August 25, 2014

Midwest Roundup - 2014 Men's Preview

By Staff Writer

The Division III Soccer season officially begins this weekend! As teams wrap-up preseason and their final exhibitions, it is shaping up to be a great year of D-III soccer.

The Midwest region is once again loaded with talented teams and players. Each week, we will survey the D-III men's soccer landscape throughout Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee and look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances in several of the region’s conferences: North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC), Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC), St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), and Southern Athletic Association (SAA). We’ll also look outside these conferences and even “Outside the Area” for additional games to highlight.

This week we will preview the conference favorites and other top teams from the region, highlight players to keep an eye on, and list the top match-ups to anticipate opening weekend.


Conference Previews . . .

North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)

Men’s Preview

Last Year’s Champions

Regular Season: Ohio Wesleyan

Tournament: Ohio Wesleyan

Preseason Top 4

1. Ohio Wesleyan

2. Kenyon

3. DePauw

4. Oberlin

Conference Preview

In head coach Jay Martin’s 38th season, Ohio Wesleyan continues to set the bar for the NCAC. The Battling Bishops are coming off their sixth straight NCAC championship. Kenyon, DePauw, Oberlin, and Denison will do their best to beat out the 2011 National Champions. Kenyon comes off a Sweet 16 appearance in last year’s NCAA Tournament where they lost to eventual national champions Messiah. Read more in the NCAC 2014 Preview.

Players to Watch (2013 Honors shown)

M - Colton Bloecher (Sr.), Ohio Wesleyan | & NSCAA All-American, NSCAA Scholar All-American, All-Region, NCAC Off. POY

F - Andy Morrisson (Sr.), DePauw | & NSCAA All-American, All-Region, All-NCAC

F - John Ingham (Jr.), Oberlin | NSCAA All-Region, All-NCAC

F - Brian Schafer (Jr.), Ohio Wesleyan | NSCAA All-Region, All-NCAC

M - Samuek Justice (Sr.), Kenyon | NSCAA All-Region, All-NCAC

Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC)

Men’s Preview

Last Year’s Champions

Regular Season: Earlham

Tournament: Rose-Hulman

Preseason Top 4

1. Rose-Hulman

2. Hanover

3. Transylvania

4. Anderson

Conference Preview

Coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance which saw them win two games, Rose-Hulman has been selected to win the 2014 HCAC crown. Hanover looks to win their first ever HCAC title while Transy looks to return to the top in Head Coach Matt Vogel’s first season at the helm. It is shaping up to be a very competitive season in the Heartland. Read more in the HCAC 2014 Preview.

Players to Watch (2013 Honors shown)

GK - Drew Miller (Sr.), Rose-Hulman | NSCAA All-Region, All-HCAC

F - Todd Canal (Sr.), Anderson | NSCAA All-Region, All-HCAC

F - Matt Eldridge (So.), Hanover | HCAC Freshman of the Year, All-HCAC

D - Andrew Bartush (Sr.), Rose-Hulman | All-HCAC

D - Daniel Mudd (Sr.), Transylvania

St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)

Men’s Preview

Last Year’s Champions

Regular Season: Westminster, Webster, Fontbonne

Tournament: Westminster

Preseason Top 4

1. Westminster

2. Webster

3. Fontbonne

4. Spalding

Conference Preview

Westminster (Mo.) made lots of noise last year when they won back-to-back games in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history, losing to eventual national semi-finalists Loras. Andrew Bordelon looks to repeat in his second year in charge while Webster, Fontbonne, and Spalding will all look to knock off the defending conference champions this fall. Read more in the SLIAC 2014 Preview.

