October 8, 2011

Week 6 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 9

No. 10 Loras 5, No. 6 Dominican 0 – WOW!  No misprint!  5-0 was the score.  Say it again with me: WOW!  It wasn’t inconceivable to believe Loras was the better team coming in, especially after seeing Dominican struggle in two successive games against mid-table NAC opponents.  Both teams were playing their second game in as many days and third game of the week, so it was going to be a real test of who was prepared for the back-to-backs in the NCAA tournament.  Unfortunately, Dominican’s All-American scorer and playmaker did not participate and a starting defender was also out for the Stars.  Whether that’s a partial explanation or not, they got torched for two goals inside ten minutes.  But Dominican was attacking and taking shots at an equal rate as their visitors, but only one that called the Duhawk keeper into action.  Loras was creating better chances and finished another in the 24th minute giving them a surprising 3-goal lead at half time.  Whether tired, demoralized, or over-matched, there would be no comeback by the Stars.  Loras (11-1-2) would tack on two more and both teams would go to their benches to play out the game.  The last time Dominican (11-2-0) gave up five goals was almost exactly 9 years ago in a 6-1 road loss to the one of the strongest sides Trinity (Tx.) has ever put out.     

Williams 2, No. 8 Amherst 2 (2OT) – Amherst might have been undefeated and the NESCAC leaders while Williams had some mixed results, but this was always going to be a huge battle.  Both teams looked dangerous throughout and it was Williams that was first on the board, scoring in the 24th minute after which Amherst intensified their efforts.  But Williams survived the pressure into halftime still ahead 1-0.  The Ephs started the second half more brightly and after one effort was saved off the line they doubled their advantage in the 66th minute.  The Lord Jeffs responded by tightening up defensively and adjusting their attacking formation which paid dividends with a 79th minute goal and earning a penalty less than a minute later which was saved but poked in off the rebound.  The woodwork denied Amherst (8-0-1 / 4-0-1) a last-minute game-winner, but they continued to hold the upper hand through-out overtime and Williams (4-2-2 / 3-1-2) was probably the happier side to hear the final whistle.

Oglethorpe 2, Colorado College 1 (OT) – It was a competitive SCAC match in which Colorado was quicker to pull the trigger but less accurate with their shots (6 of 24 shots on target) while Oglethorpe were more selective and accurate with their efforts (10 of 15 shots target).  It would take 65 minutes to break the 0-0 score, Oglethorpe going ahead for all of 2 minutes before Colorado (7-3-3 / 2-2-0) equalized.  The back and forth battle would continue into overtime before seeing another goal, a sweet 30-yard free kick game-winner for Oglethorpe (10-2-0 /  4-0-0) who is off to their best start in program history.  And given that the unbalanced SCAC scheduling this year means they don’t have to play Trinity and Southwestern, staying joint SCAC leaders with Trinity isn’t so far-fetched but road trips to Centre and BSU make it a tall order.

Bowdoin 2, Babson 2 (2OT) – Babson was looking for their second NESCAC scalp in as many weeks.  Bowdoin was having to contemplate the possibility of missing the 8-team conference playoffs after being a Final Four team a year ago.  What ensued was a competitive back-and-forth affair.  Late in the first half the Babson matched a 20th minute Bowdoin score, and their penalty kick tally in the 59th minute seemed like it would hold up for the win only to be cancelled out by a well-worked Polar Bear strike with 3:05 to play.  An at-large berth to the NCAA’s a lost hope for the Polar Bears, a victory would have been more useful for Babson’s resume, but it was Bowdoin who came closest to snatching the victory in extra time.

UW-Oshkosh 1, St. Scholastica 0 – Any win, any way to stop the bleeding it what UW-Oshkosh (6-4-2) needed and that’s really all they got, nothing more.  Three straight losses had removed their grip on the lone Pool B berth to the NCAA’s, so the Titans will take the “W” courtesy of a 20-yard strike 19 seconds before the interval.  But the St. Scholastica’s of the world aren’t the teams Oshkosh wants to be measured by, even if the Saints (9-2-1) are running away from the pack in the UMAC.

