Significant Digits, Vol. 1, Issue 2
By D3soccer.com contributor
Some numbers are important – but fleeting – like the plate number of that moron who just cut you off on the highway. Others are lasting, but less memorable – like all 1,150 calories in that triple Baconator (don’t judge me). In Significant Digits we will try to separate the numerical wheat from the chaff, helping find figures that tell the story of the Division III soccer landscape. Don’t worry, we did all the math for you.
Two Red Dragons Enter, one Red Dragon leaves. No – this wasn’t Game of Thrones meets Thunderdome (although that sounds AWESOME), but rather a SUNYAC mythical mascot mashup featuring two nationally ranked programs. At game time it was No. 8 Oneonta State travelling to No. 14 Cortland State in the conference opener for both sides. [Editor's note: Check out the Week 4 Top 25 to see where both teams landed following their head-to-head encounter.]
No actual winged lizards were spotted, but the battle was intense nonetheless. 42 fouls and 5 cautions were peppered throughout the contest, easily the highest foul count for either program of the season. With 25 minutes to play, Cortland trailed 2-1, but one of those fouls led to a converted PK that leveled the affair. The hosts never looked back – rattling off 3 unanswered goals for a 4-2 win.
Cortland State (8-1-0, 2-0-0) takes the driver’s seat in the SUNYAC – but don’t be surprised if this series sees a rematch in early November.
Wow. Thanks John Carroll. You just made me delete two well-crafted paragraphs.
The storyline was about to be No. 13 Carnegie Mellon extending their shutout streak to a 7th consecutive game. It was about to be how the Tartans had a signature win over No. 6 John Carroll to carry with them into their UAA slate. It was about to be that CMU’s high line of confrontation, and work rate in disrupting the JCU build (despite an 88° temperature and a 2 p.m. kickoff), both led directly to the lone goal of the contest, and were enough to say that the Tartans deserved the win. The story was about to be a long trip back to Cleveland for the Blue Streaks.
And then it wasn’t.
Blue Streak Defender/Midfielder Eric Rozsits is a Chemistry/Education major – but he’s majoring in drama on the pitch. Last week he saved John Carroll late – heading home the tying goal against Ohio Wesleyan in the 88th minute (a game John Carroll went on to win). Apparently, that wasn’t theatrical enough for the Junior. JCU’s composure in the closing seconds was remarkable. As the announcer counted down the last five seconds, a low cross somehow found its way through traffic and fell at Rozsits’ feet. Cool as you like, he calmly two touched it home at 89:59.
Both teams can be forgiven for looking a bit stunned through the scoreless overtime periods, and JCU escaped with their unbeaten record intact.
No. 2 Chicago (8-0-0) has opened the 2017 campaign with clinical efficiency at both ends of the field. The Maroons boast the 5th best team offense in the country, at 3.63 goals per game, and a goals against average good enough for 26th lowest, at 0.50. That combines for a margin of victory running at just over 3 goals a game, which sits second in Division III. Notably, the best average margin of victory currently belongs to Drew (8-0-1, 1-0-0, RV in 9/17 poll) – whose Massey Ratings strength of schedule is 107 places lower than Chicago.
Skeptics might argue that Chicago has the chronically difficult UAA schedule still in front of them, but the Maroons scoring average this time last year was 2.67 per game, and they finished the season at 2.60 per game. A Chicago team defending nearly as well as the 2016 version and converting an additional goal per game is a well-oiled machine indeed.
Last November, Chicago entered the NCAA tournament with a No. 1 ranking, the best goals against average in the country, and deservedly lofty expectations. Their exit in the Round of 16 was undoubtedly a disappointment within the program. The returners pass the eye test, not just the stats test, and look fully intent on exorcising some demons.
Troy Remillard of Western New England (7-1-0, 2-0-0) is off to a positively torrid start to his Senior campaign. Remillard leads Division III with 15 goals in 8 games, and he has been held off the score sheet just once on the season. This Golden Bear wants a golden boot.
If he could continue his 1.875/game clip, it would be the fifth best in the history of Division III, and the best since 2004.
His 17 goals in 2016 led the CCC and was good for 16th in D-III. Yet in August, Remillard was featured in the New England Soccer Journal’s list of the “Most Underrated Players in New England”. Perhaps that struck a nerve? Western New England’s strength of schedule is admittedly quite low, but we imagine he is being rated pretty highly by the opposing defenses he is shredding. We see you Troy!
In the inaugural edition of Significant Digits last week – we highlighted just the Great Lakes Region… so we missed this incredible tidbit out of Texas from week 3. But since Significant Digits has gone all ZZ Top now (Yes we’re bad, we’re nationwide), we decided this one is so good it’s worth rewinding.
The best home field advantage in college soccer is officially at Paul McGinlay Soccer Field in San Antonio. Trinity (Texas)’s home winning streak stood at 47 games (not a typo) dating back to 2013 (also not a typo). That streak included both conference tournament games, and NCAA tournament games. In the 4 postseasons included in the streak, Trinity hosted an opening weekend “pod” of the NCAA tournament 3 times… and went 6-0.
47 now stands as the NCAA all divisions record, because the streak was snapped in an overtime contest on 9/15 by University of Dallas (who are off to a fine start of their own). Think about that. There are 7 Seniors on the Trinity roster that just experienced their first ever loss at home. Congratulations to the Tigers past and present on their insane achievement – and best of luck on your new home winning streak, which currently stands at 1
16% of Division III Men’s Soccer Mascots are birds. Hawks (of all types) just barely edge out Eagles (of all types) for the most common.
Think we missed something cool, amazing or just plain weird that deserves a highlight? Shoot us an e-mail. No guarantees – Significant is subjective!
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