Players to Watch (2013 Honors shown)

M - Drew Cook (So.), Westminster | All-SLIAC

M - Julio De Leon (Jr.), Spalding | NSCAA All-Region, All-SLIAC

D - Jacob Stieb (Sr.), Webster | NSCAA All-Region, All-SLIAC

D - Daryl Doran (Jr.), Westminster | All-SLIAC

M - Tim Menzel (Sr.), Fontbonne | All-SLIAC

Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC)

Men’s Preview

Last Year’s Champions

Regular Season: Ohio Northern

Tournament: Ohio Northern

Preseason Top 4

1. Ohio Northern

2. John Carroll

3. Mount Union

4. Capital/Baldwin-Wallace

Conference Preview

Head Coach Brent Ridenour and Ohio Northern will look to continue their dominance of the OAC this fall, as they come off their fourth-straight OAC Tournament championship and third straight OAC regular season title. John Carroll, who finished just two points behind ONU in last year’s standings before also falling to them in the conference final, hopes to upend the powerhouse program in pursuit of a conference title. After productive seasons in 2013, Mount Union, Capital, and Baldwin-Wallace also have high hopes entering the new campaign. Read more in the OAC 2014 Preview.

Players to Watch (2013 Honors shown)

F - Matt Kinkopf, Ohio Northern | NSCAA All-Region, All-OAC

F - Brian Potocnik (Sr.), John Carroll | NSCAA All-Region, All-OAC

D - Martin Holmquist (Sr.), Wilmington | OAC Defender of the Year

M - Hamid Shariff (Sr.), Heidelberg | OAC Midfielder of the Year

D - Chase Mueller (Jr.), Ohio Northern | All-OAC

Southern Athletic Association (SAA)

Men’s Preview

Last Year’s Champions

Regular Season: Millsaps

Tournament: Oglethorpe

Last Year’s Final Standings (no preseason poll)

1. Millsaps

T2. Berry

T2. Oglethorpe

4. Centre

Conference Preview

It is a big year for the SAA as they will receive an AQ to the NCAA Tournament for the first time after a mandatory two-year waiting period in which teams were Pool B at-large candidates. Millsaps looks to repeat their impressive display in 2013, while Berry, Oglethorpe, and Centre all return strong teams and will threaten for the conference title.

Players to Watch (2013 Honors shown)

D - Jeremy Carlson (Sr.), Centre | NSCAA All-Region, All-SAA

F - Nico Roth (Jr.), Millsaps | SAA Newcomer of the Year

GK - Vaughn Moore (So.), Oglethorpe | All-SAA)

F - Caleb Lucas (Jr.), Berry | All-SAA

F - Cameron Miller (Sr.), Centre | All-SAA

F - Luka Elmhammar (Jr.), Millsaps | All-SAA


More men’s teams to watch . . .

From around the Midwest

Thomas More – last year’s Presidents Athletic Conference (PAC) regular season and tournament champion returns NSCAA All-American midfielder Austin Juniet. After another trip in 2013, Thomas More has now played in five consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

Washington U. – after another top four finish in the highly-respected University Athletic Association (UAA), Joe Clarke and his Washington U. team will be looking for another conference championship in his 18th season in charge.

Wheaton (Ill.) – The Thunder continue to find success year after year. Last season’s early loss in the NCAA Tournament will motivate the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) defending champions, who are led by & NSCAA All-American midfielder Marshall Hollingsworth.

“Outside the Area”

Trinity (Tx.) – Paul McGinlay, whose 2003 Trinity University team won the national championship, enters his 24th season in charge. The Tigers of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), who reached the Elite Eght in 2013, return & NSCAA All-American midfielder Victor Araujo, along with All-Region players Johnny Larson and Matt Cardone.


Games to watch . . .

Teams will be kicking-off their season in just a few days. Here are a few great Midwest match-ups from the opening weekend:

Friday, August 29th

Centre at Emory

Ohio Wesleyan at Calvin

Chicago at Dominican

DePauw at John Carroll

Saturday, August 30th

Kenyon at Carnegie Mellon

Berry at Hanover

DePauw at Ohio Northern

Kalamazoo at Rose-Hulman

Mount Union at Oberlin

Sunday, August 31st

Rhodes at Westminster (Mo.)

Washington U. at Trinity (Tx.)

Washington & Lee at Hendrix

Denison at Sewanee

Midwest Roundup


The weekly Midwest Roundup will survey the Division III men's soccer landscape throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri and look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances, identifying who is trending up and who is trending down each week.

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