Who: #5 Penn State-Altoona Lions (5-4-1) at #4 D'Youville Spartans (6-2-2)
What: AMCC Playoffs - First Round
Where: Buffalo, NY / Dobson Field
When: Saturday, November 2 - 2:00pm
Buffalo, NY - The D'Youville women's soccer team is heading back to the AMCC playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the ninth time in 10 years after an excellent 2019 regular season.
D'Youville enter's Saturday's first round matchup on a six game unbeaten streak as they are 4-0-2 in their last six games. In those six games, the Spartans have outscored their opponents 21-3 and recorded three shutouts on their way to a 6-2-2 conference record.
In their season finale win on Tuesday evening, D'Youville took down the Alfred State Pioneers by the final of 3-1. The team's dynamic forward duo of Makenna Magee (Ellenburg Center, NY/Northern Adirondack) and Jordan Pachla (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) scored a goal each while center back Sarah Milczarski (Newfane, NY/Newfane) added her first career goal. Kaylee Heschke (Newfane, NY/Newfane) and Cassie Brooks (Grand Island,NY/Grand Island) added a pair of assists with Laurie Poeller (Akron, NY/Akron) making six saves.
A very balanced team effort has allowed the Spartans to reach the playoffs yet again. With 38 goals scored, the women have a potent offense. However on the other end of the field, D'Youville has allowed just 21 goals.
The offense has been in large part by Magee and Pachla as the two are the team's top two goal scorers. Magee leads the team with 11 goals - fourth in the conference. Pachla is not too far off Magee's pace with nine of her own and she is tied for second on the team in assists with three. Marina Campbell (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield) has added five goals this year and is third in points while Brittany Cristofanelli (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield) has tallied a pair of goals and three assists.
Serving as impact players at both ends of the field, Heschke and Brooks have been important parts of the team. Heschke has scored a pair of goals to go with three assists from her defensive center mid position while Brooks has a team high five assists from her left back spot.
Both Heschke and Brooks have been part of an impressive defensive unit for the Spartans. The back line of Dominique Riforgiato (Fredonia, NY/Fredonia), Isabella Lucania (Webster, NY/Webster-Schroeder), Anna Hayes (Hamburg, NY/Mt. St. Mary Academy), Brooks, and Milczarski have been rock solid all season long. In front of them, the midfield three of Heschke, Campbell, and Maggie Leeds (Lockport, NY/Akron) have provided a great deal of support and have been an extension of the defense.
Poeller has had an outstanding first season as the team's starting netminder. Starting all 16 games and playing every minute in goal this season, Poeller has recorded five shutouts behind her defense. In the conference she finished the regular season second in saves (117), tied for second in wins (9), third in shutouts (5), and third in save percentage (.848).
In their previous matchup this season, D'Youville defeated Penn State-Altoona by the final score of 2-1 on the road. Magee opened the scoring in the 17th minute of the game, followed by Lucania scoring the eventual game winner in the 30th minute, Altoona would tally their lone goal in the 74th minute, but fell by the final score of 2-1.
Poeller made five saves in the win as the team allowed just six shots on goal while registering nine of their own. Their game against the Lions was their first conference game of the season.
Penn State-Altoona enters the game following a 3-1 victory over the Hilbert Hawks on Saturday afternoon. The Lions have won their last three games entering Saturday's game by down Pitt.-Bradford (3-0), La Roche (1-0), and Hilbert (3-1) in their last three games on their way to a first round playoff game.
The winner of Saturday's game will head to Penn State-Behrend on Wednesday, November 6 to play the #2 Lions at 4:30pm. D'Youville gave Behrend all they could handle in their regular season meeting in early October, taking the Lions to double overtime.