November 6, 2018

Midwest News & Roundup - Week 10

By BJ Pheasant

Welcome to the Midwest News & Review. I will highlight women's NCAA D3 soccer games in the Midwest area (comprised of the Great Lakes, Central, and North Regions). National importance will be followed by regional importance and towards the end of the season conference considerations will crop up. Time is limited so I exercise judgement on notable games to report each week. My editors make me look good; thank you.

Week 10 Notes

This is the final regular season column from 2018 - now D3soccer.com coverage will move to our NCAA Tourney section. The format is a bit different this week and is by Region and by Conference with Automatic Qualifiers (AQ) from conference tournaments and At-large bids from the selection committee. I will also compare my predictions from Week 7.

Congratulations to Grove City who gave 26th-year head coach Melissa Lamie her 300th career victory with their conference semifinal victory this week. She is the 26th active NCAA Division III women's soccer coach to attain 300 victories.

Women's soccer is the toughest bid of any NCAA tournament. 43 out of 64 berths are Automatic Qualifiers (see more: AQs-PoolB-Pool C-explained), which leaves 21 At-Large bids from roughly 400 remaining teams.

Here is the NCAA D3 women’ soccer bracket for 2018.

NORTH REGION

Based on the strength of schedule (SOS) of the five conferences I am listing in this region it appears that only one team has a chance to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid.

One did.

American Rivers Conference (ARC)

My prediction: Loras.
AQ: Loras
At-large potential: Wartburg, positioned well in region rankings

Loras (16-3-0 / 9-1-0) - faces Adrian 1st round. The Duhawks got revenge for their loss in the conference with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory to earn their 14th NCAA tournament bid. It was also their third straight conference title.

Wartburg (13-5-1 / 6-2-1) - faces UW-La Crosse 1st round. The Knights really needed to complete the season sweep of Loras to guarantee tournament entry. Their regional ranking kept them in contention.

Midwest Conference (MWC)

My prediction: Knox
AQ: Knox
At-large potential: none

Knox (13-4-3 / 8-1) - faces St. Thomas 1st round. The Prairie Fire won their third straight conference tournament and secured the AQ.

Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)

My prediction: St. Thomas
AQ: St. Thomas
At-large potential: Bethel, in regional rankings.

No. 19 St. Thomas (18-2-0 / 10-1-0) - faces Knox 1st round. The Tommies won the conference double, regular season and tournament titles, for the first time. The MIAA has had four different tournament title winners in the past four years.

Bethel (13-4-1 / 8-2-1) The Royals were in the regional rankings, but lost in the conference tournament semifinals.

Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC)

My prediction: St. Scholastica
AQ: Northwestern (Minn.)
At-large potential: none

Northwestern (Minn.)(11-6-4 / 10-2-1) - faces Wheaton (Ill.) 1st round.The Eagles cruised in the UMAC final.

St. Scholastica (13-5-2 / 11-0-1) The Saints lost in the tournament semifinals despite outshooting UW-Superior (8-11-3 / 6-6-1) 30-3. Left it late and gave up an 89th minute goal off a corner kick with 37 seconds remaining.

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC)

My prediction: UW-La Crosse
AQ: UW-La Crosse
At-large potential: UW-Stevens Point, in regional rankings.

No. 18 UW-La Crosse (17-2-2 / 6-0-1) - host and face Wartburg, 1st round. The Eagles won back-to-back WIAC tournament titles in dominating the league this year.

UW-Stevens Point (12-2-4 / 5-0-2) The Pointers lost in the WIAC semifinals in a shootout.

GREAT LAKES REGION

Based on the strength of schedule (SOS) of the five conferences I am listing in this region it appears that only one team has a chance to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid.

In a surprise, none did with Denison, Hanover and Ohio Northern left shaking their heads. Upsets in the Central Region did not help.

Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC)

My prediction: Penn State-Behrend
AQ: Penn State-Behrend
At-large potential: none

Penn State-Behrend (13-6 / 9-0) - face Tufts 1st round. The Lions are eight time consecutive defending conference champs.

Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC)

My prediction: Mount St. Joseph
AQ: Mount St. Joseph
At-large potential: Hanover, in regional rankings.

Mount St. Joseph (16-2-3 / 7-1-1) - face Illinois Wesleyan 1st round. The Lions won the HCAC tournament for their first NCAA bid since 2008. They defeated Hanover in a close game in the stats.

Hanover (17-2-0 / 9-0-0) The Panthers won the regular season title, but lost in the HCAC tournament final. Their first loss since the opening game of the season.

North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)

My prediction: Denison
AQ: Wooster
At-large potential: Denison, well positioned in regional rankings.

Wooster (13-3-3 / 6-2) - face Centre 1st round. The Scots won their first NCAC tournament title and are heading to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996.

Denison (12-3-2 / 6-0-2) The Big Red won the regular season title and then were upset by Wittenberg (6-9-4 / 3-2-3) in the NCAC semifinals in overtime despite outshooting them 31-8.

Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC)

My prediction: Ohio Northern
AQ: Otterbein
At-large potential: Ohio Northern, well positioned in regional rankings

Otterbein (16-2-1 / 8-0-1) - host and face Dominican 1st round. The Cardinals were the surprise of the OAC this year and defeated Ohio Northern 57 seconds into overtime in the championship game to earn the AQ.

