October 1, 2011

Week 5 Flybys, weekend edition

By Christan Shirk

In what may or may not become a regular feature, we will run down a whole host of results from across the nation, "flybys" if you will, with brief comments that hopefully are informative, insightful, and interesting.  The intent is to give snapshots of the enitre D-III soccer landscape, covering important high profile matches but also going off the beaten path as much as possible as we criss-cross the country.

Click here for midweek flybys.

Sunday, October 2

Babson 1, No. 13 Williams 0 – In a re-match of a second round NCAA tournament match won by Babson in double-overtime last fall, many expected nationally ranked Williams to exact revenge.  Besides, excepting last year’s tournament upset, Babson hadn’t beaten Williams since 2003.  The sides came out firing in the first five minutes, each forcing tough saves by the opposing keeper.  From there things settled down and good opportunities would be rare.  As the teams matched each other possession for possession, foul for foul, shot for shot, and save for save, what ended up separating the two was a goal worthy to decide a match such as this.  In the 67th minute All-American Eric Anderson beat his defender to a cross and headed the ball just beyond the reach of the diving keeper and just inside the far post.  Babson (8-2-1) has now won six straight and are unbeaten in their last nine.  It’s Williams’ (4-2-1) second loss of the season.

Wesleyan 2, Colby 0 – It’s looking like the top seed in the NESCAC is going to come down to Wesleyan (6-0-2 / 6-0-1) and Amherst as the Cardinals picked up the expected home win against Colby (4-4-0 / 1-4-0).  It wasn’t a dominating performance as Colby was able to match them in shots, SOG, and corner, but a goal minutes into the contest which was doubled around the half hour mark was all Wesleyan needed to keep their undefeated season rolling right along.  It’s possible they will be 10-0-2 when they travel to Amherst three weeks from now with the top seed on the line.

Middlebury 2, Connecticut College 0 – Connecticut (5-3-0 / 3-3-0) has proven to be no push-over, but this was a game Middlebury (3-2-3 / 1-2-3) very much needed.  In a foul-filled NESCAC scrap, the Middlebury defense rose to the occasion, locking down the Camels who were limited to just a single shot in each half, neither of which was on target.  Limited themselves in this defensive struggle, the Panther offense sprung for two goals early in the second half for their first conference win.

Tufts 1, Trinity (Conn.) 0 (OT) – Surprisingly Trinity (5-2-2 / 3-1-2) came in undefeated in five NESCAC matches and on a five-game win streak overall.  That mattered little to Tufts (4-2-1 / 2-2-1) who played the Bantums even for almost 100 minutes.  Both squads had their chances in each half, but regulation ended in a scoreless stalemate.  A Trinity flurry almost ended the game with three minutes to play in the first extra period, but it was the Jumbos who were celebrating victory a minute later when a quick outlet pass resulted in a one-on-one with the Trinity keeper that was tucked home for the winner. 

No. 2 Christopher Newport 2, Averett 1 (2OT) – Christopher Newport (8-0-1 / 2-0-0) got on the scoreboard just minutes in with a shot that took a deflection off a defender, but the up-and-coming Averett (6-3-1 / 0-1-0) was not about to roll over for their highly-touted USA-South visitors.  The Cougars hung in there and held their own, keeping the undefeated Captains off the board while finding the equalizer in the 74th minute.  In overtime, however, it was CNU who asserted themselves, and they were finally rewarded halfway through the second extra period.  Despite the loss, Averett continue to close the gap on the top teams in the region and are a program to keep an eye on.

No. 5 Trinity (Texas) 1, Sewanee 0 – They are both Tigers ands their non-conference records entering the opening weekend of SCAC play were very similar–5-0-2 for Trinity, 5-1-1 for Sewanee–but no one was confusing the 9-time defending champions with 2001 SCAC champions who haven’t had a winning season since 2004.  It was a tough and gritty effort from Sewanee who allowed their visitors few good looks in the first half only to be undone 7 seconds from the break when Trinity connected off a corner kick.  The second was different as Trinity (7-0-2 / 2-0-0) took full control of the game but without reward.  It didn’t matter as Sewanee  (5-3-1 / 0-2-0) mustered next to nothing leaving them with two conference losses and Trinty with two wins. 

