September 26, 2010

2700 watch Hope take down top-ranked Calvin

Week Four Soccer Wrap-Up

By contributor James Derrick

A number of great contests across the nation this weekend makes our weekly wrap-up a pleasure to write. We start with men's action, so be sure to scroll down for the women's wrap. And check out the latest Top 25 rankings in our Top 25 area.

Hope walked away with the spoils in one of NCAA's biggest rivalries. Calvin ended their undefeated streak and probably surrendered their No.1 ranking compliments of a Brayden West goal in the 73rd minute. Calvin, entering the game as the nation's best in all polls could not have suffered their first blow in a worse manner. They lost, not only to end their unbeaten run, but to their rivals, at their rivals ground. Hope now floats atop the typically two-horse race MIAA Conference with a 5-1-2 overall record, and will undoubtedly look to secure the automatic bid with Calvin hot on their trail.

Also suffering serious losses were Hobart, Macalester, and Mary Hardin-Baylor. No.6 Hobart, who suffered their first loss to SUNY-Brockport a few weeks ago, have struggled to reestablish themselves, winning only once since. This weekend was no different as they drew with Skidmore and lost to Union 2-0. No.16 Macalester could not have asked for a better start until their 3-1 loss to Luther last weekend. A dismantling of Cornell seemed to redirect their season in the right direction again, until yesterday's loss to conference rival, Augsburg. Macalester drops to a 7-2-1 record, while Augsburg moves to second place in the MIAC, just behind Carleton.

No.18 Mary Hardin-Baylor could not come back from a 2-nil deficit to prevent their shock loss to UT-Tyler. While their overall 5-2 record has garnered national recognition, their 1-2 conference record has condemned them at the most important aspect of their season. No.10 Johns Hopkins was another under-performing top-25 team, as Haverford held a misfiring conference holders Johns Hopkins scoreless. Haverford moves above JHU in Centennial Conference standings, sitting 3rd under Swat and Muhlenberg. No.23 Eastern Connecticut State suffered their 2nd successive loss, losing to Keene State 2-1.

Fitting that No.15 Emory pushed their unbeaten streak to 9-0 by posting a 9-0 shut-out over defenseless Greensboro. Greensboro, who has struggled substantially this season, walked out of the first half down only 2-0- compliments of a Cameron Zia brace. But a 6-goal spell in an 18 minute window ensured Greensboro's total capitulation as Emory now stands 9-0 with 37 goals for, and just one against.

Swarthmore has forged their place at the top of the Centennial Conference, leaving yet another team in their wake as they move to an undefeated 8-0 on the season. Swarthmore left it late, but buried a very talented, and highly organized Dickinson in the last four minutes to come out 3-1 winners. No.4 Swarthmore, who has been the participant in several cut-throat and exciting matches, forfeited their goal lead in the 50th minute. It would not be until the 86th minute that Swat would send home their game-winning goal and break Dickinson hearts. Morgan Langley sealed fate on a counter-attack break-away in the 88th minute to ensure Swarthmore maintained the perfect season so far. In other Centennial play, No.22 Muhlenberg put conference rival, Gettysburg, to the sword, winning 4-0 thanks to braces from Cody Antonini and Danny Way. Muhlenberg sits just under Swarthmore at second place.

No. 2 Christopher Newport kicked off their USA South Conference play with a hard fought win against Averett. CNU has been dominant throughout the season, and looks to continue their top form in a tough conference, while Averett is looking for a bid into the national tournament as they have notched six wins in their campaign so far. CNU is 8-0 on the season, and in prime position to become the nation's new number 1 following Calvin's loss.

No. 3 Carnegie Mellon continued their challenge to be the nation's best, after a 2-1 win over local rivals Grove City. Following a slow start, City drew first blood at the half-hour mark, but in dire efforts to maintain their perfect record, Christ Wysocki drew level with two minutes before half. As the match looked set for overtime, Alex Abedian hammered home the last-gasp winner to break City's hearts. Carnegie Mellon hopes they too may be the nation's next number 1, as they are 8-0 as well. Mellon plays more local competition this week before making the trip to Chicago to open the tough UAA conference play.

No. 5 Domincan followed their excellent mid-week win against Wheaton (Ill.) with a too close for comfort- win against Lakeland. Dominican has been nothing short of outstanding this season with an 8-0 record, but spent the last three minutes holding their breath as Lakeland pulled a goal back in the 87th minute after being down 2-0. Dominican struggled finding their flow, as defense was the sole priority of Lakeland, but managed two goals late in the second half. They were able to hold on for the win to challenge Swarthmore, Christopher Newport, and Carnegie Mellon for the number 1 spot.

No. 7 Messiah once again held their nerves to draw level in the dying seconds. In an even match, Mary Washington seemingly wrapped up the day's work with a goal in the 70th minute, but Nick Thompson scored a thriller with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. For the second match in a row, Messiah was able to bury the match in overtime. Messiah is now 7-1 with 7 wins in a row.

No. 8 Rochester was able to resuscitate their problems of late with a big 5-2 win against Lycoming. Rochester, who has drawn in their last 3 matches, grabbed a 3-goal lead before Lycoming pulled two goals back. Rochester, however, scored a minute after Lycoming's second to prevent any possibility of leaving with another draw. Rochester is now 5-0-3, still undefeated.

In other news, No. 9 Stevens hammered St. Johns Fisher, 4-0 to go 6-0-1, while No.14 Salisbury improved to 8-0-2 with a 1-0 overtime win over Frostburg State. No. 19 York eased past St. Mary's to continue their good form, after a roller coaster start to the season. Winning their last three matches, York is now 7-3. After going up 3-2 in the first half against No.12 Trinity (Tex.), Hendrix was brought back to reality after a second half onslaught, as Trinity won 7-3. They were big winners again today, thrashing Rhodes 4-1.

