KUTZTOWN – The 18th-ranked Kutztown University women’s soccer team has new and fresh life. After an early exit from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Tournament last week, KU received a bid as the third seed in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament, and will face the sixth seeded West Virginia Wesleyan in the First Round tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 9, at noon at West Chester University’s Rockwell Field.
The Golden Bears (14-4-1 overall) have earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament in eight of the last 10 years.
Following another successful regular season, KU was well-represented on the PSAC accolades, with five student-athletes receiving recognition for All-Conference. Juniors Jenna Bracken, Kristina Miller, Emily Zwiercan and Maddie Mohr were voted All-PSAC First Team members and senior Alyssa Ryan earned Second Team honors.
Zwiercan leads the team with 11 goals, which ranks fourth in the PSAC. Freshman Kayla Argen is second with four goals, followed by Ryan, Miller, Mohr and Gabby Kane with three on the season. Argen and Erica Monte Carlo are tied for the team-lead with five assists, followed by Zwiercan with three and Ryan and Schyler Ackerman each with two.
Tori Angelus, Savanna Harrison and Rachel Rizzo have also gotten into the score column this season, all contributing a goal, while Kayla Reed joins Kane and Mohr with an assist each.
The Kutztown defense has allowed just nine goals all season, second-least in the PSAC. PSAC Defensive
Athlete of the Year Bracken leads the conference with a .915 save percentage and is second in goals against average (.417) and shutouts (10).
Miller, Monte Carlo, Kaylee Kupiec, Anna Hull, Molly McHarg, Courtney Browning and Alisea Munshower have all started multiple games at the backend of the defense for KU.
Kutztown and West Virginia Wesleyan have not met since Oct. of 2012.
The Lady Cats (13-1-4) won the Mountain East Conference championship on penalty kicks over Concord University. They are unbeaten in their last 17 games, with their only loss coming at the hands of Slippery Rock 1-0 in their season opener. Other games featuring common KU opponents include a 2-0 win and 0-0 tie in two games against Charleston, and a 2-0 victory and 1-1 tie in two games with Shepherd.
Kutztown is very familiar with Rockwell Field on West Chester’s campus, having played there in the NCAA First Round last year, while also facing the Golden Rams there back on Sept. 26.
The Golden Rams are the region’s second seed and will take on the winner of the Golden Bears-Wesleyan matchup in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 11.
On the other side of the Atlantic Regional bracket, top-seed Bloomsburg will host the winner of the First Round matchup between the fourth seed Millersville and fifth-seeded East Stroudsburg.
The Second Round winners will advance to the Third Round on Friday, Nov. 16, which will be hosted by the highest-remaining seed in the Atlantic Regional. The winner of the Atlantic Regional will then play the winner of the East Regional in the Quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the same site of the Third Round.