Strong starts: Hobart and Wheaton (Ill.)
It is the opening weekend of Division III soccer and a new season for thousands of young men and women across the country. And everyone has one goal in mind for 2011: a trip to San Antonio Texas and the NCAA Men and Women's Final Four. We'll be keeping tabs on all the action throughout the NCAA regions on a weekly basis as well as publishing the weekly D3soccer.com Top 25 Poll. The first poll of the season will roll out upon completion of the holiday weekend.
Perhaps the top news so far this weekend is Hobart's 2-1 defeat of the 2010 champion and perennial power Messiah Falcons. While it is never too early for what some would consider to be an upset, a result like this in the first match of the season will certainly turn some heads in Grantham. The Statesmen took the match into overtime and junior Tommy Hayes won it with a goal in the seventh minute of an assist from senior Kevin McCarthy. Hobart followed that result on Friday with another win today, a 6-1 victory over Franklin & Marshall, moving to 3-0 on the early season.
In another surprising result, the Wheaton (Ill.) men defeated 2009 power Ohio Wesleyan 2-1 in the championship match of the Bob Baptista Invite Saturday evening. Thunder freshman Chad Musgraves put in a cross from freshman Josh Clark in the 85th minute for the win. Ohio Wesleyan All-American Tyler Wall had tied the match in the 59th minute.
In women's action, the University of Puget Sound opened its season with a 2-1 victory over Carleton College. Junior Christine Isabella had the game winner for the Loggers in the 23rd minute. In Texas, Hardin-Simmons blanked Trinity 4-0 in the season opener for the Cowgirls. And in St. Louis at Washington University, Calvin defeated UW-Eau-Claire 1-0 off a second half goal from sophomore Francesa Smith. The Knights move to 2-1 on the season after a 0-1 Friday loss to Washington.
In other men's action, Stevens moves to 2-0 on the season with a 1-0 win over SUNY New Paltz. Senior Nolan Sandberg had the game winner in overtime, his second straight overtime game winning goal. Medaille rolled to a 3-0 win in the Queen City Classic to improve to 2-0, and Wartburg handed their men's coach his first career win with a 1-0 victory over Hamline.