Thursday, October 29, 2009

The playoff picture

As the end of the fall season nears, four Huskies teams are looking towards a possible playoff run. Here's a rundown of what it will take for each of these squads to enter the CAA Tournament.

The men's soccer team currently sits on top of the CAA rankings with a record of 7-1 in conference play. The four teams that trail are within two wins of the Huskies with just a few games left. George Mason, which sits five points back in the standings, can help the Huskies clinch with a loss or a tie in either of their two remaining games. NU can also clinch a spot by winning one more match. The race to host the conference tournament, however, is coming down to the wire. While Northeastern leads with 21 points, three teams sit within two points of the top. Wins are worth three points. UNC Wilmington sits in second with 20 points, followed by William and Mary and Hofstra who have 19 each. A loss or tie by any team in the top four could shuffle up the standings. William and Mary and Hofstra have just two matches remaining while the Huskies and UNC Wilmington have three left apiece.

On Saturday, the team heads to William and Mary for a pivotal match against the third-place Tribe. A win would clinch a playoff spot for the Huskies and guarantee that the Tribe wouldn't host the conference tournament. A loss would vault William and Mary ahead of NU in the standings.

With the Huskies' win over VCU last Sunday, they clinched a spot in the upcoming CAA tournament. Now, in the final game of the regular season, the Huskies will face Hofstra Saturday at 2 p.m. to determine which team will take home the regular season crown and host the conference tournament. Northeastern currently sits in second place, two points behind first-place Hofstra. The Pride and the Huskies are the only two teams to have clinched a playoff birth thus far. If the Huskies win on Saturday, they will gain three points to finish in first place and bring the tournament to Parsons Field. If they tie or lose, the tournament will be held at Hofstra's field in Hempstead, N.Y.

One game decides the conference champion. Don't miss this match Saturday at Parsons Field. Live stats will be available at game time and the match will be streamed live at GoNU.TV.

The Huskies sit at 11-11 overall and 4-5 in CAA play, just two games out of the playoff picture. The Huskies have the benefit of playing four of their last five games at home against four teams with a combined record of 13-30 in the conference.

The road to the playoffs will still be tough. The Huskies must finish ahead of George Mason to secure the final playoff spot. Northeastern currently sits in a tie for fifth place with Hofstra, who the Huskies face on Saturday, October 31 at 1 p.m. George Mason stands in at fourth with a 6-3 record. If Northeastern and George Mason finish with identical records, the tiebreaker is given to George Mason based on the head-to-head matchup between the two teams. Every match is crucial from here on out.

The field hockey team's 3-3 conference record currently sets them at sixth in the CAA. With two matches to go there are several scenarios which will see the Huskies into the playoffs. By any method, the team will have to win out. If NU accomplishes this feat and Hofstra and Old Dominion lose their remaining games, they will make the playoffs. They can also squeeze in if Hofstra loses one match, Old Dominion wins one match and Delaware finishes first in the conference. This is because that scenario would cause a three-way tie which is given to the team with the best record against the conference champion. The Huskies 1-0 win over Delaware on Oct. 11 could prove to be the difference.

In any case, they will need a win on Sunday as James Madison comes to Sweeney Field on Senior Day at 2 p.m. Live stats will be available at game time and the match will be streamed live at GoNU.TV.

For the latest on the playoff hunt and all Northeastern sports, be sure to check out

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