UC Santa Cruz 1, Occidental 0 – UW-Oshkosh’s troubles means UC Santa Cruz own 3-game skid and four total losses doesn’t rule them out of a shot at that lone Pool B berth.  However, a tight match and narrow 1-0 win over Occidental does not sound like a team that deserves to be dancing in November. Nevertheless, if the Banana Slugs (7-4-0) can win-out, it could be a very interested decision the committee has on their hands.

No. 5 Trinity (Texas) 5, Millsaps 0 – Ho, hum.  Trinity (9-0-2 / 4-0-0) pastes 5 goals on a hapless Millsaps, having taken 38 shots, 14 on target versus a mere three off-target efforts.  The Tigers keep pace with Oglethorpe in the SCAC standings.

No. 11 Swarthmore 2, Gettysburg 0 – Swarthmore (9-2-0 / 4-1-0) asserted itself in this Centennial Conference match and put Gettysburg (6-4-1 / 3-1-1), until now undefeated in-conference, back in their place.  A dominating first half performance put the Garnet up 2-0 and that was all that was required as the Bullets only managed 1 shot on target all game.

No. 21 Muhlenberg 1, Washington College 0 – A 19th minute goal was enough for the Mules (7-2-1 / 3-2-0) to the gain the “W”, but as a ranked team against an opponent who only wins once in three games you’d expect a more commanding performance.  Placing 12 of 17 shots on frame while Washington (3-6-2 / 1-3-1) managed only half that with the same number of shots taken demonstrated Muhlenberg’s superiority, but they will need to do better against the conferences better teams.  Surprisingly, they were the first team to shutout out Washington in 2011, and it was their seventh shutout overall.

Franklin and Marshall 4, McDaniel 1 – With the conference win, F&M (7-3-1 / 3-2-0) keeps themselves in the six-team mix fighting for five Centennial Conference playoffs spots.  And with the greater inconsistency most of the Centennial teams have shown thus far this season, there’s no way to predict who will be the odd team out. 

No. 7 Washington U. 2, Emory 1 (2OT) – Maybe the most perplexing team in all of D-III this year is Emory, beating Va. Wesleyan 5-0 on day, two days later losing 3-0 to Guilford.  They have been without their 1st Team All-Region goalkeeper and last year’s second leading scorer since the opening weekend, but they still posted five shutouts and have outshot their opponents in all but one game and put more on frame in all but two.  With inconsistent finishing and defense they have still managed six wins in their last seven ahead of hosting Washington who has been Top 10 all season long.  So what happened in this UAA contest?  Emory rose to the occasion and out-played the Bears only to lose.  A 13-2 first-half shot advantage resulted in a 1-goal deficit with Washington scoring off their only corner kick of the game.  The Eagles continued to create the majority of the scoring opportunities in the second and finally equalized 20 minutes from time but couldn’t get the go-ahead winner that they probably deserved.  The first 10-minute overtime saw as many on-target shots as the previous 90 minutes—4 for Emory, 2 for Washington—but the deadlock stood until the fourth minute of the more subdued second overtime period when Washington (10-1-0 / 2-0-0) scored on the period’s first shot, leaving Emory (6-5-0 / 1-1-0) to know what Chicago must have felt like the previous week when they outplayed the visiting Eagles only to lose 1-0 on a penalty kick.


Saturday, October 8

Manhattanville 2, No. 25 Misericordia 0 – It’s going to be a short stay in the Top 25 for Misericordia (8-1-1 / 1-1-0) whose midweek draw with Dickinson cost them their perfect record and now lose undefeated status in this Freedom Conference contest.  But the story here might be Manhattanville (9-3-0 / 1-1-0) and Eros Olazabal.  After defeating Merchant Marine 11 days ago, they sat at 8-1-0 (lone loss being to Stevens, 4-3) and, together with their 20-goal striker, seemed primed to get people’s attention.  But a tough loss to DeSales in their conference opener last Saturday nixed that and a narrow loss to Swarthmore this week left them with a respectable but un-attention getting 8-3-0 record and Olazabal stuck on 20 goals.  That changed when the 5’-6” forward put the Valiants in front of Misericordia just before the half hour mark and in doing so broke the school’s single-season scoring record.  In an otherwise evenly played opening period, Misericordia probably felt hard done by to have gone down by two goals 7 minutes later. It was mostly the hosts generating offense in the second stanza as they chased the game to no avail, Manhattanville allowing few good looks despite not taking a single shot themselves in preserving the win that leaves the two sides even at 1-1 in the conference standings and trailing front runner DeSales.

