By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information
NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week
No. 18 Robert Morris (Ill.) (12-2-1, 9-0-0 CCAC) at No. 14 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (12-3-1, 7-1-1 CCAC)
Saturday, Nov. 2 | 4 p.m. CDT | Ward Field | Bourbonnais, Ill.
Live Broadcast (Robert Morris)
• No. 18 Robert Morris (Ill.) puts its unbeaten conference record on the line Saturday when the Eagles travel to No. 12 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week. Robert Morris (12-2-1) enters the weekend leading the conference with a 9-0-0 record (27 points), while Olivet Nazarene (12-3-1) rests in third place at 7-1-1 (22 points). Both teams have one game – in addition to the Match of the Week – remaining on their regular-season schedules before opening Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament action on Nov. 9.
• Robert Morris has won at least a share of the CCAC regular season and/or tournament crown eight of the last 12 seasons, including a tournament title in 2012. Similarly, Olivet Nazarene is the league’s two-time defending regular-season champion.
• The Tigers reached uncharted territory last season, finishing runner-up to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at the 2012 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship. Prior to 2012, Olivet Nazarene had never advanced past the second round.
• Both squads enter Saturday riding winning streaks. Robert Morris has won a conference-best 11-straight, including a 2-1 upset win over then-No. 13 Judson (Ill.) on Oct. 23. The Eagles most recent loss came on Sept. 12 in a neutral site match against then-unranked St. Thomas (Fla.), 3-2. Olivet Nazarene is on a five-game winning streak, including a run of four-consecutive shutouts. The Tigers have been dominant offensively during the stretch, outscoring their opponents 22-1.
• Olivet Nazarene showcases a talented offensive squad that leads the NAIA in shots per game (23.6), while ranking fifth in shots on goal per game (12.9) and 25th in goals per game (3.2). Sophomore forward Elizabeth Hetrick paces the team in all major offensive categories, including points (36), goals (15), assists (6), shots (60) and shots on goal (35). Hetrick owns seven goals in the Tigers’ last five contests.
• Defensively, Sarah Vrosh has acted as Olivet Nazarene’s primary goalkeeper, recording a 0.580 goals against average – 15th in the NAIA – in 15 matches this season. She has not allowed a goal in four-straight appearances, including starts against Calumet (Ind.) on Oct. 19 and Roosevelt (Ill.) on Oct. 29.
• Two-time NAIA All-American Florence Dadson is the key cog in a Robert Morris offensive attack that ranks ninth in the NAIA in goals per game (3.8). The senior forward enters the weekend ranked among the top 10 nationally in goals per game (2nd; 1.67), goals (3rd; 25), shots per game (3rd; 6.4), points per game (4th; 3.67), total points (6th; 55) and game-winning goals (10th; 5). Dadson has scored in 13-of-15 matches in 2013 and set a career-high with five goals against Grand View (Iowa) on Sept. 7. She ranks second on the Eagles’ all-time career scoring list with 87 goals and 205 points in 62 career games.
• Robert Morris goalkeeper Ana Hernandez owns a 1.21 goals against average and 11-1-0 record in 13 games this season.
• Both Olivet Nazarene and Robert Morris close out the regular season and CCAC play on Nov. 6. The Tigers travel to St. Francis (Ill.), while Robert Morris hosts Saint Xavier (Ill.)
This Week Around NAIA Women’s Soccer
• The week of Oct. 28 features four Top 25 matchups in addition to the NAIA Match of the Week:
o Tuesday – No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) def. No. 16 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 1-0
o Tuesday – No. 8 Concordia (Calif.) def. No. 15 The Master’s (Calif.), 2-1
o Tuesday – No. 17 Ashford (Iowa) def. No. 23 St. Ambrose (Iowa), 1-0
o Saturday – No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.) at No. 3 Westmont (Calif.)