Ohio Northern (14-4-1 / 7-1-1) The Polar Bears got knocked to the #2 seed in the conference tournament by losing their final regular season game. Then they lost in the OAC championship game in overtime.

Presidents' Athletic Conference (Prac)

My prediction: Grove City
AQ: Grove City
At-large potential: none

Grove City (16-3-1 / 8-0) - face Chicago 1st round. With a shootout victory in the conference title game Grove City wins their first conference title in 17 years. 26th-year head coach Melissa Lamie also earned her 300th career victory with their conference semifinal victory earlier this week. She is the 26th active NCAA Division III women's soccer coach to attain 300 victories.

CENTRAL REGION

Based on the strength of schedule (SOS) of the five conferences I am listing in this region it appears that potentially six teams have a chance to make the NCAA tournament as an at-large bid.

Six teams did, but several upsets gave at-large bids to Hope and Wheaton (Ill.) that may have gone to Great Lakes Region teams left out.

Still the one as in No. 1 Washington U. at (17-0-0 / 7-0-0). Only two undefeated teams remain. No. 7 Centre (19-0-0 / 8-0-0) is the other.

College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW)

My prediction: Wheaton (Ill.)
AQ: Illinois Wesleyan
At-large potential: Wheaton (lock), Augustana, in the regional rankings

Illinois Wesleyan (13-4-2 / 5-3-0) - face Mount St. Joseph 1st round. The Titans stumbled in week 8, but recovered to make the CCIW tournament and win the AQ in a shootout.

No. 5 Wheaton (Ill) (16-3-1 / 8-0-0) - host and face Northwestern (Minn.) 1st round.

Augustana (13-3-3 / 5-1-2) The Vikings lost to Illinois Wesleyan in the CCIW semifinals and are in the regional rankings.

Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA)

My prediction: Hope
AQ: Adrian
At-large potential: Hope (lock)

Adrian (14-5-1 / 7-1) - face Loras 1st round. The Bulldogs did what they needed to do and won the MIAA in a surprise for their first conference title and earned the AQ.

No. 10 Hope (14-2-2 / 7-0-1) - face Bridgewater (Va.) 1st round. The Flying Dutch were upset in the MIAA championship game where they outshot Adrian 12-2. They were a lock for an at-large bid, but cost themselves a host.

Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC)

My prediction: Dominican
AQ: Dominican
At-large potential: none

Dominican (18-2-0 / 11-0-0) - face Otterbein 1st round. The Stars won a surprisingly tough NACC title game in overtime despite outshooting their opponent 19-3 to earn their second straight title.

There was a bit of excitement in the NACC tournament this week as a team had to withdraw for using an ineligible player to qualify for the final. The conference decided to have the two teams that lost play again in an impromptu semifinal to determine who faced the Stars in the final.

St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)

My prediction: Webster
AQ: Westminster (Mo.)
At-large potential: Webster, in the regional rankings.

Westminster (Mo.) (11-4-3 / 6-2-1) - face Washington U. 1st round. The Bluejays won a shootout in the SLIAC semifinals and then on a goal in the second overtime in the championship game to earn the AQ.

Webster (16-3-1 / 9-0-0) The Gorlocks were upset in overtime in the SLIAC semifinal after a dominating regular season title run.

University Athletic Association (UAA)

My prediction: Washington U
AQ: Washington U.
At-large potential: Brandeis (lock), Chicago, in regional rankings, New York University, in the regional rankings, Emory, in the regional rankings

No. 1 Washington U. (17-0-0 / 7-0-0) - host and face Westminster (Mo.) 1st round. The Bears are undefeated and untied looking for a perfect season for the first time and a favorite for the national title.

New York University (10-5-3 / 5-1-1) - face Virginia Wesleyan 1st round. The Violets are the #2 team in the UAA standings, but had a slow start to the season leading to their overall record.

Emory (13-4-1 / 4-2-1) - face Penn State.-Berks 1st round. The Eagles are the #3 team in the UAA and in the regional rankings.

No. 22 Brandeis (12-4-0 / 4-3-0) - face Farmingdale State 1st round. The Judges are the #4 ream in the UAA, but are still nationally ranked.

No. 13 Chicago (13-4-1 / 4-3-0) - face Grove City 1st round. The Maroons have lost three straight to end the regular season and finish #5 in the UAA, but nationally ranked. Probably lost the chance to host this weekend because of the streak.

Thank you for the feedback. Follow us on twitter to get updates as we post NCAA tournament news thorough NCAA Tourney. @D3_Soccer

 


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Midwest News & Round Up

 

Midwest News & Roundup provides coverage of Division III women's soccer throughout the states bordering on the Great Lakes. All the NCAA Great Lakes region is included as well as Michagan, Illinois and Wisconsin all with at least a few teams from the Central and North regions. The "Midwest" contains eleven conferences and Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve and Chicago from the UAA. The MIAA, WIAC, CCIW, OAC and the NCAC are some of the top conferences in this geography. Each week the more significant results of the previous week are discussed, along with impressions and analysis, followed by the selection of a game to keep an eye on in the week ahead.

Columnist

BJ Pheasant

 

Contributor turned Columnist BJ Pheasant has significant D3 experience with women's soccer throughout the midwest as a coach for the past nine years. With experience ranging from successful rebuilding projects to nationally ranked teams with a post season pedigree he is excited to spotlight happenings in the Great Lakes region on a weekly basis to help players, parents and fans of D3 soccer be knowledgeable about the sport and competition. [see full bio]

 

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