Seven area college teams headed to NCAA tournaments

Capital Region athletic teams are in an NCAA frame of mind. So far this season, seven area teams hav

Capital Region athletic teams are in an NCAA frame of mind.

So far this season, seven area teams have qualified for NCAA tournament play, and several will be hosting games this week.

The Union College women’s soccer team, ranked 13th in the

nation among Division III programs, earned an at-large bid on Monday, and will face 18th-ranked host Springfield in the opening round either Friday or Saturday.

The 14-4-1 Dutchwomen will be making their ninth NCAA tourn­ament apperance in the last 10 seasons. Last year, they advanced to the second round after a 1-0 victory against Elizabethtown. Also in the Springfield regional will be ninth-ranked Amherst (11-2-3) and Farmington State (12-9).

Union’s volleyball team also earned an NCAA tournament bid, and will host regional competition Thursday through Saturday at the Viniar Athletic Center.

Union (35-5) takes on 25-10 Rivier at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Other matches pit 24-6 Haverfield against Fredonia State (27-9) at 1 p.m., 32-4 Stevens against Sage Colleges

(24-11) at 3:30 p.m. and 29-9 SUNY-New Paltz against Hunter (27-5) at 6 p.m. The winners play in the semifinals Friday, beginning at

6 p.m. The championship match will be Saturday night at 7. The regional champion advances to the national quarterfinals in Bloomington, Ill.

This is Union’s second NCAA tournament appearance. The Dutchwomen also competed in the NCAA Eastern Regionals at Nazareth College in 2002, and lost to Vassar in four games.

Skidmore’s women’s soccer team received an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, and will host a four-team regional Saturday and Sunday at Wachenheim Field.

The 13-4-4 Thoroughbreds played William Smith to a 0-0 tie in the Liberty League championship game, but lost in penalty kicks.

Skidmore takes on Western Connecticut (15-3-2), an NCAA semi­finalist last year, at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by The College of New Jersey (12-6-1) against Moravian (14-5-2) at 1:30 p.m. The champ­ionship game will be Sunday at

1:30 p.m. Tickets will be $6 for general admission, $3 for students with ID and $2 for children age 3-12.

Senior Rachael Sushner tops Skidmore in scoring with 10 goals and four assists for 24 points. She has six game-winning goals this season. Freshman goalie Meghan Sleezer, from Gloversville, has nine shutouts and a 0.40 goals-against average.

This will be Skidmore’s third appearance in the NCAA tourn­ament.

It will be extremely busy on the Skidmore campus this weekend, as the Thoroughbreds will also be hosting an NCAA regional in field hockey.

Skidmore (15-3), ranked 15th in the country, defeated St. Lawrence, 1-0, in the Liberty League champ­ionship game. The Thoroughbreds take on 14-6 Eastern University (Pa.) of the Freedom Conference Friday at 2 p.m. The winner plays Messiah in the second round on Saturday. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students with ID.

Liberty League player of the Year Christine Kemp paces Skidmore with 17 goals and 13 assists for 47 points. Goalie Liz Catinella has five consecutive shutouts and a 0.67 goals-against average.

This will be Skidmore’s eighth appearance in the NCAA field hockey tournament.

The College of Saint Rose

(16-3-2) has been seeded third for the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament, and will face sixth-seeded Georgian Court

University (12-6-5) Friday in Rindge,

N.H. The winner takes on host Franklin Pierce Sunday.

CSR is ranked 21st in the country, and won its second consec­utive Northeast-10 Conference title Sunday. Senior forward Kailey Egbert and freshman midfielder Christina Cuffari lead the Golden Knights with 16 points apiece on six goals and four assists. Junior goalie Shannon Murphy, the MVP of the

NE-10 championship, has a 0.55 goals-against average and six shutouts.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Ins­titute’s men’s soccer team will be making its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 1998.

The 13-5-1 Red Hawks earned an at-large bid, and will face Empire 8 Conference representative Stevens Institute of Technology (16-2-2) Saturday at Babson College. This will be the fourth NCAA tournament appearance for the Red Hawks, who are paced by juniors Lincoln Field and Kevin Swift (Shenendehowa) with five goals and an assist for 11 points apiece.

Sophomore goaltender Alex Penny has a goals-against aveage of 0.65. The Red Hawks have 12 shutouts.

University at Albany’s field hockey team earned its first NCAA tournament bid Sunday by winning the America East Conference tournament with a 2-1 victory over New Hampshire. Goalie Ashley Ross was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for the 12-9 Great Danes, who will find out their

opponent and their tournament site today.

Categories: College Sports

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