Oglethorpe 4, University of Dallas 0 – Oglethorpe (8-2-0 / 2-0-0) blanked Dallas to go two for two on the opening weekend of SCAC play. With the win the Petrels moved closer to guaranteeing their first winning season since 2006.   Their schedule has been on the soft side so it’s too early to no what to expect once they meet up with the tougher SCAC opponents, but they very well could be in the mix for one of the four spots in the inaugural SCAC playoffs.  [Correction: the SCAC has a 6-team playoff, so only a 6th place finish is required.]   

No. 7 Washington U. 4, Carnegie Mellon 1 – Carnegie Mellon shocked their hosts with a 25-yard rocket of a goal 10 minutes into the UAA opener.  Carnegie Mellon is in the midst of their worst season in fifteen years while Washington U. is ranked top ten nationally, so a Bears win was expected and they went about earning it with 20-yard free kick equalizer later in the first half.  In the second half Washington got the upper hand creating the better chances and taking advantage three times for the 4-1 victory.

SUNYIT 5, Penn State-Harrisburg 1 – SUNYIT (5-4-1 / 5-0-0), winless out of conference but perfect in the NEAC, stung PSU-Harrisburg for 5 goals in a re-match of last year’s conference final that was decided on  PK’s with SUNYIT winning the shootout 4-3.

No. 23 Augsburg 3, UW-Platteville 0 – Augsburg (8-1-1) bounces right back from Friday loss at Loras with solid 3-0 road win at UW-Platteville (5-7-1).  After the offense staked out a 1-0 halftime lead, the Auggie defense didn’t even need the two additional second half goals as they limited the Pioneers to a single off-target shot in the second stanza.

Pacific Lutheran 2, Pacific 1 (OT) – A 17 to 2 advantage in shots on target should have resulted in a more comfortable conference win for Pacific Lutheran (8-2-0 / 5-1-0) over Pacific (2-8-0 / 2-4-0), but the defending champions’ keeper was spectacular with 10 second half saves including a PK and when his teammates managed to poke home a late equalizer from a goal mouth scramble the Lutes were forced to overtime to get the win which keeps them joint top of the NWC.

Whitworth 1, Linfield 0 – The only thing close in this game was the score, but Whitworth (7-2-1 / 5-1-0) overwhelmed Linfield (1-7-1 / 0-5-1) whose keeper made 13 saves to make it a game.  With the win Whitworth completes the weekend sweep picking up a pair of road wins in the NWC to keep pace with Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran in the conference standings.

Puget Sound 5, George Fox 0 – Of the three joint leaders in the NWC standings only Puget Sound (6-3-0 / 5-1-0) didn’t have to sweat out their win Sunday against their lower-half of the table opponent.  The Loggers added a goal right out of halftime to their three first half tallies and when George Fox (2-7-1 / 0-5-1) put one in their own net seven minutes late that was the game.

Redlands 4, Cal Lutheran 0 – That’s seven straight, the last four by shutout, for Redlands (9-3-0 / 6-0-0) who seem to have hit their stride.  An overmatched Cal Lutheran (1-9-0 / 1-5-0) did well to reach halftime only down 1-0, but Redlands’ superiority paid off in the second stanza with three more goals.  The Bulldogs are top dogs in the SCIAC with one game left until running through the conference slate a second time.

Methodist 3, Marymount 2 (OT) – Methodist responded well to Marymount’s early goal, tallying two of their own in the next 10 minutes, but how would they handle playing a man down after receiving a red card right before the interval?  Well, besides the equalizer 7 minutes into the second half, they held their own and forced overtime where they forced the action and finally scored the short-handed game-winner in the 97th minute.  With the gutsy win Methodist raises their record to 7-1-2 largely under the radar.

North Central (Ill.) 4, Lakeland 0 – They are 9-2-0 and have 8 shutouts, but you probably have never heard of them.  North Central had no trouble brushing Lakeland aside to close out their non-conference slate.  While the numbers look nice, there are big questions marks about whether the rather soft schedule will have them adequately prepared to claim a spot in the CCIW playoffs.  The preseason coaches’ poll picked them 7th out of 8.