• Last week’s Top 25 vs. Top 25 results
o Wednesday – No. 3 Westmont (Calif.) def. No. 15 The Master’s (Calif.), 3-2
o Wednesday – No. 11 Concordia (Calif.) def. No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.), 4-3
o Saturday – No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) def. No. 22 Thomas (Ga.), 4-2
o Saturday – No. 17 Brenau (Ga.) def. No. 12 Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 4-0
• In last week’s NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week, No. 17 Brenau (Ga.) netted three second-half goals en route to a convincing 4-0 win at No. 12 Martin Methodist (Tenn.). The Golden Tigers wasted no time, taking a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when midfielder Vanessa Alexander connected with forward Esther Anyanwu for the game’s opening goal. Jenny Knibbs and Anyanwu alternated scores the rest of the way with Knibbs scoring in the 58th and 80th minute, while Anyanwu recorded her second goal of the match in the 78th. Anyanwu assisted both of Knibbs goals. With the win, Brenau claimed sole possession of second place in the Southern States Athletic Conference.
• Propelled by a streak of three-straight shutout victories, Concordia (Ore.) held down the No. 1 ranking for the second-consecutive week in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The ranking is Concordia’s 18th all-time No. 1, which is fourth in NAIA history, dating back to 1999.
• The remainder of the top five went unchanged for a second-straight week – No. 2 Northwood (Fla.), No. 3 Westmont (Calif.), No. 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 5 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.).
• There were two newcomers to the Top 25 this week – No. 18 Robert Morris (Ill.) and No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.). Both Benedictine, who won the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a 1-0 win against MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) on Oct. 27, and Robert Morris were ranked earlier this season.
• For the second-straight edition, Lindsey Wilson held the No. 1 spot in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MPRI), marking the sixth time since the MRPI began in 2010 that the Blue Raiders have occupied the top spot. Rounding out the top five were: No. 2 Westmont (Calif.), No. 3 Vanguard (Calif.), No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) and No. 5 Concordia (Ore.). For the complete release, click here.
• 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 (Games played through Oct. 31)
• 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 185-52-15 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 victory at Bethel (Ind.). The Wildcats are 7-9-1 this season.
• Spring Arbor (Mich.) head coach Jason Crist picked up his 200th career victory Sept. 10 when the Cougars defeated Concordia (Mich.), 4-2. Crist boasts a 213-72-20 record in 13 years at Spring Arbor.
• Drew Burwash of Lindsey Wilson joined Crist as a member of the 200-win club when the Blue Raiders defeated Indiana Wesleyan, 4-0, in game two of the Lindsey Wilson Stanno Classic on Sept. 13. Burwash now stands with a 210-33-15 record in 11 seasons.
• Corban’s (Ore.) Marty Ziesemer reached the 200-win plateau with a 4-0 victory against Evergreen (Wash.) on Oct. 10. Ziesemer is 204-159-18 in 17 seasons.
• Concordia (Ore.) head coach Grand Landy – currently second on the NAIA’s active wins list – became the second active coach with 300-or-more wins when the Cavaliers knocked off Oregon Tech, 9-0, on Oct. 19. Lady’s all-time record currently sits at 303-58-23 after knocking off Northwest Christian (Ore.) on Thursday.
• Two teams enter Thursday with unbeaten records – Concordia (Calif.) (13-0-3) and Westmont (Calif.) (13-0-3). The two sides played to a scoreless draw on Oct. 15.
• Two programs have yet to register a win.
• Megan Daniels of Concordia (Calif.) and Kristen Morency of John Brown (Ark.) were named NAIA Women’s Soccer Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week this week. For the complete release, click here.
National Statistics (Games played through Oct. 31)
• Esther Anyanwu of No. 13 Brenau (Ga.) leads the NAIA with 27 goals, followed by Brenda Perez of Talladega (Ala.) with 26. Eleven individuals have scored 20-or-more goals this season.
• Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Elisa Brito paces the nation with 21 assists in 16 matches this season. Stephanie Hale of Columbia (Mo.) is the only other individual with 20-plus assists this season with 20.
• Lindsey Smith of No. 3 Westmont (Calif.), who has played in 16 matches this season, leads the NAIA with a 0.41 goals against average. She has allowed only six goals in 1,330 minutes.
• Briannica Ponder of Stephens (Mo.) owns an NAIA-high 255 saves in 18 games – 75 more than second-place Kennedi Willis of Cincinnati Christian (Ohio). She set the NAIA’s single-game record for saves with 36 against Lyon (Ark.) on Oct. 8.
• Columbia leads all teams with 103 assists and 91 goals this season.
• St. Ambrose (Iowa) and Columbia are tied with an NAIA-best 11 shutouts.
• 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.