NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week
No. 16 Graceland (Iowa) (4-0) vs. No. 2 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (2-0)
Bronco Classic – Hosted by Hastings (Neb.)
Lloyd Wilson Field | Hastings, Neb. | 1 p.m. CDT
• For the second week in a row, a pair of 2012 national championship participants square off when defending national runner-up No. 2 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (2-0) plays No. 16 Graceland (Iowa) (4-0) as part of the 2013 Bronco Classic hosted by Hastings (Neb.). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT at Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings, Neb.
• The two sides have met once since 2007 with Olivet Nazarene claiming a 1-0 victory on Sept. 11, 2010. The loss was Graceland’s only defeat of the season, as the Yellowjackets went on to finish with a 15-1-3 record.
• Olivet Nazarene reached new heights in 2012, progressing to its first-ever NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship title game after advancing, 4-1, on penalty kicks against four-time defending national champion Lee (Tenn.) in the semifinals. The 12th seeded Tigers previous championship victories came against Viterbo (Wis.) (2-1), fifth-seed Mobile (Ala.) (1-0) and Texas at Brownsville (1-0).
• The Tigers enter Friday afternoon unbeaten after recording back-to-back shutouts against Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) and Grace (Ind.) on Aug. 30 – 31. Graceland is the first team ranked in the preseason poll that Olivet Nazarene has faced this season.
• 2012 NAIA Honorable Mention and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Freshman of the Year Elizabeth Wahl paces the Olivet Nazarene attack with four points on two goals, including the game-winner against Grace. Wahl ended 2012 tied for the team’s golden boot with 10 scores.
• Sarah Vrosh has started and finished both games between the pipes for the Tigers. She has made a total of eight saves en route to a 2-0-0 record and two shutouts.
• Olivet Nazarene has outshot opponents 36-13 this season.
• Graceland’s unbeaten start marks the second-straight year the Yellowjackets have opened the season with four-consecutive wins. Similarly to Olivet Nazarene, Friday will mark their first match against a ranked opponent this season.
• Stephanie D’Cruz, who is in her first season with Graceland, paces the squad with six goals, which ranks sixth in the NAIA. She also ranks amongst the top 15 in game winning goals (2) and points (12).
• Honorable Mention All-American goalkeeper Stephany Castano Cardozo has made 11 saves en route to a 4-0-0 record, including three shutouts for the Yellowjackets. For her career, Castano Cardozo owns a 1.07 goals against average and 37-10-7 record, including 11 shutouts.
• Graceland’s offense has been dominant through its first four matches, outscoring opponents 14-0 and holding an 81-25 edge in shots. The Yellowjackets set a season-high with 29 attempts August 30 against Dordt.
• Looking forward, Olivet Nazarene’s next match will be Saturday against Hastings (Neb.), while Graceland plays Waldorf on Saturday.
This Week Around NAIA Women’s Soccer
• The Week of Sept. 2 features three Top 25 matchups:
o Friday – No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at No. 14 William Carey (Miss.)
o Friday – No. 16 Graceland (Iowa) at No. 2 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
o Sunday – No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) vs. No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
• Last Week’s Top 25 Results:
o Monday - No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) def. No. 21 Davenport (Mich.), 3-0
o Wednesday - No. 21 Davenport (Mich.) def No. 12 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 3-0
o Friday – No. 18 Westmont (Calif.) tied No. 5 Concordia (Ore.), 0-0
o Saturday – No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) def. No. 3 Spring Arbor (Mich.), 5-2
o Saturday – No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) def. No. 14 William Carey (Miss.), 5-1
o Saturday – No. 7 Mobile (Ala.) tied No. 10 Northwood (Fla.), 0-0
o Saturday – No. 23 Baker (Kan.) def. No. 8 Oklahoma City, 1-0
o Sunday – No. 7 Mobile (Ala.) def. No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 2-0
o Sunday – No. 8 Oklahoma City def. No. 19 Benedictine (Kan.), 3-2
o Sunday – No. 10 Northwood (Fla.) def. No. 14 William Carey (Miss.), 3-2
o Sunday – No. 13 Cumberland (Tenn.) def. No. 22 Brenau (Ga.), 1-0
o Sunday – No. 20 Ashford (Iowa) def No. 15 Robert Morris (Ill.), 4-0
• No. 8 Oklahoma City and No. 9 Texas at Brownsville, who both lost to NCAA Division II Abilene Christian (Texas), were the only Top 25 teams to fall to a team not ranked in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll.