Saturday, October 1

Olivet 1, Trine 0 – Who would have guessed that a match between two such unknowns would be such a huge deal?  Who would have predicted that the biggest MIAA match-up of the season might be Trine vs. Olivet, not Calvin vs. Hope.  Trine entered undefeated at 7-0-2; Olivet entered 8-1-1.  Trine was fresh off a 2-0 midweek shutout of Calvin; Olivet defeated Hope 2-1 the same night.  Trine was 3-0-1 in conference play; Olivet was a perfect 3-0 to top the MIAA standings.  Both sported a nation-leading 8 shutouts.  A scoreless draw seemed as likely a result as any, but Trine came out fast and furious in the opening 22 minutes as all the action was in front of Olivet’s goal.  Three corners and four shots and lots of fouling on Olivet’s part didn’t yield the precious first goal Trine sought and in the 24th minute they took a punch to the stomach when Olivet scored on their first shot of the game against the run of play.  The game evened out until halftime, after which Olivet asserted themselves more but without managing that second goal to put the game out of reach.  Trine (7-1-2 / 3-1-1) slips to third in the MIAA while Olivet (9-1-1 / 5-0-0) stays top.

Wheaton (Ill.) 1, No. 15 UW-Oshkosh 0 – Huge loss for Oshkosh.  Big win for Wheaton. For Oshkosh (5-3-2) the Pool B berth that was theirs to lose is slipping from their grasp with back-to-back losses leaving them winless and scoreless in their last three.  For Wheaton (5-5-1), the game was meaningless with respect to an at-large berth which is off the table with five September losses, but potentially invaluable for getting the still-young squad believing in themselves again and carrying the confidence they will need to pursue the CCIW championship.  It was a game that cold have gone either way: the host Oshkosh slightly better in the opening 45, the visiting Thunder with the better chances in the second 45, the one they put away in the 53rd minute being the difference.

Redlands 3, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 0 – In a huge west coast showdown of SCIAC rivals, the difference was the finishing.  Redlands (8-3-0 / 5-0-0) took better advantage of their opportunities netting three goals off 14 total shots, 9 on target, while Claremont-M-S (6-3-1 / 3-2-1) failed to beat the opposing keeper a single time despite 27 toal shots, only 7 being on frame.  For the winning Bulldogs that makes six straight wins since losing 4-1 to Trinity on their Texas road trip, outscoring opponents 22 to 2.  For the time being, Redlands appears to be the best California school ahead of Claremont and UC Santa Cruz, both 3-0 victims in the current win streak, as well as Chapman who they outplayed but lost to 1-0 earlier in the season.

No. 6 Dominican 5, Marian 0 – Dominican (9-1-0) won their eighth straight with ease, moving to 4-0-0 in the NAC with another conference title almost seeming a formality.  The Stars are 54-0-2 since the formation of the conference in 2006 and have won all five prior championships.

No. 17 Ohio Northern 1, Mount Union 1 (2OT) – As usual, Ohio Northern (8-2-2) took a ton of shots (36) and put plenty on frame (12), but whereas midweek against Thomas More they finished four to make up for the three their defense left in, today in an OAC contest the finishing simply wasn’t there and they had to settle for a tie.  2-2-2 after a 6-0 start, are the Polar Bears really a Top 25 team at this stage?

Baldwin-Wallace 4, Marietta 0 – Baldwin-Wallace (10-1-0) waltzed over Marietta in their OAC opener for their tenth straight “W”.  Maybe this is the OAC school everyone should be paying attention.  Not the most challenging schedule, but they have beaten a decent Case Western side.

No. 12 Gustavus Adolphus 0, Carleton 0 (2OT) – The Gusties came into this MIAC match flying high (9-1-0, 3.62 gpg) while Carleton was playing .500 ball, and that seemed evident as Gustavus Adolphus (9-1-1 / 3-0-1) jumped all over the hosts in the second half in search of the win, but Carleton (4-3-2 / 3-0-1) withstood the pressure to force overtime where they became the more adventurous team.  The teams are two-three in the MIAC standings.

St. John's 1, No. 18 St. Olaf 0 – Surely the ranked Oles would rebound from their midweek letdown against the Johnnies who hadn’t won in three week.  No, it was St. John’s (5-5-0 / 1-4-0) who got back on track with the win in this tightly contested MIAC contest. St. Olaf (7-2-1 / 2-1-1) have to regroup after a 0-1-1 week.

