CHICAGO — Will Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference women’s soccer regular-season champion Olivet Nazarene University continue its stinginess all the way through the league tournament and beyond when post-season play begins Friday at four sites? Or, will someone be able to solve the mystery that is the Tiger defense? Seven other teams will look to gain their shot in the eight-team CCAC Tournament field beginning with No. 8 seed Judson University.
In its 17 matches this season, 14 of which resulted in victory against only two defeats and one tie, Olivet Nazarene permitted a grand total of seven goals. And, three came in one non-conference affair. In the other 16 contests, the Tiger defense allowed one goal or less en route to posting 11 shutouts on the season.
Ten of those shutouts have come in the last 11 matches with the lone exception being a 1-1 tie with Trinity International University on Oct. 22. That was the only contest that kept Olivet Nazarene from winning all 12 of its league contests this season. Besides Trinity International, the three that have come the closest to defeating the Tigers were Robert Morris University Illinois, St. Ambrose University and NAIA No. 24-ranked Trinity Christian College, all of which suffered 1-0 defeats.
Those three teams are also a part of the eight-team CCAC Tournament field with Trinity Christian (15-2) as the No. 2 seed, St. Ambrose (9-6-2) at No. 4 and Robert Morris Illinois (10-6-1) at No. 5.
Also a part of the top four seeds is No. 3 Cardinal Stritch University, which comes in as the hottest team, riding a six-match winning streak. The rest of the field features No. 6 Holy Cross College (9-7-1), No. 7 Trinity International (8-8-1) and No. 8 Judson (8-8).
Besides the Olivet Nazarene-Judson matchup on Friday, Trinity International travels to Trinity Christian, Holy Cross makes the long trek to Cardinal Stritch and Robert Morris Illinois heads west to face St. Ambrose.
Semifinal-round action takes place on Tuesday (Nov. 12) with the championship tilt to be played next Friday (Nov. 15). Each of those two rounds will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.
With its regular-season conference championship, Olivet Nazarene earns a berth into the NAIA National Tournament – Opening Round field. The other berth will go to the conference tournament champion, or Trinity Christian as the regular-season runner-up if Olivet Nazarene also claims the tournament title.
For a tournament bracket, go to Bracket.
The complete tournament schedule follows:
Friday, Nov. 8 – First Round
• Game #1: No. 8 Judson (8-8) at No. 1 Olivet Nazarene (14-2-1) — 4 pm
• Game #2: No. 5 Robert Morris Illinois (10-6-1) at No. 4 St. Ambrose (9-6-2) — 6 pm
• Game #3: No. 7 Trinity International (8-8-1) at No. 2 Trinity Christian (15-2) — 1 pm
• Game #4: No. 6 Holy Cross (9-7-1) at No. 3 Cardinal Stritch (12-5-1) — 5 pm
Tuesday, Nov. 12 – Semifinal Round
• Game #5: Winner-Game #1 vs. Winner-Game #2 — TBA (at site of highest remaining seed)
• Game #6: Winner-Game #3 vs. Winner-Game #4 — TBA (at site of highest remaining seed)
Friday, Nov. 15 – Championship
• Game #7: Winner-Game #5 vs. Winner-Game #6 — TBA (at site of highest remaining seed)