Fight for 2011 Southern Division Championship Starts for Some, Ends for All this Weekend
BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- Five teams will continue competition this weekend but only one will be claim the Southern Division title as George Washington University, Harvard University, Brown University and Princeton University are set to invade the University of Maryland for a seven-game civil war.
There are a few things that are clear going into the weekend:
- There will be a new Southern Division title-holder as 2010 champion Bucknell University moved over to the Western Division when the league went to a two-division composition (West, South) rather than the previous three divisionformat (North, South, West).
- No team will have its season-end this weekend as the five Southern Division teams and six Western Division squads (No. 6 University of Michigan, Gannon University, Mercyhurst College, Bucknell University, No. 12 Hartwick College, No. 13 Indiana University) will meet on April 29-May 1 at Indiana University's Billingsley Natatorium for the 2011 CWPA Eastern Championship. This marks the first year that all of the league's Division I/II members will advance to the Eastern Championship, a change from the previously utilizied eight-team format.
- The final won-loss records from this weekend will determine the division champion as only one team will be crowned Southern Division champion. Per CWPA rules, if more than two teams are tied in won/loss records, goal differentials among the teams tied serves as the tiebreaker to determine the best team within the group until only two teams remain. The final two teams use their head-to-head results to break the tie. If the top two teams based on goal differentials are tied, the tie is broken with the results of their head-to -head competition. If the goal differential among all teams tied is the same, the total of goals scored against each other is used. If the total of goals scored between the teams is equal, the goal differential between common opponents seeded higher will be used to determine ranking. This may require averaging the goal differential per game if the number of games between common opponents is unequal. Should teams be tied in won/loss record and they have not played each other, goal differentials against common opponents that are seeded above them are used. If no common opponents are seeded higher, the goal differential against the highest seeded common opponent is used.
Only one team is guranteed to at least be in the conversation at the end of the weekend as No. 17-nationally ranked Princeton enters with a 2-0 mark in division play. The Tigers clawed George Washington 11-4 on March 5 at home in DeNunzio Natatorium, and upended Harvard 11-5 on April 9 in a neutral site game at Bucknell University, to hold a one game lead versus the only other team in the division with a victory, Harvard (1-1).
Harvard, which knocked off Brown 15-5 at home on February 23, is followed by Maryland (0-0), Brown (0-1) and George Washington (0-1) in the standings.
However, the championship plaque is still very much in play for the Southern Division quintet.
Competition commences at 7:00 p.m. on the evening of Friday, April 15 at Maryland when the host Terrapins face Washington Metro nemesis George Washington. A Colonials' victory evens GW's record at 1-1, while a Terp win puts Maryland within a game of the Tigers.
Saturday, April 16 brings a pair of contests for George Washington and single division games for Harvard, Brown and Princeton.
George Washington and Harvard will clash to start the second day of competition at 11:00 a.m., before Maryland is the site of back-to-back non-Southern Division games pitting No. 13-ranked and Western Division third-place finisher Indiana versus Brown (12:30 p.m.) and Harvard (4:00 p.m.).
Southern Division action resumes at 5:30 p.m. when Brown meets George Washington looking to return to .500 in the division. The final game of the day features the host Terrapins against Princeton as Maryland will seek to knock the Tigers from the ranks of the undefeated to make it at least a two-horse race to the finish.
On Sunday, April 17, Princeton will conclude its Southern Division slate at 9:00 a.m. with a game against Brown. Maryland will factor in the remainder of the schedule as the Terrapins meet Harvard at 10:30 a.m. and conclude the regular season division and league games at 3:00 p.m. in a meeting with Brown.
Prior to the Maryland-Brown game, Indiana will travel along the Potomac River to Washington D.C. for a single game against George Washington at 1:30 p.m.