Lebanon Valley 1, Elizabethtown 0 – For only the second time ever, the LVC Dutchmen (7-4-0) have beaten conference rivals Elizabethtown (5-3-0).  The Commonwealth Conference opener was fairly evenly played and probably could have gone either way.  It’s evidence that second place in the Commonwealth is up for grabs, although LVC will try a repeat of 2008 when they beat Messiah for the first time ever to nab the #1 seed for the playoffs.

No. 4 St. Lawrence 1, Vassar 0 – St. Lawrence ran their record to a perfect 10-0-0 in their Liberty League opener at Vassar (7-3-1).  The Saints only managed one goal from 14 shots, six on goal, but it was enough as their defense didn’t surrender any goal-bound shots in recording their eighth shutout.

No. 10 Hobart 2, RPI 1 – Hobart (9-1-0) had to come from one down to try to keep pace with Liberty League rivals St. Lawrence.  Within 12 minutes of RPI opening the scoring in the 61st minute, the visiting Statesmen had reversed the outcome with a pair of their own.  The showdown with St. Lawrence is on tap this coming Saturday, Hobart hosting.

No. 2 Christopher Newport 1, Ferrum 0 – Despite dominating from the outset, the Captains (7-0-1) didn’t find the back of the net until their 25th shot of the game with 14 minutes remaining to be played.  Minutes later they almost were made to pay for their poor finishing when a handball gave Ferrum (2-7-2) a penalty kick opportunity to tie.  But they did not convert and CNU survived a contentious final 12 minutes for the “W’.

Emory 1, Chicago 0 – Emory’s perplexing season continued with a fortunate road win at Chicago as both schools opened UAA play.  Chicago (5-2-2) had shown some signs of being a borderline Top 25 level squad and were the only team that had a right to win this contest, outshooting their visitors 15 to 5, placing ten on target to just two for Emory, earning five corners and conceding none.  But a foul in the box led to Emory (5-4-0) scoring from the spot in the 69th minute and holding on to the final whistle. 

New York Univ. 1, Case Western Reserve 0 (OT) – Last year’s UAA champions, NYU, weren’t quite up to the demands of the opening weeks of the season but came into this conference opener on a 3-game win streak that included a promising performance against Merchant Marine.  Case Western (7-3-0) entered the week 7-1-0 and gave No. 3 Ohio Wesleyan a real fight mid-week despite the 2-1 loss.  Any perceived superiority for Case might have been countered with the game being in New York, and the result was 90 minutes of scoreless deadlock, broken five minutes into extra time when a NYU cross into the box eluded attacker and goalkeeper alike to enter the goal.  NYU (5-3-1) is now unbeaten in their last 10 UAA matches and the shutout is their eight straight in conference games, both streaks dating back to 2009.

Brandeis 1, Rochester 1 (2OT) – Sporting identical non-conference records, the UAA adversaries locked horns for 110 minutes in the conference opener and walked away still even. Each scoring a lone goal five minutes apart early in the second half, it will be the visiting Rochester (6-2-1) who feels they deserved a better return having outshot Brandeis (6-2-1) by a 17 to 12 count, placing twice as many on target (8 to 4).

No. 24 Salisbury 1, York (Pa.) 0 (OT) – Another interesting chapter in this rivalry as Salisbury (6-2-1 / 2-1-0) scores on their first shot on target for the win as the first overtime period was coming to a close.  Good chances were few with a struggling York (3-4-3 / 0-1-2) venturing more shots and looking the more likely to score from halftime on, hitting the woodwork and forcing Salisbury to make three saves to preserve the shutout.  It was one of the Spartan’s best showings of the season but that wasn’t enough to prevent Salisbury claiming their first victory in the series since 2007. Salisbury hasn’t impressed against their tougher opponents but unlike York hasn’t played their way out of Pool C at-large consideration yet should they need that to go dancing.

Frostburg State 1, Mary Washington 1 (2OT) – Outplayed, especially in the second half, Mary Washington (4-4-2 / 2-0-1) is fortunate to escape Frostburg  St. (6-1-2 / 1-1-1) with a tie, but it’s enough to stay atop the CAC for at least another few days.  It’s been a mixed bag to say the least for the Eagles thus far who have been inconsistent in dealing with a challenging schedule.  Frostburg have fared better but against a far easier schedule.

