The Husson University men’s and women’s soccer teams hit the road for 11 a.m. NCAA Division III Tournament games today.
The 15-5 Husson women will visit 12-3-2 Middlebury College (Vt.) while the 10-8-2 Eagle men will travel to Troy, N.Y., to take on 14-2-1 NESCAC champion Williams College (Mass.).
The Husson women won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time last season as they upended Norwich University 2-0 before losing to Williams 3-0 in the second round.
“We match up pretty well with NESCAC schools,” said Husson coach Keith Bosley. “We’ve had two decent results against NESCAC schools.”
Husson beat Bates 2-1 and lost to Colby 1-0 in overtime while Middlebury beat Bates 1-0 and Colby 3-0.
“Middlebury is a classic NESCAC team. They’re very technical and possession-oriented. They like to move the ball east to west,” said Bosley. “We need to put hard pressure on them all over the field, but we can’t be reckless and give them easy opportunities. We need to stay disciplined and stay composed behind the ball.”
Bosley feels his team will generate scoring chances off transition and they will need to capitalize.
“We’ve got some speed up front and it will cause some matchup problems for their backs,” said Bosley.
Shelby Bradford leads the Eagles in scoring with 13 goals and 11 assists. Speedy University of Vermont transfer Alex Laniewski has 12 & 4, and Husson has four other players with at least five goals in Megan Clement (8 & 4), Megan LaJoie (5 & 3), Kylan Smith (5 & 2) and Bates transfer Amanda Gifford (5 & 0). Amy Sanz (3 & 2) and Smith headline the midfield, and Caitlyn Butterfield (1 & 1) anchors the back line in front of goalkeeper Jenn Plourde (0.36 goals-against average, .915 save percentage).
Middlebury has been led by Annie Rowell (11 & 2), Amy Schlueter (5 & 3) and Margaret Owen (4 & 3) along with All-NESCAC first teamers Anjuli Demers (1 & 0), a back, and goalkeeper Lauryn Torch (0.82, .844).
Seth Brown’s Husson men will be led by Mark Trombley (7 & 6), Tyler Metevier (8 & 2), Edwin Acosta (5 & 3), Alex Martin (5 & 1) and John DeStefano (5 & 1). Billy Shannon and James Crockford head up the back line in front of ’keeper Miguel Dominguez (2.10, .723).
“Williams is big across the back line and they’re very dangerous on set pieces,” said Brown.
Williams has outscored its opponents 44-12.
Six-foot-four midfielder Conor Smith (7 & 0) was the NESCAC Player of the Year and was a first team pick along with Charles Romero (10 & 6), Gaston Kelly has 6 & 13 and Pierre Meloty-Kapella has 8 & 3. Goalkeeper Andrew Graham has an 0.64 GAA and a .781 save percentage.