Lady Monarchs Face Top of CAA This Weekend
Oct. 11, 2007
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Lady Monarchs travel into two of the toughest places to play in the Colonial Athletic Association this weekend. ODU is set to play VCU on Friday night with kick-off set for 7:00 pm and JMU Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm.
First, the Lady Monarchs will face VCU in Richmond, a team that is 4-0 in the conference and 4-1-0 at home this season. ODU will then travel to No. 30 James Madison for a game on Sunday, where the Dukes are 8-0 at home and unbeaten in conference play.
Colonial Road Trip
ODU heads on the road for the final weekend road trip of the season. This weekend ODU will face two of the CAA's finer teams this season, as both VCU and James Madison are unbeaten in Colonial play. The Lady Monarchs face the Rams Friday night and the Dukes on Sunday. ODU has struggled against VCU recently, losing five of the last six matchups. The series is tied 5-5-3 all-time. JMU has also given ODU trouble in the past, as ODU is just 5-10-1 against the Dukes. However, two of the ODU wins came last season, including the CAA Tournament Championship game.
In The Polls
JMU, VCU and ODU are all ranked in the SOCCER BUZZ Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings. James Madison is also ranked 30th in the nation by Soccer Buzz.
Janna Pearson ranks 27th in the nation in assists per game at 0.56. Shavon Knight is listed among the nation's top 100 scorers. Knight ranks 59th in goals per game (0.6) and 74th in points per game (1.4). Lauren Tupman is also ranked among the top 100 keepers in save percentage. She ranks 78th in the nation with an 0.82 percentage.
The Monarchs have only allowed more than one goal in a game once this season. This obviously can be attributed to stellar goalkeeping (Lauren Tupman and Colby Owen have combined for a 0.95 GAA) but more importantly, the back four for the Monarchs have been near impregnable.
Dani Hammer, Saratu Dodo, Marilee Mastaler, Lizzy Brewster and ODU's first off the bench Brittney Kortz have been as solid as it comes. The defense in the second half has been especially impressive, allowing just 49 shots and three goals in the second frame this season. That's good enough for under five shots a game in the second half. For the game, ODU is allowing just 11 shots per game.
Last season, ODU broke a team record with a goals against average of 1.06. The Lady Monarchs back line is working to ensure they best that mark again in 2007.
Last season, the Lady Monarchs were extremely difficult to shutout. In 23 games, ODU was held empty just once, a new record for the program. It wasn't until the final game of the season when the Lady Monarchs faced the tenth seeded Wake Forest team on the road that they suffered their only shutout of the season.
The loss ended Old Dominion's 22 match streak of games with at least one goal scored. The Lady Monarchs continue to be an extremely potent offense and have scored at least one goal in all but three of the last 33 games. They are currently averaging 1.71 goals per contest, giving ODU the 88th best scoring offense in the nation.