No. 9 Amherst 3, Tufts 0 – Amherst (7-0-0 / 4-0-0) stayed perfect overall and in conference play with their comfortable win over the Jumbos.

Middlebury 0, No. 13 Wesleyan 0 (2OT) – While Wesleyan (5-0-2 / 5-0-1) continues to exceed expectations, Middlebury (2-2-3 / 0-2-3) continues to puzzle.  Good chances to score were few and fairly even between the rivals.  It was the undefeated Cardinals fifth shutout as they try to keep pace with Amherst in the NESCAC.  Middlebury now has very little room for error and might not be able to afford another regular season loss before the conference playoffs if they want to keep the door open to a Pool C tournament berth.

No. 20 Williams 1, MIT 0 – A dominating first half gave visitors Williams (4-1-1) a 1-0 lead which was all they needed to best MIT (4-5-0).  MIT did make a game of it after the break but couldn’t net an equalizer.

Connecticut College 1, Bowdoin 0 – Bowdoin, 2010 national semifinalist, has slumped to their third conference loss and a .500 overall record (3-3-1).  They, like Middlebury, have little room for error should they need an at-large bid to the NCAA’s, but first they need to concentrate on picking up their first conference win to start working themselves back into a playoff spot.

Trinity (Conn.) 2, Colby 0 – Trinity (5-1-2 / 3-0-2) have won five straight and could conceivably be 7-1-2 overall and 4-0-2 in the conference before closing their regular season and NESCAC slate with Amherst, Middlebury, Bowdoin, and Wesleyan.

Hamilton 2, Bates 1 – Hamilton (2-4-1) should be relieved to finally have gotten their first conference win as a member of the NESCAC after six tries.  They are finding life a bit more difficult in their new conference, one of the very toughest in the nation.

Elmira 1, St. John Fisher 1 (2OT) – In a fairly evenly contested Empire 8 match that may have slightly favored St. John Fisher (3-6-1 / 1-1-1), it appeared Elmira (9-0-1) had the home victory when they took a 1-0 lead into the final five minutes. But the Cardinals struck in the 87th minute to give the Soaring Eagles their first blemish of the season.

No. 22 Stevens 2, Nazareth 1 – Stevens (7-2-0) will be upset that they allowed Nazareth (4-5-0) to score in an otherwise commanding performance by the Ducks in Empire 8 action, but they got the win.  It’s now six in a row for Stevens (7-2-0) who also are 2-0 in conference.  After a mid-week match against NJCU, they tangle with undefeated conference foe Elmira next Saturday.

No. 21 DePauw 1, Kenyon 0 (OT) – It was a balanced and relatively tame NCAC contest asking little of the goalkeepers, remaining scoreless through regulation.  But just 1:38 of extra time accomplished what the previous 90 did not when DePauw (9-1-0 / 3-0-0) found the back of the net for their fourth overtime victory of the season.  The tigers perfect record in their new conference will be put to the highest test next Saturday when they host power Ohio Wesleyan.

SUNYIT 8, Gallaudet 0 – Perfect in conference, winless out of conference, SUNYIT (4-4-1 / 4-0-0) crushed winless Gallaudet (0-7-0 / 0-4-0) in NEAC match of schools on opposite ends of the standings.

Springfield 2, Coast Guard 1 – Slightly outplayed in their NEWMAC encounter with Coast Guard, a goal off a corner kick with 3:20 left allowed Springfield (6-0-3) to escape with the 2-1 win, remain undefeated overall and perfect in conference play through three games.  The biggest conference tests (Babson, WPI) still await.

Albertus Magnus 5, Norwich 1 – With their seventh straight win overall, Albert Magnus (8-2-0) is head of the GNAC class with their fifth conference victory in as many games.

Eastern Connecticut 1, Western Connecticut 0 – East beats west in this intra-state LEC clash.  Eastern Connecticut (7-2-1) sports the only perfect 3-0 record in the conference.

Brockport State 1, New Paltz State 0 – In SUNYAC play, Brockport (6-3-1 / 3-1-0) bounced back from their road loss to Oneonta the day before to edge New Paltz in a foul-riddle contest.

