NCAA Tournament Preview: Saint Joseph's @ Swarthmore College

NCAA Tournament Preview: Saint Joseph's @ Swarthmore College

STANDISH, Maine – Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Champion Saint Joseph's College (16-3, 10-2 GNAC) will play at #12 Swarthmore College (PA) (17-4, 12-0 CCC), the 2018 Centennial Conference (CCC) Champion, in the first round of the NCAA DIII Women's Soccer Tournament at 1:00 PM on Saturday.

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Saint Joseph's, the #2 seed in the 2018 GNAC Tournament, upset top-seeded Lasell College, 1-0, in the conference championship in Newton, Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Monks earned the GNAC's automatic national tournament qualifier and will be making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Also the second seed in their conference tourney, the Swarthmore Garnet stunned top-seeded Johns Hopkins University – ranked fourth nationally at the time – 5-1 to claim the Centennial Conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth-consecutive season.

WHAT WE KNOW

Saint Joseph's:

  • The Monks are averaging 2.58 goals per game with a 1.05 goals-against average and have tied the program's single-season victories record
  • St. Joe's is 8-1 in road games this fall and have outscored opponents by a 15-5 collective score in away contests this season
  • The SJC roster features six seniors, eight juniors, seven sophomores, and 13 freshmen

Swarthmore:

  • The Garnet average 2.42 goals per game with a 0.57 goals-against average (11 goals allowed all season)
  • Swarthmore is 5-1-1 at home this fall with the only loss – a 2-1 setback - coming at the hands of Johns Hopkins on October 13th
  • The Garnet roster is made up of five seniors, eight juniors, eight sophomores, eight freshmen

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Saint Joseph's:

Senior forward Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine), a two-time GNAC Player of the Year recipient and four-time First Team All-GNAC honoree, is having another fine season for the Monks with 19 goals and six assists for 44 total points with seven game-winning tallies.

Senior Colleen Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) a 2018 Third Team All-Conference honoree, has been a big contributor this year and, despite missing three games due to injury, leads the team in assists (8), and is second on the squad in points (18)

Swarthmore:

Senior forward Marin McCoy (Denver, Colo.), the Centennial Conference Player of the Year, is Swarthmore's leader in goals (12), points (29), and game-winning goals (8)

Junior forward Brittany Weiderhold (Downington, Pa.) ranks second on the team in goals (8) and points (18)

KEEPER COMPARISON:

Saint Joseph's: Freshman Adia Grogan (Kennebunk, Maine), a Second Team All-Conference honoree, owns a 1.04 goals-against average with a 15-3 record and six shutouts and has started all 19 games this fall. The first-year starter made 88 saves with 19 goals allowed in 1,648 minutes for a .822 save percentage and led the GNAC in wins and ranked second in minutes, goals-against average, and save percentage and third in shutouts.

Swarthmore: Senior Amy Shmoys (Ithaca, N.Y.) is 10-2-1 with five shutouts, a 0.61 goals-against average, and an .800 save percentage in 16 games. She has made 32 saves with eight goals allowed in 1,176 minutes in goal.

ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP:

Saint Joseph's Head Coach Jenelle Harris, now in her sixth season at the helm, is 71-39-7 (.607) overall with a 45-19-5 (.652) record in conference play as the Monks' skipper. The three-time Conference Coach of the Year ranks second in team history in victories.

Swarthmore Head Coach Todd Anckaitis is 176-72-27 (.689) in 14 seasons and is the winningest clipboard carrier in Garnet women's soccer history. Under his watch, the Garnet have won three ECAC championships, three Centennial Conference Championships, qualified for the conference playoffs 10 times and have made five NCAA Tournament appearances in the last five years going as far as the "Elite Eight" in 2015.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING:

These two teams will be meeting for the first time on Saturday.

 

#GOMONKS

 

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Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.