The regular season came to a close with some movement in the SNA W-League Power Rankings. Although the Buffalo Flash remained in the top spot, Hudson Valley and Ottawa were benefactors of unbeaten Vancouver’s fourth draw of the year.
Buffalo closed out their unbeaten 10-0-2 campaign with a pair of dominating performances (11-0, 8-0) against the Cleveland Internationals, a club that has had an off year.
Vancouver, meanwhile, tied playoff contender Seattle 1-1 at home to finish 6-0-4, well ahead of the rest of their conference. While the draw only cost the Whitecaps a couple spots in the rankings, it doomed Seattle to the offseason as it allowed the defending two-time league champion Pali Blues to claim the second playoff berth on tiebreakers as three teams finished with 12 points in one of the most unusual finishing tables I have seen.
Pali finished 3-4-3 with all of the other clubs finishing within five points with two wins on the year. The division was tight top-to-bottom as the worst goals allowed average per game was 1.6. Pali defeated another contender Colorado Rush, 3-0, to essentially qualify for the postseason, showing the form that made them champions the past two seasons and thus putting them into the final spot of the rankings despite their record.
The Whitecaps’ draw against the Sounders was not only good news for Pali. The Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues moved into the second spot in the rankings as they captured the regular season league title on points percentage following wins versus North Jersey and at Long Island. Ottawa also moved up a spot with a 1-1 draw against playoff-bound Laval and a victory over Quebec City.
The remainder of the list remained relatively unchanged with the exception of the Rush’s drop off the Top 10 with their loss and the switch between Charlotte and Atlanta as the Silverbacks moved back in front following their season-ending victory over Charlotte to claim the division title.
Playoff clubs not in the list include the Laval Comets and New Jersey Wildcats, who could both move into the list with upsets in the postseason.
SNA W-League Power Rankings
1 – Buffalo Flash (10-0-2): Two wins over Cleveland 19-0 on aggregate.
2 – Hudson Valley QLB (11-1-0): Win versus North Jersey 2-0 and 1-0 win at Long Island.
3 – Ottawa Fury (8-1-3): Tied Laval 1-1 and beat Quebec City 4-0.
4 – Vancouver Whitecaps (6-0-4): Tied Seattle 1-1.
5 – Washington Freedom Futures (10-1-1): Won 4-1 at Northern Virginia
6 – Chicago Red Eleven (8-2-2): Idle.
7 – Toronto Lady Lynx (7-2-3): Won 4-0 against Hamilton.
8 – Atlanta Silverbacks (7-2-1): Won 2-1 against Charlotte.
9 – Charlotte Lady Eagles (5-3-2): Lost 1-2 to Atlanta, but finished with fewest GA.
10 – Pali Blues (3-4-3): Victory 4-0 over Colorado Rush.
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