• Unranked St. Thomas (Fla.) registered possibly the largest upset of the young season, as the Bobcats knocked off No. 7 Mobile (Ala.), 1-0, on August 24. With five minutes remaining in the contest, senior forward Sara Mira netted a rebound after the Mobile goalkeeper failed to handle a Melony Poviones free kick.
• No. 21 Davenport (Mich.) has arguably been playing as well as anyone in the nation through its first three matches. The Panthers are 2-1-0 with victories against No. 3 Spring Arbor (Mich.) (4-0) and No. 11 Martin Methodist (Tenn.) (3-0). Davenport’s loss this season came at the hands of defending national champion and top-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 3-0. The Panthers return to the pitch Sept. 6 in a neutral site match against Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio).
• Top-ranked and defending national champion Lindsey Wilson is 2-0-0 on the young season with both victories coming against ranked opponents. The Blue Raiders opened the 2013 campaign with a 3-0 win over No. 21 Davenport (Mich.) before knocking off No. 3 Spring Arbor (Mich.), 5-2, in last week’s NAIA Game of the Week.
• For a complete look at the NAIA women’s soccer scoreboard, click here.
• For this week’s NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, click here.
For the Record
• Indiana Wesleyan’s Dr. John Bratcher will step down as head coach of the Wildcats at the end of the 2013 season. Bratcher has amassed a record of 179-43-15 through 11 seasons at Indiana Wesleyan. Last season, he won his 500th career collegiate match (combined men’s and women’s victories) with a 4-0 win at Bethel (Ind.). The Wildcats are 1-0-1 this season after a 6-2 win against Asbury (Ky.) on August 23 and a 1-1 draw against Campbellsville (Ky.) on August 31.
• Jason Crist of Spring Arbor (Mich.), Drew Burwash of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Corban’s (Ore.) Marty Ziesemer all rest within four games of the 200 career win plateau. Crist is the closest of the trio with 199 career victories with Burwash second with 198 and Ziesemer third with 196.
• Concordia (Ore.) head coach Grant Landy, second on the NAIA’s active wins list, moved two steps closer to win No. 300 with victories against NCAA Division II Holy Names (Calif.), 5-1, and Oregon Tech, 6-0, August 23 – 24 at the Southern Oregon University Tournament in Ashland, Ore., to open the season. In their most recent contest, the Cavaliers tied No. 18 Westmont (Calif.), 0-0. The result puts Landy’s career mark at 291-57-23.
• Molly Drooger of Taylor (Ind.) owns the early season lead with nine goals in five games for the Trojans. She has scored at least two goals in three matches, including recording back-to-back hat tricks against Asbury (Ky.) on August 24 and USCAA Cleary (Mich.) on August 30.
• Spring Hill (Ala.) boasts the top three assist women, led by Courtney Harlan’s eight. Second place belongs to Darby Rasch with six assists, followed by Aedan Strananhan’s five, which is tied for third.
• Seventeen goalkeepers enter Thursday with a 0.00 goals against average.
• Through Wednesday’s matches, Spring Hill owns the NAIA lead with 46 goals, while Truett-McConnell is second with 25. The Badgers also pace the NAIA with 43 assists
• Forty-three teams remain unbeaten.
• For a complete look at the NAIA statistical leaders, click here.
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
The 30th annual national championship will take place at the Orange Beach Sportsplex in Orange Beach, Ala., for the second-straight year. This is the fifth-consecutive season that the state of Alabama has hosted the event. The championship will play out Dec. 2 – 7. Opening Round matches, which are held at campus sites, are scheduled for Nov. 23.
2013 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Visitors Information – Click HERE.