By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
NAIA Game of the Week – No. 1
No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) (0-1), (0-0 TSC) vs. No. 7 Davenport (Mich.), (1-0) (0-0 WHAC) Wednesday, Aug. 27 | 10 a.m. EST | Arrigo-Vecellio Field | West Palm Beach, Fla.
Live Stats | Live Video – Provided by Northwood
• A pair of top 10 teams hit the field for an early season non-conference battle Wednesday morning as No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) takes on No. 7 Davenport (Mich.) in both schools’ second contest of 2014.
• Wednesday’s contest is the first meeting between the two programs. Northwood has only faced one WHAC institution in school history – Siena Heights (Mich.) – in the 2009 NAIA National Championship, winning, 2-1, in the opening round.
• It’s the home opener for Northwood at St. Thomas (Fla.) as the Seahawks look to get back to their winning ways after falling to rival and fellow The Sun Conference member No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) last Saturday, 2-0, at the Embry-Riddle Soccer Stadium.
• The 2014 season opener marks the first regular season loss for the Seahawks since Sept. 13, 2013, when the team fell to eventual national champion Concordia (Ore.), 1-0.
• Northwood, which was 17-1-2 last season, looks to snap a two-game losing streak dating back to its semifinals defeat to Westmont (Calif.) in the 2013 national championship; a game lost, 7-6, on PK’s.
• Davenport is riding high after a 3-0 road shutout over St. Thomas, the eleventh-ranked team in the country. Wednesday morning’s tilt will mark the second game in three days the Panthers will play in the confines of Arrigo-Vecellio Field in West Palm Beach, Fla.
• Sophomore forward Shameeka Finley looks to carry on her early season momentum into the match against Northwood, as she seemed to find a comfort zone playing at the home of the Seahawks, netting a pair of goals in the first half for the Panthers in their neutral site victory last Monday over St. Thomas.
• As Northwood looks to avoid a 0-2 start to the season, the offense must come alive after a sluggish opening game to the year that saw the Seahawks get outshot by Embry-Riddle, 12-4. Leading the charge is sophomore forward Johanna Engberg, who led all freshman a year ago in numerous offensive categories (points (50), goals (20) and assists (10)). Engberg’s stellar play a season ago got her selected to the All-The Sun Conference Second Team.
• The Seahawks find themselves in the middle of a tough beginning stretch to the year – playing three-straight top 10 programs – as they turn around and travel to No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) on Friday, Aug. 29, and then play Mobile (Ala.) on Aug. 30.
• After Wednesday’s contest, the Panthers travel to Marion, Ind., to take on Indiana Wesleyan on Sept. 2, who is 1-0 in the early going.
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Women’s Soccer
(Through games played on Aug. 26, 2014)
• Defending champion Concordia (Ore.) and national runner-up Westmont (Calif.) are both off to hot starts in 2014, each beginning the season 2-0, respectively.
• Concordia has outscored its opponents, 5-2, while the Warriors have an offensive scoring margin of 8-1.
• Northwood (Fla.) is the lone team in the top five of the 2014 NAIA Women's Soccer Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll to suffer a defeat thus far. No. 5 Concordia (Calif.), who is ranked in the same spot it ended the 2013 campaign, kicks off the season on Thursday against Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), who received votes in the preseason poll. For the complete release, click here.
• Other Top 25 games this week:
- Friday: No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) @ No. 9 William Carey (Miss.)
No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) vs No. 5 Concordia (Calif.)
- Saturday: No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) @ No. 14 Spring Arbor (Mich.)
No. 10 Robert Morris (Ill.) @ No. 21 St. Ambrose (Iowa)