Rutgers-Camden 3, No. 23 Montclair State 1 – It was William Paterson and then this week Montclair St. who were getting the national ranking and recognition despite Rutgers-Camden having at least an equal claim to the spotlight.  That will change with this win; they certainly can’t be ignored now.  One-two in the NJAC standings, it was a mouth-watering match-up and by all accounts did not disappoint.  Exciting and well-played by both sides, the game entered the break still knotted 0-0 thanks to the woodwork turning aside an early Montclair effort.  The deadlock continued into the 64th minute when a six-minute burst left the game 2-1 in Camden’s favor.  The hosts opened the scoring only to be drawn even less than two minutes later, but it only took a few minutes to regain the advantage and this time they did not give it up.  The Red Hawks fought to get back on level terms but Camden notched an assurance goal in the 79th minute to seal the victory, made all the more impressive since it was earned without the services of their leading goal-scorer.

Oneonta State 5, No. 19 Plattsburgh State 0 – Unlike the aforementioned NJAC clash, this anticipated SUNYAC dogfight ended up being anything but.  Visiting Plattsburgh were upset the night before at New Paltz, suffering their first loss of the season, and despite still owning a 9-1-2 record and a Top 25 ranking, the Cardinals were near the bottom of the conference standings with some catching-up to do.  Oneonta on the other hand were off national radar with a less gaudy 7-2-2 record, but were atop the SUNYAC standings at 4-0-1 and were riding a 9-game unbeaten streak.  An early goal for the Red Dragons set the tone and another on the half-hour mark reflected their 6-1 advantage in shots on goal in the opening stanza.  The expected response from Plattsburgh after the break never materialized and instead the hosts just ran away with this one, netting three times in next fifteen minutes and that was all she wrote.  Not only did Oneonta (8-2-2 / 5-0-1) establish themselves as the SUNYAC top dog, they extended their home unbeaten streak to 25 games.  Plattsburgh (9-2-2 / 1-2-2), seventh in the SUNYAC standings, has work to do now to get back into one of the six playoff spots.

No. 4 St. Lawrence 3, No. 9 Hobart 0 – Maybe their will always be doubters, but St. Lawrence should have silenced most of theirs with this big road win.  One of many great match-ups on the day, this one pitted two Top 10 teams and Liberty League rivals, both with 10 wins on the season.  The Saints’ keeper had to be alert to disrupt a Hobart run on goal just seconds after kick-off before the first half settled into a midfield battle with just 3 shots a piece.  However, one of the visitor’s efforts was well-placed upper 90 to open the scoring in the 16th minute.  The game opened up in the second half, both teams getting themselves into dangerous positions and forcing the keepers in action much more than in the opening period.  It was probably the Statesmen with the best chance until the 75th minute when St. Lawrence doubled their lead on a header from a corner kick.  Another Saint tally with under 7 to play completed the scoring, and they closed out the game for their seventh straight shutout win, ninth total.  St. Lawrence (11-0-0 / 4-0-0) remain perfect while Hobart (10-2-0 / 2-2-0) looks to get a second crack at the Saints in the conference final.

No. 10 Loras 3, Central 3 – Maybe Loras was looking ahead to Dominican on Sunday.  Or maybe Central is better than thought.  At the least Central is trying to establish themselves as the most credible challenger to Loras in the IIAC.  Or, given the plights of Wartbug and Dubuque, maybe “the most” should be replaced with “the only”.  In any case, Central and Loras combined for six goals in a breath-taking opening 45 minutes.  If the 72 seconds it took for Loras (10-1-2 / 3-0-1) to open the scoring seemed fast, how about the 40 seconds it took for Central (8-4-1 / 2-1-1) to equalize?  Then it was Central’s turn to take a lead, this one holding for twenty minutes.  An equalizer, another Central go-ahead goal, and a final equalizer took the game to half-time when the defenses got a chance to regroup.  The attacking continued in the second half, more of it coming from Loras, but the keepers had recovered form their shellshock and were up for the task, sending the IIAC clash into overtime where the balance may have swung back in Central’s favor a little, but the first half fireworks would be the only scoring today.

