Phoenix Can Clinch Playoff Berth on Senior Day
By Justin Grones
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay women's soccer team (5-10-1, 2-3-1 HL) will honor its two seniors, Megan Braatz (Waukesha, Wis.) and Chanel Aries (Calgary, Alberta) in a key Senior Day matchup at Aldo Santaga Stadium on Saturday. The Phoenix, currently holding the number six spot in the standings and final postseason slot in the Horizon League Championship, will face Valparaiso (9-5-3, 2-2-2 HL) at 1 p.m.
After Braatz delivered in the 86th minute to give the Phoenix a 1-0 win at Loyola on Tuesday, Green Bay jumped from the number eight spot to the number six spot in the conference standings. With seven points in the standings, the Phoenix leads Youngstown State and Cleveland State by one point. Currently in seventh place, Youngstown State will host third-place Wright State Saturday at noon. Cleveland State travels to play second-place Milwaukee Friday at 7 p.m.
If Green Bay, Youngstown State and Cleveland State all win or all lose this weekend, Green Bay will remain in the final playoff spot and could jump as high as the number three spot in the Horizon League standings with a win. The Phoenix could be unseated from the number six spot with a loss and wins by either Youngstown State or Cleveland State. If Green Bay loses and Youngstown State ties, the Phoenix will remain in the number six spot due to a 1-0 overtime win over the Penguins this season. If Green Bay loses and Cleveland State ties, the Vikings will take the sixth spot after defeating Green Bay 1-0 in double overtime on Oct. 3.
Following the win over Loyola, Green Bay returns to Santaga Stadium for the final regular season home game against Valparaiso. The Crusaders played their last two games at home, dropping a 1-0 contest to visiting Youngstown State on Oct. 20 and tying Loyola 0-0 on Monday. Although dominant at home, Valparaiso is an even 3-3-1 on the road this season.
If Green Bay remains in sixth place or higher, the team would participate in the Horizon League tournament for the first time since 2009, being held Oct. 30 and Nov. 2-4. Seedings, game times and locations will be announced following the conclusion of the regular season this weekend.
GOING OUT WITH A BANG: With her goal on Tuesday, Braatz now has five goals in her senior campaign, the most scored by a Phoenix player since the 2006 season. Braatz is in a second-place tie for goals scored in the Horizon League, and is tied for the third-place spot in points with 13.
ALL-TIME NOTES: Green Bay holds an 8-4-2 record all-time against Valparaiso, dating back to 1993. Green Bay won the first eight meetings from 1993-2001, and then didn't face Valpo again until 2007. Green Bay fell 1-0 on the road in 2011, and battled the Crusaders to a scoreless tie the last time they visited Santaga Stadium in 2010.
DOUBLE TROUBLE: For the first time since 2003, Green Bay has two goalkeepers with
shutouts in a season. Freshman Nastacia
Behle (St. Paul, Mo.) picked up her first career shutout in Green Bay's 1-0
win over Loyola on Tuesday. Behle joins sophomore Katy Pilarzyk (Madison, Wis.) who recorded a shutout on Aug. 31st
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