Oneonta State 2, Geneseo State 1 (2OT) – After scoring the games first goal with just 8 minutes to play, Oneonta St. (6-2-2 / 3-0-1) couldn’t close the deal and needed to tally a second in overtime to topple Geneseo St. (6-3-1 / 3-1-0).  Nevertheless it was a clean sweep of their two weekend SUNYAC home games to move top of the conference standings and extend their overall home unbeaten streak to 23 games.

No. 25 Plattsburgh State 1, Oswego State 1 (2OT) – Plattsburgh’s conference campaign is off to a bumpy start with a second tie in three games to a supposedly inferior opponent. This time it was Oswego (5-4-1 / 0-3-1) that frustrated the Cardinals (9-0-2 / 1-0-2) who do remain unbeaten overall, but still lack a quality win.  They once again won the PK shootout which the SUNYAC uses as a tie-breaker in playoff seeding.

Scranton 1, Merchant Marine 1 (2OT) – An Elite 8 team last November, Merchant Marine (6-3-1) fail to impress in 2011, being held to a tie by Scranton in Landmark Conference play.

Ramapo 2, Kean 1 – In a typical, tight NJAC match, Ramapo (6-2-2 / 2-1-1) edged Kean (6-3-2 / 3-2-0) with a goal with just 61 ticks left on the clock to show that they have every intention to be a player in the NJAC race.

Richard Stockton 2, New Jersey City 1 – Stockton (7-3-1 / 1-2-1) finally got their first conference win in four tries, downing bottom of the table NJCU by a 2-1 count.  Some positive non-conference results (wins over Lynchburg, Johns Hopkins, and NYU) have not translated into conference play so far for the Ospreys who have some catching up to do.

William Paterson 4, Rowan 3 (OT) – After a stalemated first half that produced a mere two shots a piece, Paterson (8-1-2 / 2-1-1) looked to have earned the victory 20 minutes after the break when Anthony Ferrer scored a hat trick in a near-record 1 min. 45 sec. span (the men’s D-III record, by the way, is 1:05).  However, Rowan (4-4-2 / 1-2-1) fought back and forced overtime with the equalizer coming just 51 seconds from time.  Ferrer to the rescue with a fourth goal in the sixth minute of extra play. 

Rutgers-Camden 1, Lynchburg 0 – Rutgers-Camden (9-2-1) became the second NJAC school to come back from Lynchburg with a 1-0 road win over last year’s national runner-up.  The goal came in the 77th minute in a fairly evenly played regional match. Lynchburg (4-5-2) is finding it tough to live up to the expectations brought on by the run to the 2010 title game, and the ODAC title is their only road back to the dance at this point.

Montclair State 6, CCNY 0 – Montclair St. (8-1-2) overwhelmed CCNY for its fifth straight win in a game that tells us little about the Red Hawks.

No. 14 Swarthmore 2, McDaniel 0 – A goal in each half was plenty for Swarthmore (7-2-0 / 3-1-0) to brush aside McDaniel for second straight win after 2-game skid to keep pace in the competitive Centennial Conference.

Gettysburg 1, Dickinson 0 (2OT) – Gettysburg (5-3-1 / 3-0-1) is the surprise of the Centennial Conference thus far as a 1-0 double-overtime win over hosts Dickinson (6-3-2 / 3-1-0) lifted them into a first place tie with Hopkins with who they tied mid-week.  The Bullets had the upper hand throughout and are now unbeaten in their last five.  Something to think about with regard to the quality of the Centennial this year: No. 1 Messiah dealt easily with both these schools, 4-1 at Dickinson, 5-0 over Gettysburg at home.

Johns Hopkins 2, Franklin & Marshall 1 (OT) – In what has become one of the most competitive match-ups in the Centennial Conference (14 of last 15 matches decided by one goal or less), visiting Hopkins (5-2-3 / 3-0-1) nipped the Diplomats (5-3-1 / 2-2-0) in overtime for their first win in last five in the series and their first win in Lancaster since 2004.  Additionally it snapped the Dips’ overall home winning streak at 10, dating back to last September.

Muhlenberg 2, Haverford 0 – The Mules (6-2-0 / 2-2-0) snap their two-game losing streak, both in conference, by shutting out Haverford who doesn’t seem to be building on the improvement seen last year, complicated by the departure of Coach Bill Brady who had nearly guided the Fords to their first appearance in the Centennial playoffs since helping form the all-sports conference in 1993.

