Field. Muhlenberg holds a 28-23-2 advantage in the series that began in 1943.

Ursinus at Franklin & Marshall (Men's Soccer)
Simply put ... it's an elimination game in Lancaster. Realistically, the Bears (3-4, 7-9) and the Diplomats (2-2-3, 7-5-3), tied for sixth place in the CC, both need to victory and the three points that go along with it to keep their playoff hopes alive. The challenge for Ursinus - ending an 0-10-1 streak against the Diplomats that began following a 1-0 win in Lancaster in 1996. This is the 73rd meeting between the schools on the soccer pitch since 1933.

Muhlenberg at Ursinus (Women's Soccer)
A crucial match for both teams' tournament hopes will unfold on the windy, wet confines of Wilkes Field. The Bears (5-3, 6-7-1) are currently fourth in the Conference with 15 points, while the Mules (4-2-2, 9-4-3) are fifth at 14 points. Muhlenberg leads the all-time series, 10-4 and only once - in 2004 (a 3-2 UC win) - have both teams scored in the same match. The other 13 contests have ended in a shutout.

Gettysburg at Dickinson (Volleyball)
The five-team playoff field could be sewn up tonight at the Kline Center ... or the hopes of two other teams can remain alive. The Red Devils (5-3, 10-12) can wrap up a berth in the tourney with a win against the Bullets (7-1, 15-10). A Dickinson loss would keep Muhlenberg (4-4, 16-9) and McDaniel (4-4, 11-15) in the hunt for the final spot. Gettysburg is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the Conference and needs a victory to keep its hopes of securing the top seed and homecourt for next weekend's Centennial tournament.

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