Just over a month ago two-year captain and former Pentucket Sachem Colleen Liffers earned her first ever New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference player of the week on Sept. 12 by scoring a pair of goals including the game-winning goal versus Western Connecticut State, and helping to hold Middlebury to a 1-1 tie.
Primarily a center defender for Wheaton College women's soccer team, who have been in and out of the NSCAA Division 3 rankings this season, Liffers said she is finally fully fit after tearing her ACL her sophomore season — an injury she said still plagued her last season.
"I feel solid and comfortable again, back to the old me, which is good," Liffers said. "The season is going pretty well. We lost two games in our conference — one to Clark and one to MIT — which were pretty tough losses, but we bounced back and tied Bowdoin in our last game.
"We've got a good team and we're looking to make a run into our conference tournament," continued Liffers, who has three goals on the season. "My freshmen year we won the conference (in the regular season) and the conference tournament, but the last two years we won the conference and didn't win the tourney. Our goal every year is to finish first in our conference then get an automatic NCAA tournament berth by winning our conference tournament. Right now we're just focused on one step at a time."
Working back up the ladder
In his first season at Keene State (8-4-2, 3-0-1), Nick Allman has helped the Owls as the team's second choice keeper top the Little East Conference standings.
Rotating three keepers thus far, Allman ranks second for the Owls in minutes played (432:39), saves (21) and games played (6), and was in the net for one the team's biggest victories of the year when they upset at the time the No. 12-ranked team in Division 3 Eastern Connecticut State, 2-1.
After going into overtime three of the last four games and five times overall throughout the season, Allman said the wear and tear of those extra minutes of running had taken its toll on the team through injuries and the Owls' recent 1-2-2 slump.
"We should have a couple more wins," said Allman, who said his coach has rotated the three goalies based on performance in practice. "We lost last night and we tied the previous two games, but we've been struggling with injuries, which is a common thing halfway through the season."
Transferring to Keene State for the 2010 semester after having taken last fall off, Allman has been working hard to get back into game shape.
"I've been working hard, I lost 38 pounds since I've been here, and I'm still working to get back to where I was after not playing in a season last year," Allman said. "Once I get back into the swing of things with a summer program to develop more muscle, I definitely feel I can start next season."
Seeking a national title
Former Georgetown Royal Jackie Evans is down to her senior season at Saint Rose College and the Golden Knights currently reside nationally as the No. 1-ranked Division 2 girls soccer team at 14-0 owning a ridiculous 58-5 goals for to goals against ratio.
Evans, who has two goals and an assist as one of the top subs off the bench, said the team is focused on upcoming Northeast-10 rival Merrimack College, working to prepare for the Warriors' shape and how to navigate it. However, after falling short in the national title game the past two seasons, Evans also admitted winning a national title is the team's ultimate goal.
"I think it's on the minds of everyone on the team," Evans said. "It's nothing tactically, we're taking it one game at a time, it's more of a mental thing and how focused we are. We have to get through the little things to achieve our ultimate goal to get back to the Final Four and win the whole thing."
All decked out
After earning co-Daily News girls soccer player of the year honors last fall, Georgetown's Casey Decareau is enjoying a very good start to her collegiate career at Lesley University.
The freshman has scored three goals — two of which were on headers on corners — and added one assist, a game-winner in double-overtime Wednesday versus Becker College, to help the Lynx (8-4-2, 4-0-1) to the top of the New England Collegiate Conference standings. Decareau, who played all over the field throughout her Royal career before playing center midfield last fall, has been just as versatile for the Lynx, playing center defense, outside back, center mid, forward and primarily outside right mid.
Decareau — who has enjoyed having a new coach, a new playing style and new teammates — said the key to Lesley's season so far has been their offensive onslaught. The Lynx have nearly 200 more shots than Mitchell, their next closest competitor in the NECC — 320 (Lesley) to 142 (Mitchell).
Merrimac's Matt Fiore — a starting defensive tackle for Plymouth State — has recorded 13 tackles, four solo, and 1.5 sacks for the Panthers, who are 5-1 so far on the season.
Former Triton Viking Eric Pacy of Rowley currently ranks second on the UMass Dartmouth football team with 212 rushing yards and first on the team with three rushing touchdowns. Two weekends ago Pacy scored the game-winning touchdown versus MIT.
Newburyport 'triplets' update
Laura Muise and Jillian Kinter have each scored three goals and had one assist for Bentley and Colgate, respectively. But the two former Clippers' teams have struggled in their sophomore seasons. Bentley is yet to win, sporting an 0-11-2 record, while Colgate played a brutal non-conference schedule to start the season and are just 4-10 overall with a 1-2 conference record after having won the Patriot League the previous two seasons.
Taylor Bresnahan's Union Dutchwomen are doing much better at 11-2 (3-1), and the sophomore scored a big goal last Saturday against St. Lawrence, bagging the game-winner with five seconds to go in double-overtime. To date Bresnahan has scored five goals and had one assist.