Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 8
By D3soccer.com Contributor
As some of the Atlantic region's top teams head in different directions towards the end of the regular season, the national compass continues to point West. Messiah's Nick West set an NCAA D3 record with a goal in his 15th consecutive match, but the top team in the country is not the only side streaking into the post season. Let's take a look:
Messiah stops Lycoming`s win streak, West sets national scoring record
As competition ramps up the script remains the same for the No. 1 Messiah Falcons (14-0-2 / 7-0-0). That is, a strong defense and senior Nick West finding the net. On Wednesday, the No. 13 Lycoming Warriors (13-2-1 / 5-1-0) came to town riding a 10-game win streak and – for the most part – played toe-to-toe with the defending national champions.
West scored in the 9th and 84th minutes to bookend the Falcons` 2-0 victory. The Warriors did create several dangerous moments in the contest, but the Falcons defense kept their shape and diffused any and all threats.
Later in the week, during the Falcons` 5-0 win against Widener (6-9-1 / 0-5-1), West scored his 24th goal of the season. At the top of the national leaderboard, he has now scored in 15 consecutive matches, which ties the long standing (Nov. 2, 2002) NCAA D3 record.
Washington and Lee surges to ODAC lead
Two tidy shutouts by the Generals of Washington and Lee (10-3-1 / 8-0-1) sends them into the ODAC top spot. On Wednesday, against the Bridgewater (Va.) Eagles (9-5-1 / 6-2-1), after 63 tight minutes, they got three late scores in the 3-0 victory. On Saturday against the Maroons of Roanoke (8-4-3 / 4-2-3) freshman goal keeper Michael Nyc improved his record to 9-1-1 with his third shutout of the year.
With one conference game left to play the Generals lead the Lynchburg Hornets by three points in the standings. They do not face each other in conference play this year.
Bridgewater (Va.) makes statement in Lynchburg
Three consecutive losses over four days in early September was probably not a true indication of the Bridgewater (Va.) Eagles (9-5-1 / 6-2-1) true potential. They have generally played well since then and find themselves in the top half of the ODAC standings. After taking it on the chin against the W&L Generals earlier in the week they responded on Saturday night by upending the No. 5 Lynchburg Hornets` (11-1-2 / 7-1-1) unbeaten season.
Playing in Lynchburg, the Eagles scored twice in the first 21 minutes and held from there in the 2-0 win. In the 10th minute, Senior Jason Heiston found the net and 11 minutes later it was freshman Luke Stubbs doubling the lead. From then on it was constant pressure from the Hornets. Austin Kues hit the post and there were several bouncing-in-front scrums where the Eagles defense were finally able to clear.
CAC bunched at the top
There’s one game left to play, three teams are tied at 4-1-1, and they went 1-1-0 against each other during the regular season. So, we will need deep tiebreaking to determine the two first round conference tourney byes and which team winds up as the third seed. The Eagles, Seahawks, and Sea Gulls respectively of No. 17 Mary Washington (11-1-3), St Mary`s (Md.) (11-2-3), and Salisbury (11-2-2) all won their two conferences matches this past week leading to a logjam at the top.
Five different players scored in the Eagles 5-0 win against Penn State-Harrisburg (14-3-2 / 1-3-2). They then needed a late Ryan Van Maanen goal against Christopher Newport for a 1-0 win. Keeper Ken Kurtz pick up both shutouts.
In a game much closer than the score would suggest the Seahawks topped York (Pa.) (9-5-2 / 2-2-2) 3-0 getting a goal and an assist from juniors Josh McRobie and Brad Moore. Later in the week they bested Penn State-Harrisburg 4-1.
The Sea Gulls might have been outplayed in their 1-0 win against Christopher Newport (6-8-0 / 2-4-0) but got an 89th minute header goal from Robbie Budd to squeak by. They then travelled to Southern Virginia (1-16-0 / 0-6-0) where they outshot the hosts 24-3 and, while scoreless at the break, won going away 4-0.
