Thursday, November 1, 2012
Conference championships, and berths in the NCAA Tournament, are up for grabs this weekend as current and former W-League standouts try to lead their teams to success on national television. The SEC and ACC will both crown their champions this weekend, with the finals set to air on ESPNU on Sunday afternoon.
The action from the three conferences gets underway on Friday night in Cary, N.C. as top-seeded Florida State faces Virginia at 5 p.m. ET before Maryland faces Wake Forest at 7:30 p.m. ET, with both games available on ESPN3. The Seminoles have been led this season by former Pali Blues standout Tiffany McCarty, who has scored 21 points in 18 games, leading her side with nine goals, while former Colorado Rush goalkeeper Kelsey Wys has had a standout season, recording a 0.44 goals-against average while playing a part in 13 shutouts.
Virginia pulled an upset to advance to the semifinals, defeating North Carolina 1-0 as D.C. United Women goalkeeper Danielle DeLisle recorded her sixth shutout of the season. The Cavaliers fell 1-0 in overtime to the Seminoles in the regular season, and their contest for a place in the final could be just as tight.
Maryland enters its semifinal with the Demon Deacons coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against Miami, with the Pali Blues’ Danielle Hubka scoring the decisive goal in the fifth minute of extra time. The goal was Hubka’s third of the season for the Terrapins, matching her total for the Blues this summer. Maryland has also been lifted by former Long Island Rough Riders standout Becky Kaplan, who sits second on the side with 22 points and nine goals.
The SEC Tournament semifinals also air on ESPN3 from Orange Beach, Ala., with Auburn facing Texas A&M at 5 p.m. before top-seeded Florida faces Missouri at 7:30 p.m. Former Ottawa Fury defender Jayne Eadie scored the decisive goal for the Aggies in their quarterfinal victory against South Carolina on Wednesday, earning a 1-0 overtime victory to advance in their first season in the SEC.
Eadie has been more of a creative force for A&M this fall, leading the team with eight assists, but her second goal of the season was a crucial one.
In the second semifinal, Florida has been powered in part by former Bradenton Athletics standout Erika Tymrak, who leads the Gators with 19 points this fall. Tymrak had the game-winning goal for UF in its 2-1 win against Mississippi on Wednesday, while former Tampa Bay Hellenic midfielder Jo Dragotta continued her strong run of form with the opening goal. Dragotta now sits second on the team behind Tymrak with 17 points, and leads the Gators with seven goals.
The Gators face a Missouri side that has seen a strong season from former Atlanta Silverbacks forward Taiwo Adeshigbin, who sits tied for second on the team with 16 points. The Victoria Highlanders’ Abi Raymer has also had a good season for the Tigers, scoring seven goals an adding two assists.
Elsewhere, the Pac-12 Championship has already been clinched by Stanford, which rallied to take a 2-1 victory against rival UCLA this past weekend, and the Cardinal’s victory lap will air on the Pac-12 Network on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET as they visit Cal in their regular-season finale.
Former Pali Blues standout Rachel Quon scored the game-winning goal for the Cardinal in their win against the Bruins, taking Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for her performance. Quon’s goal was her second of the season, with the senior also having recorded seven assists. The Cardinal will try to complete a perfect run through the Pac-12 schedule against Cal before they prepare to make a run at back-to-back national championships.