Eastern Connecticut Sits Atop New England Region; Ranked No. 13
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – For the first time
in the 25-year history of the Eastern Connecticut State
University women’s soccer program, the Warriors have been
selected as the No.-1 ranked team in the NSCAA Division III New
England soccer rankings, released Tuesday.
One of only two teams in the poll with undefeated records, Eastern (11-0-1) jumped into the top spot for the first time ever after being ranked in a tie for fifth heading into the week. During the week, Eastern shut out Wesleyan University, 2-0, and Little East Conference opponent University of Southern Maine, 1-0. The win over USM was Eastern’s ninth straight, establishing a program record. The 12-match unbeaten streak is also the longest in program history.
In addition to the top regional ranking, the Warriors moved into the national poll, at No. 13.
Prior to today’s regional poll, Eastern had been ranked as high as second (or tied for second) in the New England poll seven times, most recently on Oct. 3, 2004 when it began the season at 9-1-1. Nationally, the team had previously been ranked 13th or higher nine times, most recently when it was rated 12th following its 9-1-1 start Oct. 3, 2004. The team’s highest national ranking is tenth. following a 10-1-0 start on Oct. 20, 2002.
Among the four teams ranked ahead of Eastern in last week’s New England poll, No. 1 Williams college split two matches, No. 2 Brandeis University lost its match, No. 3 Amherst College lost in overtime, and No. 4 Wheaton College split two matches. The only other unbeaten team in this week’s Top 10 is Trinity College (4-0-3).
Under the direction of 11th-year head coach Chris D’Ambrosio, Eastern is 4-0-0 in the Little East Conference after capturing last year’s LEC tournament title. Eastern has outscored its 12 opponents by better than 4-to-1, has posted six shutouts, but has won six of its matches by one goal. The team was a 1-1 overtime verdict against Montclair State University in the opening round of the Manhattanville College Valiant Classic Sept. 11.
Sophomore Taylor Buchanan (Ellington, Conn.) leads Eastern with ten goals and 20 points, sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange, Conn.) adding five goals and 13 points and sophomore Kelly Wallace (South Windsor, Conn.) four goals and 11 points. Junior Theresa Pagnozzi (Waterford, Conn.) and sophomore Mackenzie MacLeod (Northfield, Conn.) have shared goalkeeper duties, recording a 0.57 GAA and .841 save percentage. Senior defender Lauren Hickey (Southwick, Mass.) averages 75 minutes of action per game, freshman back Megan Godwin (Manchester, Conn.) 74.
Eastern visits Amherst College Wednesday at 4 p.m.