The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) begins their conference tournament alongside the rest of Division II on Tuesday, October 31. This postseason will look a little different than last season, swapping out Millersville and consistent contender West Chester with IUP and Mansfield – the former last appearing in the PSAC tournament in 2021 and the latter in 2019. Every team participating except for IUP is currently ranked in the top-ten in Division II – No. 1 Shippensburg, No. 2 East Stroudsburg, No. 3 Kutztown, No. 4 Bloomsburg, and No. 10 Mansfield.
The two quarterfinal matches will feature No. 4 Mansfield hosting No. 5 Bloomsburg and No. 3 Kutztown hosting No. 6 IUP. Previously the top PSAC seed in 2022, Kutztown fell only to No. 1 East Stroudsburg and No. 2 Shippensburg in all their games this season.
Against IUP earlier this fall, the Golden Bears won 5-0. Kutztown allowed just seven goals all year with Mia Kepler in cage — the conference’s leader in goals against average (0.44) and shutouts (10). She’ll be tested by IUP’s Jess Davidson, who netted four game-winning goals and finished tied for fifth in the PSAC with 11 goals.
No. 4 Mansfield and No. 5 Bloomsburg each finished with a 5-4 record in conference, but Mansfield claimed a 4-3 victory over the Huskies in a heated contest earlier this season. Alex Esterling scored twice for the Mounties in that win — including the game-winner at the end of regulation — and finished the season fourth in the PSAC in points with a 14-goal, four-assist campaign. Bloomsburg’s Emily Swineford, who scored to put the Huskies up 3-2 in that matchup, had a similarly strong year with 11 goals and a trio of assists.
Reigning Division II champion East Stroudsburg claimed the No. 1 seed with a 8-1 conference record – their lone loss to Bloomsburg in early October. The Warriors only other loss this season was to non-conference opponent Pace – a surprising 4-3 loss for a defense that only allowed 14 goals total on the season, and only one other game that was more than one goal allowed. The Warriors closed the year on a five-game winning steak and finished the year with the PSAC’s top scoring offense (3.7 goals per game) and second-best defense (0.8 goals allowed per game). They’ll face the winner of Mansfield and Bloomsburg.
The second seed belongs to Shippensburg, who fell in last year’s national title game and their lone PSAC loss came to the Warriors. The Raiders have three of the PSAC’s top five in points: Tess Jedeloo (17 goals, nine assists), Agus Garibaldi (13 goals, 12 assists), and Yasmin De Meyer (10 goals, two assists). After winning in 2021, Shippensburg was eliminated in the semifinals of last year’s PSAC tournament and will aim to avenge that setback and set a course for a sixth national title. They’ll face the winner of IUP and Kutztown, having beaten both teams by 3-0 and 3-2 margins in the regular season, respectively.
The championship is scheduled for Sunday, November 5.