BOSTON, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference has announced the 2012 Women's Soccer Championship Bracket featuring eight teams with tournament play scheduled to begin on Sunday, Oct. 28.
After compiling a 10-1-1 conference mark the University of Saint Joseph (CT) has earned the No. 1 seed led by junior forward Patricia Nolan (Portland, Conn.) Nolan ranks second in the GNAC with 34 points (13 goals, 8 assists) and earlier this season broke the USJ career goals record with her 35th career marker in a 2-1 win over Emmanuel on 9/26. The Blue Jays will face off against the Monks of Saint Joseph's College (ME) who earned the No. 8 seed with a 4-4-4 conference record. The Monks enter the tournament riding a seven-match unbeaten streak in which they've outscored opponents 17-4.
Lasell College, who was picked as the pre-season favorite in the coaches' poll, has earned the No. 2 seed and will host the No. 7 seed in Suffolk University. The Lasers are led by sophomore forward Bridget Lynch (Dover, N.H.) who currently leads the GNAC in points with 41. Lynch also leads the GNAC and ranks tied for ninth in the nations with 19 goals. The Lasers bested the Rams, 5-1, during their regular season meeting on 9/22 but Suffolk enters the post-season coming off back-to-back shutouts including a 2-0 win over the No. 1 seed, Saint Joseph (CT), on 10/20.
After missing the playoffs last season, the Emmanuel College Saints return to the GNAC tournament as the No. 3 seed with an 8-3-1 conference mark and will play host to cross town rivals in the No. 6 seed, Emerson College. Junior forward Lindsey Garvey (Warwick, R.I.) leads the Saints and ranks fifth in the GNAC with 28 points on nine goals and a league-leading 10 assists. During their regular season meeting, Emmanuel cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Lions on 10/6.
The 4/5 matchup features the Simmons College Sharks playing host to the Albertus Magnus College Falcons. The Falcons were in the top half of the GNAC standings for much of the season before falling twice in the final week of the season to Lasell (2-1) and Emmanuel (1-0) while the Sharks closed out the regular season winning four of five GNAC contests to lock up the first round home game.
Winners of the GNAC Quaterfinals will meet in the Semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the site of the higher seeds with the GNAC Finals set for Sunday, Nov. 4 at the site of the highest remaining seed in the tourney.