Friday, September 25, 2009

Five-Star Matchups

Here is a look at the weekend's top games in the Centennial Conference.

Johns Hopkins at Swarthmore (Women's Soccer)
Two of the top teams in the nation square off under the lights at Clothier Field in a match that could decide homefield for November's Conference tournament. The Blue Jays (6-2, 1-0), ranked #12 by the NSCAA and #14 by, are four-time defending champions in the Conference. The Garnet (7-1, 1-0) are ranked #20 and #18, respectively, are 0-6 against Hopkins since a 2-1 overtime victory at home in 2003. The key matchup could be between Hopkins' All-America defender Jenn Paulucci and Swarthmore striker Julia Luongo (4-2-10).

Haverford at Gettysburg (Field Hockey)
The Fords (3-2, 1-0) travel west to the Battlefield to take on the 13th ranked Bullets (5-2, 0-1) in an early-season key matchup in the Conference. Gettysburg has won all 16 games in the series, including 13 by more than one goal. One of those one-goal games was last season on the Main Line (4-3). Alex Waleko and Roxanne Jaffe have combined for nine goals to lead the Fords, while Lexie Hearn, Nina Emala and Katie Savage each have three tallies for Gettysburg.

Swarthmore at Dickinson (Men's Soccer)
It's another big test for the undefeated Garnet as it travels to Carlisle to take on the nationally-ranked Red Devils in a rematch of the 2008 Centennial semifinal. Swarthmore (7-0, 1-0), ranked #3 by and #9 by the NSCAA, is 5-0-3 against Dickinson since 2004. The Devils, ranked #18 and #12 respectively, have not won at Dickinson Park since 2002 (3-1). Swarthmore, led by GK David D'Annunzio, has allowed just one goal through seven games and has a scoreless streak of over 402 minutes. Dickinson looks to scorers Thomas Parkinson and Nicolas Tierno, the reigning Centennial offensive player of the week.

Haverford at Gettysburg (Volleyball)
It's become "THE" game of the season. A rematch of the 2008 Centennial final, the #21 Fords (13-2, 1-0) come a-callin' to Bream Gym to take on the Bullets (10-5, 1-0). Gettysburg holds a 20-6 all-time series lead, but Haverford has won five of the last six meetings, including a four-set victory for the Conference title last fall. The match may come down to the hitting of the Salvo sisters - Rebecca and Rachel - and the digging ability of the Bullets' Kristin Kotewicz.

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