No. 2 Christopher Newport 7, Rutgers-Newark 0 – What a statement game!  In a 90 minute tour de force, the Captains made the Scarlet Knights look much worse than the decent 9-5 team that they are.  Firing on all cylinders, Christopher Newport (10-0-1) scored early and often with their All-Americans leading the way.  Rutgers-Newark simply never had a chance in this one.  A case has been made for switching votes for the no. 1 ranking.

No. 6 Dominican 1, Lakeland 0 (OT) – No one expected this NAC contest to be so dramatic as a routine Dominican conference win was predictable.  But for the second time this week, the Stars found themselves sweating out a win against a sub .500 team.  A 17-4 shot advantage, 9 on target versus just one, did not translate into any goals for Dominican after 90 minutes, and overtime beckoned.   Lakeland (4-5-3 / 2-2-2) held out for 6 more minutes, but Dominican (11-1-0 / 6-0-0) finally got the deserved win to extend their in-conference unbeaten streak to 69 games, 58 in the NAC they helped form in 2006.

No. 17 Stevens 2, Elmira 1 – This Empire 8 contest matched the surprising Elmira, still undefeated after 10 games, against perennially ranked Stevens.  Elmira has been flying high from the start, albeit against a soft schedule, jumping out to nine straight wins, six by shutout, before losing perfection in a midweek tie with St. Johns Fisher.  Conversely, Stevens got off to a rocky start under their new head coach, even their wins not impressing until a gutsy 1-0 win over Swarthmore a couple weeks back.  Their 7 straight wins and rising confidence showed from the start against their host, and the Ducks controlled most of the first half action, forcing eight keeper saves while not being troubled once themselves.  But without a goal to show for it, the games remained tense as twenty second-half minutes passed still scoreless with Elmira bending but not breaking as Stevens kept them under siege.  The long-coming breakthrough finally came in the 68th minute and it almost seemed certain Stevens would expand that 1-0 lead as they upped their assaulted on the Elmira goal in the next 10 minutes.  It was a small shock then when the Soaring Eagles knotted the game against the run of play, but the Ducks attack went right back to work and got the game-winner minutes later. 

No. 3 Ohio Wesleyan 1, No. 15 DePauw 0 – A pretty steady diet of sub-.500 competition couldn't have been good preparation for facing this powerful Ohio Wesleyan (11-1-0 / 3-0-0) squad, but for 45 minutes DePauw (9-2-0 / 3-1-0) played their new NCAC rivals tough despite conceding a goal in the 32nd minute.  The Bishops' superiority became more evident after the break with DePauw's goaltender keeping them from increasing their lead.  However, his opposite number had little to do and the single goal stood up.

No. 12 Gustavus Adolphus 2, Bethel 0 – Bethel's 6-1-1 start wasn't expected to hold up down the stretch of MIAC play, and Gustavus Adolphus (11-1-1 / 4-1-1) handed them their second conference loss of the week.  A goal inside 10 minutes and another 5 minutes before the half was just reward for 10 shots on goal.  Bethel (7-3-2 / 2-3-0) battled better in a scoreless second half, but are now starring at a difficult task to get back into the playoff picture.

No. 14 North Park 3, Wheaton (Ill.) 2 – For long-time D-III soccer followers, it's hard to believe Wheaten has as many losses as wins more than half-way through the season for the second straight year. It was in this same game a year ago when the Thunder got their second of nine straight wins which were all for naught when they lost the re-match in the CCIW final. A goal 7 minutes in suggested history could repeat itself, but North Park responded with two of their own before half time to reverse the advantage despite Wheaton holding slight edges in shots and SOG.  North Park stretched their lead which was important when Wheaton (6-6-1 / 0-1-0) struck again but it was enough.  The score and the stat sheet indicate that this is a pretty decent Wheaton squad, making it puzzling that they have such a poor record. For undefeated North Park (7-0-5 / 2-0-1), it's back-to-back wins for the first time since the first week of the season.