Catholic 2, Susquehanna 1 –  Catholic (6-3-0 / 2-0-0) has their eyes set on a Landmark three-peat.

Drew 5, Moravian 1 – Drew adds a conference win to their loss to Susquehanna to even themselves at 1-1 in the Landmark and raise their over mark to 8-2-0.  Combined record of their eight victims: 29-47-4 (.388). 

Roger Williams 1, Curry 1 (2OT) – Well, Roger Williams (9-0-2) did remain unbeaten in 2011, but they’ll be disappointed with this tie.  After a balanced first half, they dominated the rest of the way but couldn’t make a 29 to 14 shot advantage (SOG 9-5) payoff.

Baruch 1, Hunter 1 (2OT) – The battle between the favorites for the CUNYAC crown ended in a stalemate.  Hopefully one of these schools can pick up enough conference wins en route to the title that they finish over .500 heading into the NCAA’s.  As of now there’s not a single CUNYAC school with a winning overall record.

St. Scholastica 3, Crown 0 – St.Scholastica (8-1-1) have back-to-back UMAC titles on their mind with a leading 5-0-1 conference record.  Their only real challenger is Minnesota-Morris (6-3-2 / 5-1-0), the only other conference school with winning overall record.

Babson 3, WPI 1 – WPI’s 8-1-0 record against a soft slate of opponents wasn’t sufficient preparation for Babson (7-2-1 / 2-0-0) in their NEWMAC clash.  WPI (8-2-0 / 2-1-0) was worked over by Babson to the tune of 27 shots to 8, 10 attempts on frame to 3.

Southern Vermont 1, Daniel Webster 0 – Southern Vermont (7-3-0 / 3-0-0) go top of the NECC, now in its fourth year of existence.  Could So. Vermont win their first conference title since 1993 when they nabbed the Colonial States Conference championship?

Lesley 2, Elms 1 (OT) – NECC runners-up in 2008 and 2009 and regular season champions in 2010 before being eliminated on PK’s in the semifinals, Lesley (7-2-1 / 1-1-0) has their sights set firmly on a first ever conference title and NCAA berth in this the program’s sixth year.  After a 6-1-1 non-conference run, dominating yet losing 1-0 in their conference opener due to the keeper’s mishandling of a long throw-in late in the game was a sucker-punch to those plans.  Given how important that made today’s conference game, conceding the first goal after 20 minutes could have demoralized the Lynx, but they re-grouped at halftime, scored right out of the break, and deserved the win in regulation given their domination.  The win, however, would have to wait for the 8th minute of overtime, but it would be theirs. 

St. Norbert 2, Grinnell 0  – St. Norbert (1-7-1 / 1-1-1) earned their first win of the season over MWC rival Grinnell (2-7-1 / 0-2-0).  It’s actually not too late for the Green Knights to make something of their season as the MWC seems especially weak this year and they are already in a playoff spot.

DeSales 2, Manhattanville 1 – A pretty heady 9-1 September for the Manhattanville (9-2-0) came to an immediate halt in the new month in their Freedom Conference opener.  DeSales (8-2-1) scored early and despite being outplayed throughout only conceded once which enabled them to steal the win with a fortuitous goal when two Valiant defenders collided on a corner kick with just under five to play.

Thomas More 6, Thiel 0 – Their 7-0-0 start to the season was spoiled by a tie and a loss in succession, but Thomas More (7-1-1) got back in the win column in their President’s conference opener against Thiel. The Saints are looking to capture their third straight conference championship and accompany ticket to the NCAA’s.

Maryville (Tenn.) 0, Berry 0 (2OT) – With each blemish like this, Maryville’s hopes for a berth in the NCAA’s, raised by their 6-0 start, diminish dramatically.  Despite UW-Oshkosh’s recent faltering and Whitewater’s disastrous start, Maryville (7-2-2) does not have the strength of schedule to compensate for as many blemishes, especially when not coming against top level competition.

Lake Forest 1, Monmouth 1 (OT) – Lake Forest (9-0-2 / 1-0-1) remained undefeated but did have to settle for a tie when Monmouth (3-4-2 / 0-0-2) matched the Foresters’ first half tally with one of their own just 72 second from time.  It was a fairly evenly played MWC match and one that suggests that the unbeaten record flatters Lake Forest.  


