The Catholic University of America

Nov. 4, 2014

Three CUA Teams Enter Tournament Seeded #1

Catholic University has a bumper crop of outstanding teams on the athletic field this fall, led by its field hockey team, which is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Heading into the postseason, three of CUA's teams have earned the No. 1 seed in the Landmark Conference tournament: field hockey, men's soccer, and women's soccer. That trio of teams has a combined conference record of 18-2, with two ties.

  Megan Fiske
  Junior back Megan Fiske moves the ball into space.

The field hockey team is currently ranked No. 7 in the country, according to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll. The women’s soccer team is ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The men’s soccer team is also ranked within its region by the NSCAA, coming in at No. 8 in the Mid-Atlantic. And, following a 22-win regular season, the women’s volleyball team currently awaits to hear if it has earned a berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference post-season championship tournament.

“The fall season has traditionally been a time of great competitive success for Catholic athletics, and 2014 is no exception,” said Director of Athletics Sean Sullivan. “With the current level of play exhibited by a number of our fall teams, we are hopeful that the dedication each of these squads has shown will be rewarded with the opportunity to play when it counts most — deep into the post-season.”

Led by Head Coach Gia Cillizza, the Cardinals' field hockey team has had one of its best seasons ever, racking up a 14-2 overall record that includes wins over four nationally ranked teams including road victories against the No. 1 ranked Salisbury Seagulls and the No. 6 ranked Ursinus Bears.

The field hockey team begins its postseason play at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, with a home game against the Scranton Royals in the Landmark Conference semifinals.

“We’ve had some thrilling wins for sure and I think each of our games has taught us something that we can use at this point in the season,” Cillizza said. “We’ve been on the road so much this season playing on different surfaces and challenging ourselves with a tough schedule, so we are excited to be hosting on Wednesday.”

The CUA field hockey team is aiming for its fourth consecutive Landmark Conference tournament championship this week and its fourth straight NCAA tournament bid. This class of nine seniors has compiled a 58-18 record and CUA is one of only six teams in the country to have made the NCAA tournament in each of its last three seasons.

Junior forward Tyler Zimmerman winds up to shoot.  

CUA's men's soccer looks to continue its recent excellence into tournament play this week. The Cardinals have not lost a game in more than a month and won the Landmark regular season with a 6-1-1 record. This is the fourth consecutive year the men’s soccer team has won the regular season crown.

“We had a difficult schedule early and I think it has really paid off,” Head Men’s Soccer Coach Travis Beauchamp said. “There were some growing pains with our young players but I think we are doing well at the right time.”

The team hosts the Goucher Gophers at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The women's soccer team is enjoying its most successful season in recent years. The team finished the Landmark regular season unbeaten and has lost only one game all year. This is the team's best season since 2009 when it finished 17-3-1 and qualified for the NCAA tournament.

  Senior forward Kaylre Greaves settles the ball.

"We have enjoyed an extremely successful fall season, which has exceeded expectations within the Landmark Conference,” said J.P. Sousa, CUA women’s soccer head coach. “We were picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll, but our players and coaching staff knew we could surprise teams and compete for a championship. It's been a lot of fun winning games each week. As the playoffs begin for us, we are focused on keeping the train moving in the right direction. The girls believe that anything is possible now."

Sousa's team takes on the Drew Rangers in a Landmark Conference semifinal matchup at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.




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