Tag: Thomas More

PAC Women’s Soccer Championship Preview

by John D’Abruzzo

For the third consecutive year, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference women’s soccer championship will be decided between Thomas More College and Grove City College.

This year’s title match will be held in Pittsburgh at Highmark Stadium on the South Side. The women’s game has been set for 3 p.m. and will follow the men’s championship game, which starts at noon. Coincidently, the men’s game also will feature Thomas More and Grove City.

The PAC men’s and women’s championship games will both be broadcast live on the PAC Sports Network at www.pacstream.net.

As the top two teams in the women’s conference tournament, Thomas More (19-1) and Grove City (9-9-2) each punched their ticket into the championship contest following semifinal wins on Wednesday. While top-seeded Thomas More cruised past Washington & Jefferson, 5-0, Grove City worked extra hard to beat Westminster.

LacyHarkrader

GCC Freshman Lacy Harkrader

The Wolverines battled through a scoreless double-overtime draw before winning 7-6 in a nine-round shootout. Grove City freshman forward Lacy Harkrader (Mineral, Va.) ended up with the game-winning goal. She broke a 6-6 tie in the shootout after No. 3 Westminster missed its final shot.

Sophomore Lindsey Reichert (Northbridge, Mass.), freshman Megan Van Kirk (Allison Park, Pa.), junior Sammie Wild (Carmel, Ind.), junior Kristin Thomas (Ellicott City, Md.), sophomore Jordyn White (Mars, Pa) and junior Abby Mathes (Charlottesville, Va.) each scored for Wolverines during the shootout.

During the regulation and overtime sessions, Grove City outshot Westminster, 15-13. Grove City’s senior goalkeeper Kristi Lathrop (Flemington, N.J.) stopped five shots on net.

Three-time defending champion Thomas More posted its fourth shutout victory of the season by blanking No. 4 Washington & Jefferson.

Junior forward Olivia Huber (Woodlawn, Ky.) put the Saints on the board at the 1:54 minute mark when she headed in a corner kick by senior defender Emily Sanker (Alexandria, Ky.). Huber helped Thomas More take a 2-0 lead with an assist to freshman forward Julia Echols-Flagge (Colerain, Ohio) at 15:10. Thomas More took a 3-0 lead into the half after freshman midfielder Ally Wimmers (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored off an assist from freshman forward Abby Stadtmiller (Alexandria, Ky.) at the 41:14.

The Saints, who are ranked No. 10 in the country, jumped out to a 4-0 advantage at 52:32 when the ball bounced off a W&J player. Flagge-Echols helped seal the victory with an assist to Stadtmiller, who scored at the 62:07 mark.

Thomas More outshot W&J, 28-1. Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Barton (Florence, Ky.) earned the win and recorded one save. She played the first half, while sophomore Christy Smith (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) played the final 45 minutes in net.

The Saints enter the championship game riding an impressive 10-game winning streak. Each of those victories were by way of a shutout. Thomas More, which has surrendered only two goals in 20 games, hasn’t lost since dropping a 1-0 decision against non-conference Ohio Northern on Sept. 27.

TMC Junior Olivia Huber

TMC Junior Olivia Huber

Huber, a 5-foot-9 junior, has been a guiding force behind the Saints’ high-powered offense. She has been named the conference player of the week six times this season. Huber also set a new program record with 31 goals during the regular season.

Grove City, however, has a variety of scorers in freshman midfielder Katherine Kouzelos (five goals, three assists), Mathes (five goals, two assists), Thomas (five goals, two assists) and Harkrader (five goals, two assists).

Behind nine-year coach Jeff Cummings, who also is the head coach of the men’s team at Thomas More, the Saints looks to secure a fourth-straight league title and fifth since joining the conference. Grove City hasn’t won a women’s crown since 2001 and is coached by Melissa Lamie, who is in her 22nd season with the Wolverines.

These two teams recently met in a regular-season finale on Nov. 1. Thomas More’s Kait Owens (Cold Springs, Ky.), a junior midfielder, and Huber each scored during the Saints’ 2-0 win against the Wolverines.

Thomas More is 10-2-4 all-time against Grove City. The winner of the PAC championship game will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships next week.

Admission for this conference championship game, as well as the men’s game, is $5. If you can’t make it to the game, the title tilt will be broadcast live on the PAC Sports Network at www.pacstream.net.

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PAC Men’s Soccer Championship Preview

by John D’Abruzzo

The table has been set for this year’s Presidents’ Athletic Conference men’s soccer championship game.

Five-time defending champion Thomas More College (16-2-1) returns to the title match and will face Grove City College (12-6-1) at noon on Saturday afternoon at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh. Both the Saints and Wolverines needed double-overtime sessions to advance past their respective semifinal opponent.

Tim Knauer

TMC sophomore Tim Knauer

Thomas More, which entered the conference tournament as the top seed, knocked off No. 4-seed Geneva, 2-1, at home on Tuesday. Sophomore defender Tim Knauer (Batavia, Ohio), notched the game-winning goal at the 108:58 minute mark. Sophomore midfielder R.J. Best (Lorton, Va.) and senior forward Jake Plummer (North Olmsted, Ohio) were credited with the assist.

Sophomore midfielder Matthew Spanyer (Lexington, Ky.) helped give the Saints a 1-0 lead 33:32 into the game when he chipped in an unassisted goal. Geneva tied the game at the 66:58 mark when Gib McCracken put the ball past Thomas More’s senior goalkeeper Matt Kees (Covington, Ky.).

Thomas More dominated possession and out-shot Geneva, 26-2. Kees made 10 saves in net and allowed just one goal to pick up the win.

Grove City, the No. 2 seed, also needed a second overtime to beat Waynesburg, 2-1, at home on Tuesday. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Betteridge (Pittsford, NY) provided the game-winning goal at the 103-minute mark.

StephenBetteridge

GCC sophomore Stephen Betteridge

Sophomore Dale Reese (Rocky Hill, Conn.) notched his sixth goal of the season seven minutes into the game to give the Wolverines and early 1-0 lead. Sophomore defender Nick Leaman (Lancaster, Pa.) hit Reese with a long pass to get credited with the assist.

Freshman keeper Malcolm Blake (Moreland Hills, Ohio) made his first collegiate start in net. He made seven saves to earn the win as the Wolverines out-shot the Yellow Jackets, 32-25.

Grove City will make its first championship appearance since 2005. Last season, the Wolverines lost to Washington & Jefferson during the semifinals. The Presidents topped the Wolverines, 4-3, in a shootout.

Grove City’s Seth Loew (Center Valley, Pa.), a junior forward, led the conference in scoring with 10 goals and 29 total points. He also ranked second in the conference with nine assists. Senior forward Jonathan Rothgeb (State College, Pa.) and Reese both follow with six goals.

Thomas More has won seven straight since tying Geneva on Oct. 9. The Saints, who are averaging three goals a game, haven’t lost since dropping a 1-0 decision against non-conference Anderson on Sept. 13.

Sophomore forward Brian Runyon (Parkersburg, W.Va.) has been the Saints top scorer with 19 points. He’s scored eight goals and had three assists this season. Sophomore midfielder RJ Best follows with six goals and five assists. Kees has nine shutouts this season.

These two teams recently played Nov. 1 in a regular-season finale. Thomas More won that match, 4-1. The Saints jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in the first half and never looked back.

Thomas More is 6-5-1 all-time against Grove City. The winner of the PAC championship game will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships next week. Admission for the conference championship game, as well as the women’s title game, is $5. If you can’t make it to the game, the title tilt will be broadcast live on the PAC Sports Network at www.pacstream.net

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