Friday, September 30

No. 1 Messiah 6, Widener 1 – Messiah (9-0-1) spoils Widener’s Homecoming with a dominating performance in the Commonwealth Conference opener for both teams.

No. 5 Trinity (Texas) 3, Centre 0 – The SCAC regular season opened with Trinity riding a 50-game unbeaten streak (49-0-1) in conference.  Last conference rival to knock them off?  Centre back in 2005 in Danville, KY.  After a tightly played first half that saw Trinity (6-0-2) edge ahead with a late goal, the Tigers took over the game in the second stanza.  Nevertheless they didn't put Centre away until the 84th minute when Brian Hines went into the record books with two goals in 11 seconds, the second-fastest consecutive goals scored by one player in NCAA Division III history.  [Correction: the SCAC has a 6-team playoff, so only a 6th place finish is required.]

Oglethorpe 3, Austin 1 – Oglethorpe opened SCAC play with a win and at 7-2-0 are on their way to their first winning season in five years.  Whether they can improve on their fifth place in the conference standings in that winning (13-6-0) 2006 season is yet to be seen, but it will be necessary if they are to take part in the first-ever SCAC conference tournament.

No. 3 Ohio Wesleyan 3, Hiram 1 – Hiram (5-2-1), who stiffled Messiah opening weekend at Ohio Wesleyan, were back to play the hosts a month later in a NCAC opener and again put in an impressive performance (24 shots, 8 on goal).  But Ohio Wesleyan (9-1-0) was still a little too much for them, scoring on three of their twelve shots on target (27 shots overall) while only conceding one late.

Geneseo St. 1, New Paltz St. 0 – Geneseo (6-2-1 / 3-0-0) is the early leader in the SUNYAC with a late goal to defeat New Paltz.  However, all the contenders for the conference title are still ahead on Geneseo’s schedule.

Oneonta St. 3, Brockport St. 1 – In this SUNYAC tilt between two schools that expect to repeat as challengers for the conference title, Oneonta (5-2-2) got stronger as the game went on to come away the 3-1 victors at home.  It was the first conference loss after two wins for an inconsistent Brockport (5-3-1) side.  

No. 25 Plattsburgh St. 3, Cortland St. 0 – Ranked Plattsburgh (9-0-1) had the upper hand throughout this SUNYAC game and controlled the second half, but they were still in a scoreless tie through 79 minutes before getting some help by way of an own goal to go in front.  Two more goals in the final minutes gave them a scoreline more reflective of the game played.  They remain one of the fourteen undefeated teams heading into October.

No. 10 Hobart 1, Skidmore 0 – In Liberty League action Hobart (8-1-0) came out narrow 1-0 victors over Skidmore.  It’s the “W” that counts, but it was an even match that shouldn’t impress anyone that Hobart should be ranked any higher than they already are.  

University of the Ozarks 2, Mary Hardin-Baylor 0 – Officially still undefeated after their 30 minute 4-0 deficit to Trinity was thrown out by a lightening-forced cancellation, MHB (5-1-1) couldn't ride their luck any further and slumped to a 2-0 loss in ASC play.  In a pretty tame affair that didn't call the keepers into action very often, Ozarks (4-5-0) notched a goal on either side of half-time for the win.  It was Mary Hardin-Baylor’s first conference loss against four wins.

Roanoke 3, Eastern Mennonite 0 – Roanoke (8-2-1 / 4-0-1) is top dog in the ODAC at this juncture as they handled EMU with relative ease.  Their 2-0 loss to Greensboro two weekends ago is kind of puzzling in the context of their overall record, but maybe we can write that off to one of those days and being the second road game in as many days.

No. 11 Loras 1, No. 23 Augsburg 0 – In a Top 25 match-up, Loras (8-1-1) edged Augsburg (7-1-1) by converting one of their few shots after nearly 72 scoreless minutes.  In a game of contrasting styles--Loras patient in possession and build-up play; Augsburg attacking with quick balls played up to their forwards--attemps were at a premium and shots on frame nearly non existent.  


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Jim Matson, Christan Shirk, Ryan Harmanis, and other staff writers and contributors help cover the games and results across the nation.

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