Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five-Star Matchups

If you could be in two places at one time ... tonight would be a great night to be at Varsity Field in Allentown and Tarble Pavilion in Swarthmore. The top two teams in men's soccer and volleyball square off tonight in these locales with first place and the top seed for the upcoming playoff tournaments on the line.

Swarthmore at Muhlenberg (Men's Soccer)
"It's the biggest game of my career, the biggest game of every senior's career." - Eric Williams, Muhlenberg (pictured in grey)

How big is this game ... the last time two unbeaten Conference teams met this late in the season was in 1998 when Johns Hopkins (7-0) defeated Gettysburg (7-0), 2-0, at Homewood. The #19th ranked Mules (4-0-3, 9-0-6) are one of two unbeaten teams (Wisconsin-Oshkosh) in Division III, while the ninth-ranked Garnet (12-1-2, 5-0-2) can secure the top seed and home field advantage for next weekend's final four with a victory. Muhlenberg holds a 28-24-3 series lead and has a win and a tie in its last two trips to Clothier Field. Two of the top candidates for CC Player of the Year will be on display in the Mules' Cody Antonini (15-4-34) and Swarthmore's Morgan Langley (11-13-35). Antonini leads the Centennial and is third in Division III in goals, while Langley leads the Conference and is sixth nationally in points. 'Berg has a school record 15-game unbeaten streak. Watch LIVE.

Haverford at Swarthmore (Volleyball)
Do you prefer volleyball to soccer ... then we have a match for you! The four-time defending Centennial champion Fords (8-0, 15-12) can lock up the top seed for next weekend's Conference tournament with a victory over the Garnet (7-1, 17-8). A Swat victory, combined with a triumph at F&M on Friday night, would give the Garnet the top seed and homecourt next Saturday. The Fords have won seven straight in the series to take a 20-7 lead since the inception of the CC in 1993. Swarthmore's last triumph was a four-set win at home in 2003. The stars will be out in force tonight at Tarble, as Haverford's Kelsey Cantwell is third in the Conference in kills (3.08), while the Garnet's Genny Pezzola is sixth (2.99). The Fords' Kate Comey leads all CC setters in assists (9.85), while Swat's Brone Lobichusky is among the Conference leaders in blocks (0.75). Watch LIVE.

Johns Hopkins at Gettysburg (Men's Soccer)
Not to be lost in the lights of the showdown at Swarthmore is the critical match between the Blue Jays (3-2-2, 10-3-3) and the Bullets (3-2-2, 4-8-2) at the Battlefield. It was 12 years ago when the squads battled for the Centennial championship as Conference unbeatens. Tonight, they meet as two teams tied for the fifth and final playoff spot, looking for three points to solidify their tournament hopes. This is the 75th meeting between the schools with Hopkins holding a 44-21-9 advantage. Gettysburg has captured the last two regular season matches, but JHU won the 2008 semifinal contest at Swarthmore. Hopkins' Sean Coleman (9-1-19) trails only Swarthmore's Morgan Langley (11-13-35) and Muhlenberg's Cody Antonini (15-4-34) in the Conference scoring chase. Watch out for Gettysburg's Eric Hynes. Two of his three goals in CC play have been game-winners. Watch LIVE.

Johns Hopkins at McDaniel (Field Hockey)
The Blue Jays (7-1 CC, 10-5) and the Green Terror (4-4, 7-8) meet in a game that has critical implications for both teams' playoff hopes. Hopkins needs a win to keep its hopes alive for the top seed and homefield for next weekend's final four. McDaniel is tied with Washington College for the fifth and final playoff spot and needs a win to improve its chances of making the field. It is the 36th meeting between the long-time rivals with JHU holding a 23-10-2 lead, including wins in the last five encounters. The Terror's last triumph was a 4-0 blanking of the Blue Jays at home in 2005. Hopkins' Carly Bianco (11-5-27) is one of seven CC players with 10+ goals, while McDaniel's Sarah Meszler has three game-winning goals among her seven on the season.

No comments: