Explorers Nab Top Spot in Championship, Regular Season Title
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The La Salle Explorers completed a perfect 8-0 conference season to clinch the top seed in the 2014 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championship, to be held at Dayton’s Baujan Field, Nov. 6-9. The Explorers earn their third regular season title in four years and will look to claim a third straight A-10 championship.
The Explorers (12-4-2) finished its regular season campaign on an eight match winning streak and are led by a strong senior class, including forward Kelsey Haycook, whose 18 goals top the A-10. The Explorers will look to defend back-to-back titles in Dayton. La Salle will face eighth-seeded Massachusetts in the opening match of the 2014 Championship at 11:00 AM on Thursday, Nov. 6. Massachusetts (5-8-5) played to a double-overtime scoreless draw with Davidson Sunday to finish 3-3-2 in conference play with 11 points.
VCU (9-4-5) held Dayton to a 1-1 double-overtime draw to earn the second seed in this year’s championship. The Rams finished the season strong, rattling off three straight conference wins before Sunday’s tie. In the first round of last year’s championship, VCU’s furious comeback fell short, losing to Dayton, 5-4. VCU will take on Richmond at 5:00 PM on Thursday. Richmond (9-8-2) lost its final match of the season, 3-1 to Rhode Island, but picked up a crucial win over UMass on Friday, giving the Spiders the head-to-head tiebreak for the seven seed.
Dayton, last year’s regular season champion, finished its season 9-8-2 overall and 5-2-1 in conference play to grab the third seed. The Flyers have earned a bid to the A-10 Championship every year since 1996. Dayton, this year’s host, will face sixth-seeded Saint Joseph’s in the final match on Thursday at 7:30 PM. Saint Joseph’s (11-8) ended the season 4-4 in conference play for 12 points. SJU and Dayton met in the regular season, with the Hawks coming out on top, 3-1.
George Washington secured the fourth seed in the championship with a 1-0 win against Saint Louis in the final day of play. The Colonials will face fifth-seeded Rhode Island at 1:30 PM on Thursday. The Rams (12-4-2) defeated Richmond on Sunday to finish with 13 points for its first championship appearance since 2006. GW won the tiebreaker over Rhode Island, defeating common opponents, Davidson, UMass and Richmond.
The winner of the La Salle-UMass match will play the winner of the GW-Rhode Island match, Friday at 5:00 pm. The winner of the VCU-Richmond match will face the winner of the Dayton-Saint Joseph’s match in the semifinals, Friday at 7:30 pm. The Championship match will be played Sunday at 1:00 pm. The championship format, which features an eight-team bracket, is single elimination, with the winner earning the A-10’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
For complete coverage of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championship, log on to the Championship Central at www.atlantic10.com. Each match of the Women’s Soccer Championship will be streamed for free on the A-10 Network.