Montclair locks up NJAC, Ramapo big win at Rowan
With one game still to play, the Montclair State Red Hawks (14-1-2 / 7-0-1) have locked up the NJAC top seed after holding off TCNJ (9-6-2 / 2-4-2) on Saturday evening. Junior Jose Huerta`s second goal of the game was the difference in the back-and-forth 4-3 Red Hawk win. Sophomore Chaz Burnett pitched in with a goal and an assist while senior Rafael Terci`s converted penalty kick gave the Red Hawks an early 1-0 lead.
The Red Hawks are unbeaten in 12 straight and the win gave senior keeper Michael Saalfrank his 56th career victory, tying him for Montclair’s all-time lead.
Also on Saturday, the Ramapo Roadrunners (13-2-2 / 5-2-1) travelled the length of NJ to face the Rowan Profs (11-5-0 / 5-3-0) in a match which may determine the conference tourney’s second seed. The Profs had the better run of play leading in shots 21-11 and corners 11-0, but it was the technical ability of Joe Fala in front that made the difference. The sophomore scored his 21st and 22nd goals of the season in the Roadrunners` 2-1 win. Fala trails only Messiah`s West in D3 goal scoring.
The Roadrunners sit tied for second in the conference with Rutgers-Camden (12-4-2 / 5-2-1) and just a point ahead of the Profs.
Haverford, Johns Hopkins pace Centennial Conference standings
With five consecutive Centennial Conference wins, the Haverford Fords (9-4-0 / 6-1-0) find themselves tied for the conference lead heading into the last week of the season. With a game-in-hand, the Fords and the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (12-3-1 / 6-2-0) both have 18 points. The Fords hold the tiebreaker against the Blue Jays should they need it.
This past week, the Fords pitched two conference shutouts. On Wednesday they blanked the Ursinus Bears (0-12-3 / 0-8-0) 3-0 while out shooting the Bears 12-2. On Saturday, against a very competitive Dickinson Red Devils team (10-4-2 / 5-2-1), they netted a goal in each half, hit the frame several times, and junior keeper Michael Iacono made eight saves to secure his fourth shutout of the year.
The Blue Jays also picked up two conference wins this week by stopping McDaniel (6-7-2 / 1-6-1) on Wednesday 2-1 and then getting a shutout of Ursinus 3-0 later in the week.
They sit atop the standing with Franklin & Marshall (12-2-2 / 5-2-1) just a point behind and Dickinson just another point behind them.
Elizabethtown in LAND conference lead, Catholic awaits
After opening conference play with a draw, the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (7-4-3 / 5-0-1) have run off five straight conference wins. On Wednesday, just three minutes after Moravian (6-7-2 / 3-3-0) had made it 1-1, junior JD Haaf found the net for the 2-1 game winner. It was a rather chippy affair with 36 total fouls and six bookings (5Y, 1R).
Playing in front of a Homecoming crowd on Saturday the Blue Jays gave up an early score to Goucher (5-10-1 / 2-4-0) but rattled off three goals over the next nine minutes in a going away 5-1 win. Senior Gilbert Waso had a goal and two assists to pace the home team.
The Catholic Cardinals (9-5-0 / 5-1-0) sit just behind the Blue Jays in the fight for the top tourney seed and are the home team as the two face off against each other this Saturday.
Eastern undefeated in MAC Freedom
The Eastern Eagles (13-2-1 / 6-0-0) have run the table so far in MAC Freedom dominating play by outscoring the competition 19-2 with one game to play. But that game this Saturday is against the King`s Monarchs (10-4-2 / 5-1-0) who are just behind them in the standings.
This past week both teams picked up two conference shutouts, but it was the Eagles who struggled just a bit. On Saturday, on the road against DeSales (5-9-1 / 1-5-0), they needed overtime to subdue the Bulldogs. In the 95th minute freshman midfielder Bryce Wahinya tallied the first goal of his career to stun the home team.
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