No.11 Williams suffered a game-tying goal in the 85th minute after outshooting Colby 30-5, but with just over a minute left in double overtime, Matt Ratajczak gave Williams the well-deserved win to continue their unbeaten form. In one of the two top 25 match-ups of the weekend, Williams won again today, annihilating No.21 Wheaton (Mass.) 4-1. Wheaton drops to 5-3-2, having also lost on Saturday to Springfield 2-1, as Williams improves to 5-0-1.

In the other top 25 match-up of the weekend, No.13 Ohio Wesleyan was the cause of Kenyon's probable drop from from the rankings, as they dealt a 4-1 loss. Travis Wall was again the hero for Ohio Wesleyan with a brace and an assist, while the team are now 7-1. No.20 DePauw was also a double-winner, defeating Ogelthorpe and Sewanee both by a 1-0 margin. DePauw is now 8-1.

On the west coast, No.24 Whitworth was able to respond by defeating Pacific Lutheran, although barely. After achieving a 2-goal lead, Whitworth's defense cracked to allow Pac-Lutheran a vital two goal flurry. Whitworth responded twenty seconds later with a goal, and then another in the 61st minute to grab their second 2-goal lead of the match. Pac-Lutheran, not close to ceasing their tormenting of Whitworth, scored a goal 30 seconds after Whitworth's fourth to put Whitworth's backs against the wall for the remaining 30 minutes. Whitworth now stands at 5-2-1 on the season.

Women's wrap-up

No. 1 Messiah ensured that Denison would probably not be clawing their way back into rankings putting four goals past their formerly ranked opponent. Is 8-0, yielding one goal still, while Denison, who started off strong, was in the process of compiling an impressive unbeaten run. Amanda Naeher was again a hat-trick hero for the unstoppable Messiah team. No. 2 College of New Jersey, who have yielded a single goal on the season as well, cruised past Montclair State with a 2-0 win. Amanda Van Dyk opened the scoring early, before TCNJ scored again in the 79th minute to put the result beyond doubt.

No. 4 Illinois Wesleyan continued in their perfect form, winning big against Albion on Friday 3-0, and then 2-0 today against Aurora. They are 10-0 on the season. No. 5 Otterbein moved to 7-0-1 on the season with a 1-0 win over Carnegie Mellon. On top of the win, Senior goalkeeper Tara Carter set a school record by recording her 41st career shut-out. No. 6 Johns Hopkins continued in their impressive run with a 4-1 win against Swarthmore. Since their loss to Messiah, Johns Hopkins has won six in a row, three of those being shut-outs.

No. 7 William Smith responded from Friday's draw with Skidmore to defeat Union 2-1. Emily Harris bagged the winner in the last minute of the game to take William Smith to an impressive 7-1-1 overall record. No.8 Rowan won big against conference rivals NJCU, as they continue their undefeated form. They are 7-0-1 with a tough line-up of conference matches ahead of them.

No.10 UW-Stevens Point narrowly escaped their first loss of the season, as they were forced to battle back from an early deficit to squeak by UW-River Falls 2-1. River Falls hit a stunner only two minutes in, but two second half goals allowed Stevens Point to remain undefeated with an 8-0 record.

No.11 Loras resorted to a late goal to propel themselves past a tough Luther team. Loras, who was undefeated until their midweek loss to Augustana, was able to regroup and maintain their excellent form this season. They are now 8-1 overall on the season. No.12 Puget Sound suffered their first loss of the season, and they did so in emphatic style, getting crushed by Whitworth 4-0 on the road. Puget Sound's goal against average was short of excellence, but their defensive problems were exposed by a deadly Whitworth team. Puget Sound is now 5-1-1.

In other news, No.13 Calvin and No.14 Williams looked deadly in their weekend matches as they both tallied 4-0 wins, defeating Ohio Wesleyan and Colby respectively. Three goals in the second half enabled Calvin to put the result beyond doubt, while hammered three early goals to seal the deal. No.15 Emory continued to keep pace with the men, as they won again today to remain undefeated. Crusing past Maryville 3-1, they improve to an 8-0-1 record on the season.

No.16 Wheaton (Ill.) was the culprit this time, as the problems continued for formerly ranked Washington University. A goal in each half was enough to send Wash U home with a 3-5 record, while Wheaton improves to a 7-2 record. No.17 Trinity (Tex.) was a double winner this weekend, first with a 5-0 demolition of Hendrix, and then narrowly defeating Rhodes this afternoon. Trinity improves to a 6-1 overall record.

Elsewhere, No.18 Amherst concluded a poor week with a draw against Connecticut College, while No.22 Ithaca suffered their second loss of the season, losing to SUNY Cortland 1-0. No.21 Allegheny recorded a Thursday win to go 8-0 on the season, beating PSU-Altoona 2-0. While the margins have been slim, Allegheny has yet to be scored on the entire season. After playing six consecutive matches away from home, No.24 Eastern returned home only to suffer their second loss of the season, losing to Lebanon Valley, 3-0.

No.19 Wheaton (Mass.) also suffered a loss, as Clark walked out victors in a one goal game. Despite holding a slim advantage in shots, a 54th minute goal from Molly Meehan proved to hand Wheaton just their first loss of the season. They now sit 8-1-1 overall. No.25 Oneonta State was able to avoid disaster this weekend with a win against SUNY Fredonia, and a draw against Buffalo State yesterday, and Concordia-Moorhead tied Wartburg 1-1 after defeating St. Olaf 2-0 earlier this weekend.

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.