By Kendrick Jackson, Contributing Writer
West Liberty soccer will travel to Wheeling Jesuit this Saturday for their last regular-season matchup. The Lady Toppers will use this matchup as preparation for postseason play while the men’s team looks to end the season with a win.
The Lady Toppers clinched the third seed of the Mountain East Conference North Division in their tie against Shepherd University.
As of Oct. 25, the Black and Gold have a record 5-8-3. This ends a one-year postseason drought, and marks Head Coach Barry Christmas and his Lady Toppers second time in the MEC Tournament.
Layne and Lauren Hartnell have been key contributors to the Lady Toppers’ success this season. As of Oct. 25, Layne leads the MEC in shots and Layne has 13 points for the season thus far. Lauren ranks sixth in the MEC in saves, with six shutout games, as of Oct. 25. Layne leads the team with six goals and one assist on the season. The Hartnell twins have been crucial in the success of the Hilltoppers this season.
Cate Calissie scored the lone goal in the game against Shepherd which earned the Hilltoppers the tie and a huge point in the MEC standings, clinching them a playoff berth.
Wheeling Jesuit will be on the outside looking in this postseason. However, the Lady Cardinals do rank third in saves this season with 97, as of Oct. 25. Goalkeeping was split between Sophomore Asya Carney and Junior Megan Herter.
The second doubleheader of the evening will see Head Coach Thomas Olivier and his Hilltoppers look to end the season on a two-game winning streak. WLU has a 4-9-1 record. A win Saturday will be a huge confidence booster to close the year.
As of Oct. 25, Wheeling Jesuit has a record of 9-5-2, and the Cardinals are bound for the MEC Tourney. Senior midfielder Martin Minuzzi ranks in the Top-4 in various MEC leader categories, including shots, points, goals, and game-winning goals. Minuzzi hit his fourth game-winning goal in the Cardinals matchup against Concord on Oct. 21.
The Black and Gold have a similar player on the defensive end. Senior goalkeeper Florian Dupuis ranks in the Top-4 in saves, saves per game, and shutouts in the conference. Dupuis posted his second shutout game of the season in their last matchup against Shepherd.
The doubleheader will begin at 4 p.m. with the Lady Toppers taking the field, followed by the men’s matchup at 7 p.m.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com