September 4, 2018

Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 1

By D3soccer.com Contributor

The first week of the season is officially in the books after a packed weekend of action. Let’s take a look at some of the storylines on the men’s side around the region.

Emory takes 2

Coming off a run to the 2017 NCAA Elite 8 the Emory Eagles (2-0-0) got their 2018 season underway in fine fashion over the weekend in the Sonny Carter Invitational. The Eagles came away with 2 victories after handling Hardin-Simmons (0-2-0) 2-0 on Friday and then outlasting highly touted Washington and Lee (1-1-0) Saturday in a 5-4 OT instant classic.

The last we saw the Eagles they were a PK shootout away from a 2017 NCAA Final Four berth. On Saturday against the Washington and Lee Generals they were looking to avenge an early 2017 loss. They went up 1-0 early but by the 26th minute found themselves down 3-1. That’s how the first half ended.

While the run of play was about even the Eagles managed to keep finding the net and built a 4-3 lead after 74 minutes. But the Generals struck back as junior defender Griffin Scott knocked it in off a corner in the 82nd to knot it 4-4 and send it to OT.

Eagle senior Moustafa Khattab needed little of the extra time as he sent a screamer through a crowded box just 70 seconds in for the game winner. It was Khattab’s 11th game-winning goal of his career and 2nd of 2018.

Cortland State holds on to tie Messiah 2-2

On Friday the Cortland State Red Dragons (1-0-1) traveled to Grantham, PA to start their season and gave defending national champion Messiah Falcons (1-0-1) all they could handle. Freshman Anthony Ruggiero gave the Red Dragons a quick lead in the 4th minute with Leke Dossou connecting 20 minutes later for a 2-0 halftime lead.

The Falcons battled back with goals by junior Brit Haseltine in the 31st minute and sophomore Joseph King leveled early in the second half. They continued the pressure outshooting their guests 6-1 over the 2 OT periods but Red Dragon junior goalie Sean Kelly kept the game even.

On Saturday each team got their first wins of the season as Messiah took out Whitworth (0-2-0) 3-0 and Cortland State got by Gettysburg (1-1-0) 4-1.

Johns Hopkins hits the ground running

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays, an NCAA Sweet 16 team in 2017, took both of its weekend games. On Friday they bested the tough, injury riddled Hampden-Sydney Tigers (0-2-0) 2-1. On Saturday freshman Herson Morales scored before 2 minutes were played against the North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops (0-2-0). The Blue Jays would net 2 more to win 3-0 while sophomore goalie Xander LeFevre earned the first clean sheet of his career.

Centenary takes down Drew, 1-0

It would be hard to come up with a more impactful first head coaching win than Josh Spivack’s Centenary (N.J.) Cyclones (1-1-0) victory over the Drew Rangers (1-1-0) Saturday afternoon in the final game of the Drew Fall Festival. Drew is coming off a 2017 season that saw a 21-1-1 record, culminating in a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance.

Spivack credits a well communicated and executed tactical plan and overall team hard work for getting the result. Drew controlled most of the action, but the Cyclones never broke. Senior Josh Weiss’ first goal of the season was the late winner. Senior goalie Devon Warne posted the shutout.

Christopher Newport overwhelms

The Captains of Christopher Newport (2-0-0) put up two 6-goal performances over the weekend taking out the Greensboro Pride (1-1-0) by a score of 6-1 and the Pfeiffer Falcons (1-1-0) by a score of 6-0. On the weekend Senior Stephan Durbin led the way with 3 goals and an assist while the clean sheet in goal against Pfeiffer was shared between senior goal keepers Zach Pedini and Luke Pfeifer.

Montclair, Oneonta State battle to a very wet draw

At game time the weather was actually very nice. By halftime it was raining. By end of regulation it was pouring. And the weather got even worse as the teams fought through the two overtime periods. In the end it was a hard fought 1-1 draw as Montclair State (1-0-1) traveled to Oneonta State (0-0-1) to start the season.

After a scoreless first half Junior forward Jose Huerta converted a PK in the 53rd minute for the visiting Red Hawks. The host Red Dragons stepped up their play from point on. Senior midfielder Nicholas Plate made it 1-1 just 3 minutes later off a nice touch from Austin Hughes. The home team had the better of play the rest of the way but neither team could find the net again.

Senior goalie Mike Saalfrank stopped 11 shots for the Jersey squad while senior Nicholas Giordano stopped 3 shots for the upstaters.

Games we’ll be watching this week

Emory challenges the NJAC squaring off against Rutgers-Camden on the 8th and Rowan on the 9th. Drew journeys to Johns Hopkins, Stevens visits Oneonta.

Lycoming visits Carnegie Mellon, Lynchburg visits Christopher NewportOglethorpe entertains Mary Hardin-Baylor while Messiah travels to Montclair State.

 

 


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Atlantic Spotlight

 

The weekly Atlantic Spotlight will survey the top Division III men's conferences and teams in the combined NCAA Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Regions consisting of fifteen states.  The primary ones are Pennsylvania (45), Virginia (18), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10, North Carolina (9), Georgia (8), and New York (7). The remaining states are home to three or fewer schools with conference ties elsewhere: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

 

With so much territory to cover in a single column, we will focus primarily on the tradionally stronger conferences such as the CAC, Centennial, Landmark, Commonwealth, and the NJAC.  Expect to see contests involving teams in our Top 25 typically against perceived stronger opponents along with teams on the rise.

 

We will look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances, identifying who is trending up and who is trending down each week.

Questions or comments?

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