My Buckhannon Sports Analysis: Breaking down Wesleyan’s post-season tournament hopes in soccer

BUCKHANNON – With the MEC men’s soccer tournament less than 10 days away, the West Virginia Wesleyan men’s soccer team picked up a much needed victory over the visiting West Liberty Hilltoppers Sunday.

The ‘Cats earned a 1-0 victory behind a goal by Charlie Naylor in the eighth minute of the contest.

With just two games left, let’s take a look at the post-season possibilities for the Bobcats.

Then men at this point are a long shot to make the postseason tournament but they still have a chance and that is all they can ask for.

The ‘Cats have had an injury-riddled season this fall, but if they win their final two games, they will make it into the MEC Tournament.

Let’s take a look at the standings of the top five in the MEC.

Team                                     Conf.                     Overall                                  Points                    Pts. Average

Davis Elkins                         11-0-2                   14-0-2                                   35                           2.69

Charleston                          13-1-1                   14-1-1                                   40                           2.67

Notre Dame                       7-3-2                     8-3-2                                      23                           1.91

Frostburg State                  7-8                        7-8-1                                      21                           1.40

W. Va. Wesleyan               5-7-2                      7-7-2                                      17                           1.21

Yeah, it’s a little wonky at the top, but to make sense of it, the MEC awards three points for a win and one for a tie in conference play and take the top four teams.

With the imbalance of games on the men’s side this year, the top four will be decided by conference points per game this season.

As you can see, Wesleyan can still catch Frostburg State in the standings, and guess who is next on the Wesleyan schedule. You guessed it, Frostburg State…on the road, Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Wesleyan already has a 2-0 home win back on Oct. 6 over Frostburg State, so a win there on Wednesday would give the Bobcats any and all tiebreaking formulas in their favor.

Now this is where the hard part of making the tournament comes in for the ‘Cats. They end their season with a home game Sunday with league-leading Davis & Elkins.

The Senators are not only unbeaten and on top of the league, but they are currently ranked second in the nation.

Frostburg State will end their season with the Bobcats, so if Wesleyan can beat Frostburg State Wednesday and could someone how at least earn a tie or get the upset win over the Senators on Sunday, they should be in line for that fourth and final tournament spot.

As far as the Lady Bobcats go, they have been eliminated from playoff contention with two games remaining. With more teams playing soccer on the women’s side, the MEC has the conference split into two divisions with Wesleyan playing in the South. The MEC takes the top three teams from each division. A look of the top four in the South Division shakes out like this.

Team                                     Conf.                     Overall                                  Points                    Pts. Average

Concord                             11-0-3                   13-0-3                                    36                           2.57

Charleston                          11-3                       12-4                                       33                           2.36

West Virginia State          9-4-1                     10-5-1                                   28                           2.00

W. Va. Wesleyan               7-6-1                      7-7-2                                     22                           1.57

Wesleyan’s schedule this week is at Wheeling Wednesday and hosting Davis & Elkins Sunday. While on paper those should be games where Wesleyan can get the victory, unfortunately for the Wesleyan women, even if they win both, the best they can do is tie West Virginia State, and the tiebreaker goes to the Yellow Jackets after they swept Wesleyan  in a pair of regular-season games.

It’s a shame for the Lady ‘Cats as well because if they played in the North Division, they easily could finish as high as second in the lesser division.

The men’s post season tournament begins on Thursday, Nov. 11. While the women’s tournament will begin two days earlier on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

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