Friday, October 30, 2009

It All Comes Down to This

It's the final weekend of regular-season action in the Conference for field hockey, soccer and volleyball, while cross country kicks off the Centennial championship season with its run on Saturday at Gettysburg. We'll take a look at the most important games ... and give you a little playoff primer to help you sort through the possibilities for who is in ... and who is out.

Cross Country
Can they do it again? That's the question for the Dickinson College men and the Johns Hopkins University women, who pulled off surprising victories at last season's Centennial Conference Championships at Gettysburg. Dickinson became the first team other than Haverford College to win the men's title since the inception of the conference in 1993 while Johns Hopkins snapped Dickinson's eight-year run as women's champions."

Field Hockey
Gettysburg at Muhlenberg; Haverford at McDaniel; Dickinson at Washington; Franklin & Marshall at Swarthmore.
What We Know: Ursinus is the top seed, Gettysburg and Johns Hopkins are in the field and the Blue Jays have a first-round bye. The winner of the Haverford-McDaniel game is in. Haverford must win to get in ... a loss and the Fords are out.
What We Don't Know: The identity of the fifth team. The Mules end the suspense with a win vs. Gettysburg tonight. A McDaniel loss leaves the Terror in the hunt along with Muhlenberg, Franklin & Marshall and Dickinson. Of the six scenarios involving teams with 5-5 records, F&M gets the berth in three, while Dickinson, McDaniel and Muhlenberg get in on one each.

Soccer (W)
Franklin & Marshall at Swarthmore; Washington at Dickinson; Johns Hopkins at Ursinus; Gettysburg at Muhlenberg.
What We Know: The five teams in the tournament - Johns Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Haverford, Swarthmore and Dickinson. The Jays, Mules and Fords have first-round byes. The Red Devils and Garnet meet in the first-round game.
What We Don't Know: Where are the games? Who is the top seed? A Muhlenberg victory gives the Mules the top seed and home field for the final four. A 'Berg loss and a Hopkins' win gives JHU the top seed. A three-way tie at 8-2 goes in favor of the Mules. If Dickinson and Swarthmore tie at 7-3 or 6-4, the Garnet is the 4th seed and hosts Wednesday's first-round match.

Soccer (M)
Ursinus at Muhlenberg; Johns Hopkins at Washington; Swarthmore at Haverford; Franklin & Marshall at Dickinson.
What We Know: The five teams in the tournament - Muhlenberg, Dickinson, Swarthmore, Johns Hopkins and Franklin & Marshall. Diplomats cannot be top seed. Yep, that's it.
What We Don't Know: What the seeds are ... who plays who ... and where? Five teams separated by three points (3 for a win, 1 for a tie), so let's see the possibilities -- Muhlenberg wins and is the #1 seed. Mules lose and Dickinson wins ... Devils are top seed. 'Berg and Dickinson lose, Swarthmore wins. Garnet takes #1 spot and gets home field for the final four. Mules, Devils, Garnet lose, Hopkins wins. Blue Jays are top seed. Many more scenarios ... not enough space.

Haverford at McDaniel; Gettysburg at Muhlenberg; Johns Hopkins at Ursinus
What We Know: Haverford is the top seed and will host the final four. Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg have first-round byes and will meet in one semifinal. Swarthmore is the #4 seed and will host a first-round match on Wednesday.
What We Don't Know: Who plays Swarthmore as the #5 seed? McDaniel can secure the final spot with a win. Muhlenberg gets the slot with a win and a Green Terror loss. Johns Hopkins slides in with a win and losses by both 'Berg and McDaniel.

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