Snubbed by an NCAA Division III playoff selection committee last season, the Chapman women's soccer team is doing its best to make that an unlikely occurrence this year.
The Panthers had their best season in school history last season at 13-6, but only one team from California, UC San Diego, moved on to the postseason.
UC San Diego is again the class of the west--the Tritons beat Chapman, 4-0, this month--but the Panthers (9-4) haven't lost to any other West Region team. Chapman has four games remaining before the Division III playoff field is selected Oct. 29 and Coach Gregg Murphy believes his team controls its destiny.
"We're in good shape," Murphy said. "We just have to take care of the games we have left and then cross our fingers that the committee decides to take two teams."
The Panthers play at Whittier, last place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Friday and play host to traditionally strong Concordia (Minn.) Sunday.
Murphy says Chapman is better than it was last season. "We definitely have more depth," he said. "We don't have any more skill or creativity than we had last year but we have more players willing to work hard and who play well when the time comes."
One of the harder working players is Kim Wyer, a junior transfer from Cypress College who played in high school at Savanna. Wyer, a forward, is the team's leading scorer with 15 goals and five assists. Cindy LeClair, the leading scorer last season, has 14 goals and four assists.
As the top-ranked team in the West Region, the Chapman men's team is in a more comfortable position, but Murphy isn't taking anything for granted.
"We are not even talking about the playoffs," he said. "We are concentrating on playing well in every game and letting the postseason take care of itself."
Chapman (12-3) is led by Gary Hurtarte with 10 goals and one assist, Dustin Kemmerer with eight goals and seven assists and Eric Hurtarte with five goals and four assists. Goalkeeper Craig Bennett has six shutouts and given up only 10 goals all season. Only Division I Cal State Fullerton, which beat Chapman, 3-1, scored more than one goal in a game against Bennett and the Panther defense.
The SCC men's soccer team moved into second place in the Coastal Division of the Golden State Athletic Conference with a 3-1 victory over Cal Baptist Tuesday.
The Vanguards (8-7-1, 3-2-1 in conference) play host to Azusa Pacific, ranked No. 14 in the NAIA, at 7 p.m. Saturday. With four conference games remaining, SCC is one point ahead of Point Loma Nazarene (7-8, 3-3) for the Coastal Division's second and final playoff spot.
Milestone: Pacific Christian's Ryan Bean scored the 100th goal of his college soccer career in a 9-0 victory over La Sierra last Thursday.
Bean, a junior from Kennedy High, had three goals in the game to give him 102. He has 28 this season and 111 in his career for the Royals (11-4-1). Mark Campbell, a freshman from Jamaica, is the second-leading scorer with 21 goals.
PCC, which lost in the title game of the National Christian College Athletic Assn. Division II championship last season, has moved up to Division I and has been invited to the national tournament, Nov. 14-18 in Cleveland, Tenn.
Rout rehash: Highlights of Chapman's 79-13 football victory over Menlo Saturday are scheduled to be shown at halftime of the Clemson-Maryland game Saturday on Prime Sports.
Here are a few choice details from the game:
--Receiver Oscar Ford touched the ball three times--on the opening kickoff and two pass receptions--and scored each time.
--Chapman quarterbacks Josh Bravo and Jacob Galasso completed a total of four passes, all for touchdowns.
--The Panthers gained a school-record 623 yards in total offense, averaging more than 15 yards per play, and the 79 points was the most for a Division III team this season.
The Panthers are idle this week. Their final three games of the regular season are at home, starting with Redlands Oct. 28.
Lisa Cancilla, an All-American shortstop on Chapman's Division III champion softball team, got a belated honor when it was discovered that instead of striking out once in 139 at-bats last season as Chapman statistics showed, she never struck out. The NCAA was notified and a deal was struck. Cancilla will be listed at the top of the rankings in the "Toughest to Strike Out" category, but Traci Anderson of Wittenberg, who didn't strike out in 118 at-bats, will still be considered the champion and get to keep her plaque. Said Chapman co-Coach Janet Lloyd, who owns a trophy-making business: "I'll make her a plaque myself." . . . Chapman quarterback Curtis Robinson is scheduled to have reconstructive knee surgery today. Robinson, who is still awaiting word from the NCAA on a hardship medical redshirt appeal, injured his anterior cruciate ligament in Chapman's third game of the season. . . . The Chapman women's basketball team is ranked 16th in the nation in the Columbus Multimedia preseason Division III poll.