ROCK HILL, S.C. – The South Atlantic Conference women’s soccer regular season concluded on Saturday, and the field has been set for the 2011 Food Lion SAC Women’s Soccer Championship.
Quarterfinal matches will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday on the campuses of the four higher seeds, with the semifinals and finals then taking place on Nov. 4 and 6 in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Trojans will be the lone women’s team in action on Tuesday, as Anderson (9-9, 5-4 SAC) earned the fourth seed and will play host to fifth-seeded Tusculum (10-7-1, 5-4 SAC) at 1 p.m. at Trojan Stadium.
The Trojans edged Tusculum, 1-0, just more than two weeks ago when sophomore Allie Waters booted a penalty kick into the back of the net in the 108th minute of play.
The Trojans enter the tourney having won five of their last seven conference matches and are led offensively by Waters and junior Jessica Kleinberg, who each recorded a team-high six goals on the season, while sophomore Krystal Goss notched a pair of scores and added a team-best four assists.
Kleinberg and Waters each earned conference Player of the Week honors during the regular season, while the Trojan defense set a new school record for shutouts with seven with the win past Valdosta State and ranked 49th in the nation in save percentage, 48th in shutout percentage (.438) and 57th in goals-against average in the latest NCAA statistics.
Earning the event’s No. 1 seed was SAC regular-season champion Lenoir-Rhyne, which capped off a perfect 9-0 conference season with a 2-1 victory over Tusculum on Saturday.
The Bears were ranked second in the latest NCAA Southeast Region poll and No. 5 in the NSCAA national rankings.
Wingate ended the regular season at 8-1 in league play, securing the No. 2 seed in the SAC Championship. The Bulldogs were No. 6 in this week’s Southeast Region rankings.
Seeding was tricky for the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the bracket, as Anderson, Newberry and Tusculum each finished with identical 5-4 records in the SAC. The first tiebreaker criterion of head-to-head record was unable to be used, as all three teams went 1-1 against the other two.
The second tiebreaker measure is record against the bracket’s higher seeds. Anderson, Newberry and Tusculum each went 0-2 against top-seeded L-R and Wingate, but the Wolves earned the No. 3 seed by virtue of their win over sixth-seeded Lincoln Memorial – which defeated both AU and TC in the regular season.
With Newberry removed from the tiebreak scenario, Anderson then became the No. 4 seed because of its head-to-head win over Tusculum.
Rounding out the SAC Championship bracket are No. 7 seed Catawba and No. 8 seed Carson-Newman.
Lenoir-Rhyne enters the event looking to repeat as SAC Champions, while Wingate will attempt to avenge last season’s championship-match loss to the Bears.
2011 Food Lion SAC Soccer Championship – Women’s Quarterfinals
(Tuesday, Nov. 1)
No. 5 Tusculum at No. 4 Anderson, 1 p.m.
(Wednesday, Nov. 2)
No. 8 Carson Newman at No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Lincoln Memorial at No. 3 Newberry, 2 p.m.
No. 7 Catawba at No. 2 Wingate, 7 p.m.
2011 Food Lion SAC Soccer Championship Central