YORK, PA – As October comes to a close, the final week of the regular season lies ahead for the fall teams at York College. For some teams, like field hockey, the path is clear, but for others, their fate in the Capital Athletic Conference playoffs will be determined in the coming days.
Let's take a look at the current state of each team's playoff picture:
Where we stand: York is 11-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play, dropping its last two games against #5 Christopher Newport and #8 Salisbury, the top-two teams in the CAC, and both are ranked inside the top 10. The Spartans sit, and will remain, third, owning tiebreakers against Mary Washington (2-3) and St. Mary's (Md.) (2-3) thanks to head-to-head wins.
Tues. Oct. 24 at #12 Franklin & Marshall – 7:00 p.m.
Thu. Oct. 26 at Frostburg St.* - 6:00 p.m.
• Because the matchup with F&M is a non-conference contest, it means nothing when considering the CAC playoffs, but it's another chance for York to boost its résumé against a nationally-ranked program as a potential at-large team in the NCAA Tournament.
• Frostburg St. is 0-5 in the CAC and out of contention for a playoff spot, and York has already clinched the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
York has clinched the No. 3 seed, and will travel to No. 2 Salisbury on Nov. 1 in the CAC playoff semifinals. Game time will be determined by the end of the week. The top five teams in the league earn a playoff berth.
Where we stand: The Spartans are 4-3-1 in the CAC and 6-8-2 overall, coming off an 8-0 win over Southern Virginia on Saturday. Currently, York holds fourth, a game ahead in the loss column of PSU Harrisburg (4-4), with a head-to-head victory over the Lions, and a game ahead in the win column of Salisbury (3-3-2). The Green and White tied the Sea Gulls on the road on October 15. York has clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Wed. Oct. 25 vs. St. Mary's (Md.)* - 7:00 p.m.
• The Seahawks are alone in second place at 7-1 in conference, just behind CNU (7-0-1) and ahead of Mary Washington (6-2). St. Mary's defeated Mary Washington earlier in the year so they hold the head-to-head tie breaker and can finish no worse than the second seed in the tournament. The Spartans have had their number, though, boasting a 29-5-1 record all-time. The two split meetings last season, both on the road, as York lost 2-1 in the final regular season game before taking down the Seahawks 1-0 in the first round of the CAC playoffs.
• York can finish as high as fourth, good enough for a home game in the first round, which can be clinched with a victory on Wednesday, but can still be earned if PSU Harrisburg and Salisbury lose or tie their final contests. PSU hosts Mary Washington (6-2), while Salisbury takes on Wesley (1-7).
• The Spartans could drop to the fifth seed with a loss to St. Mary's and a win from either PSU Harrisburg or Salisbury. Finishing fifth would mean a road game in the opening round, at the fourth seed.
• York could drop as low as the sixth seed with a loss to St. Mary's and a win from both PSU Harrisburg and Salisbury.
Where we stand: York is 3-4-1 in the CAC and in a three-way tie for the sixth and final spot in the playoffs. With a win and some help, York can finish as the fourth seed with a home game in the opening round. However, the Spartans can also be left out of the playoffs altogether. The Spartans are tied with Mary Washington and Southern Virginia and the trio sits just behind St. Mary's (3-3-2) and PSU Harrisburg (4-4).
Wed. Oct. 25 at St. Mary's (Md.)* – 3:30 p.m.
• The Seahawks and the Spartans will take on each other in what could amount to an elimination game. With a loss, the Spartans could be eliminated, but could still hold the No. 6 seed if both Mary Washington and Southern Virginia lose, as the three-way tiebreaker would push York ahead. St. Mary's could finish fourth with a win and help, but could also drop outside of the top six.
There are endless possibilities, but to be simple: with a win, York is in.
• To finish fourth: York needs to win AND needs Mary Washington to win AND Southern Virginia to win AND PSU Harrisburg to lose
• To finish fifth: York needs to win AND needs Mary Washington and Southern Virginia to lose or tie
• To finish sixth: York can still clinch a spot with a loss AND Mary Washington and Southern Virginia loss … If York ties, Mary Washington AND Southern Virginia must both tie or both lose.
• The top six teams in the league earn play-off berths.
Where we stand: The Spartans are in a three-way tie for second place at 5-2 in the CAC with Southern Virginia and Mary Washington. The top six qualify for the playoffs.
Fri. Oct. 27 vs. Christopher Newport* - 7:00 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 28 vs. Mary Washington* - 3:00 p.m.
• CNU leads the CAC at 7-0 in conference play
• Mary Washington is among the three-team tie at 5-2 with York
With each team still having to play two games in conference, there are a myriad of combinations. This much is clear: York controls its own destiny. With two wins, and a CNU loss to PSU Harrisburg, and at least one loss from Southern Virginia, the Spartans could still win the regular season CAC championship. However, possibilities also exist that the Spartans could finish sixth. The top six teams earn a place in the tournament.