Friday, April 16, 2010

Five-Star Matchups

It's the penultimate weekend for spring sports in the Conference and the next-to-last Saturday of Centennial play features numerous key matchups.

Franklin & Marshall at Swarthmore (Baseball)
With five teams competing for three remaining playoff spots, the chase is on over the next nine days. The Diplomats (7-6, 12-14-1) have reached the Centennial tournament every year since 2004, while the Garnet (8-5, 16-11) is looking to reach the Conference final four for the first time. F&M has won 11 of the last 12 games with Swarthmore, but the Garnet's lone win was a 3-1 triumph during the Diplomats' last twinbill visit to Clothier Field in 2008.

Ursinus at Dickinson (Men's Lacrosse)
The fifth-ranked Red Devils (5-1, 12-1) look to wrap up a playoff berth against the Bears (3-3, 8-3). Dickinson has won its five Centennial games by a total of nine goals, while Ursinus' three CC losses have been by a combined four goals. In fact, 13 of the 28 Conference games have been decided by a single goal this season. The Devils' Chris Dodson leads the Centennial with 25 assists, while the Bears' Eric Farris is fourth in goals per game (2.27).

McDaniel at Haverford (Men's Lacrosse)
The Green Terror (4-2, 7-5) also looks to secure a playoff berth for the second straight season ... and looks for a little revenge when it visits the Main Line to take on the Fords (3-3, 7-5). Haverford won a pair of one-goal overtime decisions last year, including a 9-8 triumph in the CC semifinals at Swan Field. McDaniel A D.J. Rickels leads the Centennial with 37 goals, while Haverford's Max Hjelm is second with 29.

Dickinson at Ursinus (Women's Lacrosse)
The final three playoff spots are up for grabs on the women's lax side and this one will go a long way in determining who's in, and who's out. The Red Devils (3-3, 6-4) trail the Bears (4-2, 9-4) and Haverford by a game in the CC standings, while Ursinus can put some room between itself and the rest of the contenders with a win. UC's Lindsay Urban and Emily Diehl have combined for 54 goals on the season, but will be tested by Dickinson GK Jessie Clark and her 52.0 save percentage.

Haverford at McDaniel (Women's Lacrosse)
Three teams in the Conference have 10 or more wins. Two are obvious and ranked in the national top 10. The other ... Haverford (4-2, 11-2). The Fords look to move one step closer to their first-ever Centennial playoff berth when they visit the Green Terror (2-4, 8-5). Two of the CC's top goal scorers - McDaniel's Brittany Baer (44) and Haverford's Josie Ferri (38) - will lead their offenses.

Ursinus at Gettysburg (Softball)
The top two teams in the Conference square off in a twinbill that could decide the top seed for the Centennial tournament. The Bears (10-0, 20-2) can lock up homefield for the final four with a sweep and a loss by either Dickinson or Haverford. The Bullets (8-4, 16-11-1) can keep their #1 seed hopes alive by taking two. The game within the game will feature the Conference's top pitcher - Ursinus' Lauren Davis-Macedonia (15-1, 164k 109.2ip) and Gettysburg's Megan Lott (.433-3hr-17rbi).

Swarthmore at Dickinson (Women's Tennis)
The Garnet (6-1, 8-4) and the Red Devils (5-1, 9-4) meet in an important match in the quest for tournament seeding. All eyes will be on Swarthmore's Rachel Wallwork at #1 singles as she goes for her 24th consecutive Centennial singles win.

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