Wednesday, November 22, 2006

COM: Blogarihtmic #176

From Soccer America:

Davies decides to go pro
Charlie Davies, a leading candidate for 2006 Men's Player of the Year honors, is leaving Boston College to turn pro after only his second full season with the Eagles.

Davies won the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award and is a finalist for the Hermann Trophy after scoring 15 goals in 16 games for the Eagles. He suffered a knee injury in the first game of the 2005 season and missed the rest of the season, BC's first in ACC, during which it went winless in conference play.

The 20-year-old product of Manchester, N.H., must decide between signing with MLS and pursuing European offers. According to the Manchester Union Leader, Davies will try out with Dutch club Ajax and France's Marseille in two weeks if no deal with MLS is struck. Davies said it was time to leave college soccer -- a decision he came to after lengthy discussions with veteran BC coach Ed Kelly.

"If it's a good enough offer [from MLS] and everything seems right, I probably won't go to Europe," Davies told the Union Leader.

NCAA DIVISION I MEN
Quarterfinals
Nov. 24

No. 2 Wake Forest (17-3-3) vs. No. 10 Santa Clara (13-4-5)
No. 4 Virginia (16-3-1) vs. No. 12 Notre Dame (15-5-2)
UC Santa Barbara (15-7-0) vs. Northwestern (14-7-0)

Nov. 26
No. 1 Duke (18-3-1) vs. No. 8 UCLA (12-5-4)

FOCUS: FSU's Mims makes most of opportunities
Most student-athletes are content to leave college with an undergraduate degree.

Ali Mims, the starting goalie for NCAA Division I women's quarterfinalist Florida State, will leave Tallahassee with a bachelor's degree in business management and master's degree in business administration.

An undergraduate degree was always in Mims' plans, but she pursued a master's degree when she lost two seasons after fracturing her leg in a preseason scrimmage in her sophomore year. She had to have 20 surgical procedures to recover from the break and the complications that followed.

"I was going to graduate in three-and-a-half years, work for a few years and then come back to school," said the sixth-year senior. "After my injury, I had to reevaluate that. I wanted to keep playing soccer so that led me into the master's program. It was a great problem to have because now I will have two degrees when I leave here. A lot of people don't ever have that opportunity."

Mims came back to start in 2005 and put together one of the best seasons ever by a Seminole keeper as Florida State advanced to the Women's College Cup after beating North Carolina in the quarterfinals. This year, the Noles have again reached the quarterfinals, where they host another ACC rival, Clemson, on Friday night. Mims has 11 shutouts in 24 games and a goals-against average of 0.58, bettering the FSU marks she set last year with eight shutouts and a 0.90 GAA.

Not bad for a player who was recruited out of Ponte Vedra, Fla, but had to walk on at FSU.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN
Quarterfinals
Nov. 24
No. 1 Notre Dame (23-0-1) vs. No. 2 Penn State (18-4-3)
No. 2 UCLA (20-3-0) vs. Portland (17-3-3)
No. 2 Florida State (17-3-4) vs. Clemson (11-7-5)

Nov. 25
No. 1 North Carolina (24-1-0) vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (17-5-2)

NAIA MEN: Graceland captures first title in shootout
Graceland University of Iowa captured its first NAIA men's title Tuesday when beat Azusa Pacific, 7-6, in a shootout after the final ended in a 0-0 draw.

The first five shooters for both teams converted their spot kicks, but the next four missed. In the 10th round, Azusa Pacific's Kolt Calloway missed his penalty, and Nick Gay sealed the win for the Yellow Jackets with a penalty to right side.

"I think I'm in shock," said Graceland coach Ivan Joseph. "We had to work, work, work."

Graceland keeper Isaac Unruh was named the Tournament MVP. Yellow Jacket freshman Bret Loving was named the Outstanding Defensive Player, while Azusa Pacific's Steven Lenhart was the Outstanding Offensive Player.

NAIA WOMEN: Lindsey Wilson prevails in fourth OT
Danish freshman Kristine Pedersen's goal in the 123rd minute gave Lindsey Wilson a 2-1 win over top seed Azusa Pacific Tuesday in the NAIA women's national championship game.

Azusa Pacific scored first when Sarah Yoro struck from the left flank in the 22nd minute. Lindsey Wilson tied the game 16 minutes later on a goal by Jamaica international Omolyn Davis. The gane remained tied into the fourth overtime when Pederson took a pass from Jamaican Sashsheena Stewart and shot a laser from about 15 yards out to decide the third longest women's championship match in NAIA history.

"I didn't even see where the ball went after I shot it," said Pedersen, whose goal was her 24th of the season. "It's the most important goal I've scored, and it feels really good."

The title was the second for the Blue Raiders, who also won the 2004 NAIA championship.

PREVIEW: D3 women's semis feature Messiah-TCNJ rematch
The NCAA Division III men's and women's final fours will both be played this weekend at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. In Friday's women's semifinals, Virginia Wesleyan meets Wheaton (Ill.) at 11 am ET, and Messiah faces the College of New Jersey in a replay of last year's championship game at 1:30 pm (Webcast, NCAAsports.com, live). The winners will play in Saturday's championship game. Here's a look at the four women's semifinalists:

VIRGINIA WESLEYAN (18-3-4). The Marlins lost their first two games of the season but are undefeated since mid-September, running off a 19-game undefeated streak. They came from the No. 4 seed to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Goalie Lindsey Williams made diving efforts to stop the first and the final penalty kicks by Washington & Lee and give VWC a 4-3 shootout victory after a scoreless draw in their sectional final.

WHEATON (ILL.) (22-2-0). Pete Felske won the D3 men's title as a player at Wheaton in 1984 and led the Thunder to the D3 women's title as a coach in 2004. Wheaton, which is back in the final four for the third time in the last six years, has won all four NCAA Tournament games by shutouts. The Thunder is led by junior Sarah Richardson, who has scored a team-high 18 goals, and freshman Taryne Lee, who scored in three of the four postseason games to give her 17 goals.

MESSIAH (18-2-1). Once again, Messiah has men's and women's teams in the final four. Last year, the Falcon women beat the College of New Jersey in the final as part of an unprecedented men's and women's sweep. This year's team is led by junior forward Stef Rowe, its leading scorer with 23 goals and three assists and the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year.

COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY (17-1-3). After putting 10 goals past Villa Julie in its first NCAA Tournament game, TCNJ only managed to score one goal in the sectionals but prevailed with a 1-0 win over Middlebury and a shootout victory over Amherst after their sectional final ended in a scoreless tie. The Lions' only loss this season was to Wheaton in double overtime in October. Dana DiBruno (12 goals) leads the Lions, who have nine players with five or more goals.


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