Semifinals begin Friday, Nov. 2 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.
BIG EAST Notes in PDF
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The 2012 BIG EAST Women's Soccer Championship heads to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., this weekend for the semifinals and title game of the 10-team tournament. The field has been narrowed to four teams, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame and USF. On Nov. 2, Notre Dame will face Marquette at Noon, while Georgetown squares off against USF at 2:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Nov. 4 for the league tournament title. All three games will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network and admission will be free.
Notre Dame (13-4-2, 8-1-1 BIG EAST) is making its 17th appearance in the BIG EAST Championship and enters as the National Division No. 2 seed. The Irish beat Syracuse 1-0 at home in the quarterfinals on Oct. 28 to advance to Friday's contest. Notre Dame won a share of the National Division title, its ninth in the past 10 years. The Irish are No. 25 in the NSCAA poll and No. 20 in the SoccerAmerica rankings.
The Irish have captured 11 tournament titles, more than any other BIG EAST team. Notre Dame has a balanced attack with five players having scored five or more goals. Leading the charge is freshman Crystal Thomas, who has tallied a team-high 18 points and eight goals. Freshman Cari Roccaro (11 points, including five goals) has made an impact over the past 11 games after joining the team in mid-September upon completion of her duties playing at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament in Japan. Mandy Laddish also is a top player to keep an eye on as the team's controlling midfielder. She joined the Irish midseason after competing in the World Cup as well.
The Fighting Irish will be playing Marquette for the sixth time in BIG EAST Championship play and the fourth time in five seasons. Notre Dame holds a 7-4-1 edge in the all-time series with Marquette.
Marquette (14-2-2, 9-0-1 BIG EAST) enters the tournament as the hottest team in the league. The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in their last 12 games and riding a four-game winning streak. Marquette beat UConn 4-1 at home in the quarterfinals on Oct. 28 to advance to Friday's contest. The Golden Eagles won the American Division regular season title and are a No. 1 seed. Marquette is making its eighth appearance in the tournament. The Golden Eagles are No. 15 in the NSCAA poll and No. 10 in the SoccerAmerica rankings.
Senior Ally Miller anchors a Marquette backline which has totaled 13 shutouts this year, tops in the BIG EAST. Junior Maegan Kelly leads the team with 27 points, including eight goals and 11 assists. Marquette ranks fourth nationally averaging 2.83 goals per game. Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Engel has been dependable in net posting a 0.53 goals-against average and allowing just six goals.
Georgetown (15-2-2, 8-1-1 BIG EAST) won the league's National Division title and, with a head-to-head victory against Notre Dame (2-0 on Oct. 12), the Hoyas earned a No. 1 seed. Georgetown advanced to the semifinals following a 1-0 win over DePaul at home in the quarterfinals on Oct. 28. The regular-season title was the Hoyas' first in school history. Georgetown is No. 13 in the NSCAA poll and No. 18 in the SoccerAmerica rankings.
Sophomore Daphne Corboz leads the BIG EAST with 39 points, including 16 goals. The 5-2 dynamo ranks eighth in the country in points per game (2.1), is ninth in goals per game and eighth in goals scored. Corboz also has scored four game-winning goals this year. Defensively the Hoyas rank ninth nationally with a 0.56 goals-against average. Redshirt-freshman Emma Newis has been outstanding in net posting a 0.54 goals-against average with 11 shutouts. Georgetown is making its 10th appearance in the tournament.
Georgetown leads the all-time series 2-1, but the teams have not met since 2010.
USF (10-5-3, 6-2-1 BIG EAST) returns to the semifinals for the second time in the last three years. The Bulls finished second in the American Division and are a No. 2 seed. USF is making its fourth appearance in the tournament. Junior forward Sharla Passariello leads the team with 15 points, including six goals. Freshman goalkeeper Christiane Endler has been key defensively posting 10 shutouts in 18 games. The rookie sports a 0.70 goals-against average and has totaled 78 saves.
Both semifinals will be carried nationally on the CBS Sports Network. The title game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network, as well as numerous regional sports networks, including SNY. The game also will be streamed live online for free at www.bigeast.tv
2 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (Semifinal 1, East Hartford, Conn.)
CBS Sports Network - Noon ET; Notre Dame vs. Marquette
2 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (Semifinal 2, East Hartford, Conn.)
CBS Sports Network - 2:30 p.m.; USF vs. Georgetown
4 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP (Title Game, East Hartford, Conn.)
Noon - BETV/CBS Sports Network