Significant Digits, Vol. 1, Issue 3
By D3soccer.com contributor
Some numbers are important — but fleeting — like a Dow above 22,000. Others are lasting, but less memorable — like the date of the last game the Browns won. 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.
The burning question on the nation’s lips for Week 5 was an issue of superlatives. Just how jumbo is a Jumbo? How mammoth is a Mammoth? And which one is bigger?
The NESCAC’s annual battle of the adjectives kicked off Saturday afternoon. Any matchup between Jumbos and Mammoths sounds inherently… well, big, and that’s before one considers that the past three national champions were represented in the affair. If size matters, Tufts came in with the narrowest of collective advantage as measured by their own sports information department (insert healthy dose of skepticism here): their average player is just a shade over 6’0” and tips the scales at a sturdy 172.5lbs (3/16” taller, and 1.36lbs heavier than Amherst).
On this day though, good things came in slightly smaller packages. Amherst was outshot heavily, by a 22–8 margin, but the hosts made a deflected 62nd minute goal stick and came away with a huge 1-0 win.
If you’re curious — and we certainly were — both the Jumbos and the Mammoths are larger, on paper, than the Little Giants of Wabash. We aren’t sure where a big giant would have come in.
How do you follow a big conference win over the No. 5 team in the country? You get up the next morning and beat the No. 3 team in the country, of course.
Amherst is fielding a fairly youthful side in 2017 and they could have been excused for an emotional letdown after handing the defending National Champions their first loss (and their first goal against) of the year. But that wasn’t in the forecast.
Rutgers-Newark came to town Sunday carrying a 12-0-0 record, but left the same way Tufts did: with their season’s first blemish after a tightly contested overtime win for Amherst.
We did some digging, and since the D3soccer.com rankings started in 2010 there is no other example of a team registering wins over two top 5 ranked teams on back to back days in the regular season. Given the rarity of the opportunity of playing two top 5 teams in 48 hours (apart from in the NCAA Tournament) — let alone going 2-0 — we believe it’s likely far longer than seven years since a similar feat was accomplished (limitations on archival results made us confine our research to the history of this website’s rankings).
Did we mention Amherst had a pretty good weekend?
St. Scholastica were outshot 17–6 on Wednesday afternoon by UW-Superior, ran a 10–4 deficit in shots on goal, and were out cornered 6–1. But the Saints managed to come away with a 2-1 win and maintain their NCAA record streak of 116 consecutive conference games without a loss.
Dominican (Ill.) is the only other men’s team to ever record a similar streak over 100 games, at 104. Third place is less than half of the current record, at 57 games.
We propose a new unit of time measurement: the Scholastica. We could say things like “Do you think he’ll be a half Scholastica President or a full Scholastica?”, “My parents will have been married for 4-1/2 Scholasticas next spring” or “Wasn’t Kim Kardashian married to that Kris Humphries guy for like 0.024 of a Scholastica?”
It’s an unwritten rule of baseball that you don’t talk about a no hitter in progress. We don’t know of a similar standard for shutout streaks in soccer, but we are going to play it safe and avoid mentioning one of the top women’s teams in the country by name. Let’s see… how we can we do this.
Their Competition Never Jubilates.
Only one D-III women’s team remains with an unbroken shutout streak to open the season. That team happens to be the same program whose 2001 team holds the all-time college soccer record (both genders, all divisions) for consecutive shutouts, which is (a completely ridiculous) 19.
They Crush Nets Joyously.
To go along with their perfect goals against average, these women have buried 40 at the attacking end while racing out to a 9-0-0 record entering this week. That’s a top 10 team offense to go along with their dominant defending. Oh, and it’s not like they are rolling over sub .500 programs: they boast a top 50 strength of schedule in the Massey Ratings.
This Crew? No Joke.
It’s a long road ahead if they want to equal the 2001 team’s 19 straight games and 67 goals scored before conceding, but this group might just have a bit of that magic. Still need a hint?
There were 593 goals scored across all of Division III men’s soccer on Saturday, 9/30.
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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