While area high school season has entered the playoffs, many of the local college teams are wrapping up their seasons in the coming week with a number team in playoff contention in their respective conferences. Here’s an update on where our local teams — from the local six NCAA Division I schools and an update on the small college scene. .
ROBERT MORRIS WOMEN
The RMU Women (5-11, 3-3 NEC) have shown resiliency after an 0-3 start in NEC play, as they’ve now won three straight games after a 1-o win on Friday against Fairleigh Dickinson to keep conference tournament berth hopes alive with two big games remaining this weekend.
The Colonials are currently sixth in the NEC Standings and will host Wagner (2-4) on Thursday, in a game that could decide the playoff fate of both teams. They will then conclude the regular season on Sunday at home against first place Central Connecticut (5-1).
The Dukes (8-3-4, 3-1-2 A-10) are in solid position in the Atlantic 10, as a conference playoff birth seems imminent, and a high seed is looking fairly optimistic. After Saturday’s 2-0 win over St. Joe’s, the second place Dukes travel to Dayton to take on the Flyers in DU’s final regular season road game on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. and conclude the season at home vs Rhode Island on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at Rooney Field.
Like the men, the Duquesne (9-5-3, 5-2-1 A-10) women are in fairly solid shape to earn a postseason berth in the Atlantic 10 (currently in 4th place), with two home games remaining this coming weekend (Thurs. 10/27 – 7 p.m. vs Dayton and Sun. 10/30 – 1 p.m. vs La Salle).
Wrapped up home schedule with a draw vs No. 16 Virginia on Friday, the Panthers (2-11-3, 0-5-3 ACC) will have a chance to pick up its first ever ACC win as they conclude its regular season on the road in Blacksburg, VA, vs Virginia Tech on Friday evening.
After a senior day, 2-0 loss to No. 4 Duke, Head Coach Greg Miller’s squad (2-14-1, 1-7-1 ACC) will not make the conference playoffs again, as they conclude its season on Thursday at North Carolina State.
ROBERT MORRIS MEN
It’s been a rough Northeast Conference (NEC) season for the Robert Morris men. After starting off with a 1-1 draw vs Fairleigh Dickinson, the Colonials have lost four straight NEC games in which they’ve been outscored 11-1. Unlike the Pitt teams, they still have three games remaining, all at home, starting this Sunday, as they host Central Connecticut at 2:30 p.m.
NAIA, NCAA DIVISION II & III – LOCAL/REGIONAL TEAMS
Top men’s teams in our area coming out of the PSAC include first-place Mercyhurst (9-1), Seton Hill (7-3), Gannon (6-3-1), CalU, Slippery Rock are in the middle of the pack and Pitt-Johnstown have improved a tad over last season, but still near the bottom of the standings.
Top teams out of women’s Division II soccer from our region this year include Edinboro (12-2-1), Gannon (8-4-3), Slippery Rock (9-4-1), as IUP, Seton Hill and Mercyhurst are in the middle of the pack, while Clarion, CalU and Pitt-Johnstown teams are near the bottom of the standings.
Compared to recent past seasons, Point Park’s (7-8-1, 2-5) men’s team, coached by Riverhounds goalkeeper coach Jereon Walstra, have had a bit of a down season in 2016. Carlow (3-8, 1-6) have also struggled in the newly named conference
On the other hand, the women’s teams have fared better, as both are right in contention, Point Park (9-5-1, 5-2) and Carlow (5-7-2, 4-3).
Point Park and Carlow men’s and women’s teams will face each other in a doubleheader (5 p.m. and 7 p.m.) on Saturday, October 30, at Highmark Stadium to cap their respective regular seasons.
It’s been a stellar season for Geneva College‘s men thus far this year, as they are undefeated in conference play (6-0). Grove City (5-1-1) and Bethany (4-2) are right in contention, while Westminster, Waynesburg, W&J, Thiel and St. Vincent round out the conference in that order from the bottom.
While Thomas More (KY) lead the conference, Washington & Jefferson led by Jordan Toohey (Mount Pleasant, Pa. / Mount Pleasant), are right in the mix with 6-1 record. Grove City, Chatham and Westminister are all in the top half of the standings with 5-2 records vying for playoff spots.
Heading into the this weekend, CMU men (10-2-2, 1-1-2 UAA) still have three games remaining in conference play, all at home, and they’re positioning themselves for a high seed in conference tournament and a potential at-large bid in NCAA Tournament. I had a fascinating interview with head coach Brandan Bowman after the Tartans win over La Roche last Wednesday, which we will be featuring in this week’s edition of the College Soccer Show podcast with Mike from Mon Goals.
CMU women (9-4-1, 3-1 UAA) are also having a strong season, currently tied for first place in UAA with Chicago. The Tartans also have three games remaining, including a first-place showdown with Chicago on Sunday, as the winner will likely have an inside track to clinching the regular season conference title.
Penn St Behrend (7-0-1 in AMCC) continues its dominance of this conference, after Saturday’s 3-1 win at La Roche, they remain atop the standings. PSU-Behrend holds the tiebreak edge over Medialle (7-0-1), having won head-to-head to hold the edge for the 1st seed with one game left for both teams. La Roche have clinched a playoff spot, and can earn a 1st round home game with a win at Mt. Aloysius on Wednesday. It’s been a dismal season for Pitt-Greensburg (1-7) but they were able notch its first conference win at Hilbert this week.
Penn St Behrend (8-0 in AMCC) women have already clinched first place, while Pitt-Greensburg have had a fine season (6-1-1 in AMCC), and La Roche (4-3-1) have clinched a playoff spot despite losing its last three conference games.