No. 1 Messiah 3, Arcadia 0 – There was no doubt who the better team was after 45 minutes of action, but the top ranked Falcons lacked the cutting edge to make the young Arcadia side pay and the scoreboard read 0-0 at the break.  It was obvious that won't stay the case for long with the way Messiah (11-0-1 / 2-0-0) upped the intensity right from the restart, pinning the Knights back until netting the game's first goal.  Arcadia (6-6-0 / 1-1-0) had no answer and it continued to be one-way traffic results in two more goals.

No. 13 Wesleyan 3, Bates 0 – Wesleyan (8-0-2 / 7-0-1) comfortably opened a 2-0 halftime lead on goals in the 9th and 28th minutes before taking their foot off the pedal some after the interval.  Bates tried to take advantage and get back into the game, but they never tested the Wesleyan keeper and a third score for the hosts minutes from time rounded out the scoring.  It marks the fifth straight shutout for the Cardinals of eight total on the season.

No. 16 Ohio Northern 2, Capital 0 – In OAC action, Ohio Northern as usual racked up lots of shots, many on target, but as also has become frequent they struggled to make it count and Capital (5-6-1 / 0-2-1) generated enough offense of their own to have hope at halftime, tied 0-0.  That hope was erased within 9 minutes after the break with the Polar Bears (10-2-2 / 2-0-1) converting twice, a difference which held up.

Potsdam State 3, New Paltz State 2 – Potsdam and playoffs have been mutually exclusive for the last eight years; them and a winning season last seen together over a decade ago.  But that could be about to change. Of course, it’s easier to feel optimistic about that now than at half time.  It was the day after New Palz had beaten Plattsburgh for the first time in 23 years while travelling Potsdam was being schooled 4-0 by the SUNYAC leaders Oneonta State, and that seemed to carry right over into this match as the hosts had the better of play in building a 2-0 halftime lead.  But adjustments made at the interval paid off immediately for Potsdam (6-5-2 / 3-1-1) with a goal 74 seconds into the second period.  Playing as equals now, the visitors struck for the equalizer in the 61st minute and just when extra time seemed inevitable they scored off a corner with 51 ticks left on the clock to shock New Paltz (6-7-2 / 2-3-1) and move into third place in the SUNYAC standings.

Carleton 1, No. 20 Augsburg 0 – Augsburg came in seeming like the class of the MIAC, but Carleton has forgotten about a few silly non-conference losses and gotten the job done in conference play, especially against the other challengers for the title.  Last weekend they fought Gustavus Adolphus, the conference’s highest shooting and scoring side, to a scoreless tie and they brought the same defensive stinginess to Minneapolis.  Augsburg (8-2-1 / 4-1-0) as expected offered more in attack, but Carleton withstood the pressure in the first half and gave a better showing in a more balanced second period.  Another scoreless draw seemed on the cards, but a turnover by an Auggie back near his own box presented Carleton (7-3-2 / 4-0-1) with a one-on-one with the keeper that was slotted home for the win. The Knights are the only MIAC team without a conference loss to date.

No. 22 Salisbury 2, New Jersey 2 (2OT) – After back-to-back wins against York and Johns Hopkins, Salisbury will be disappointed to not have dealt better with TCNJ.  The Gulls responded brilliantly to going down a goal already in the seventh minute, scoring in the 16th and 30th minutes to lead at half.  They continued to be the more dangerous in the early part of the second half looking for an insurance goal before the game evened out with New Jersey (4-5-4) fighting to knot things up in the final quarter hour.  With two minutes remaining it was an equalizer not an insurance goal that would be the game’s final tally as twenty minutes of extra time went scoreless. Salisbury (7-2-2) is now winless in their three toughest non-conference in-region games (F&M, CNU, TCNJ).

No. 24 Baldwin-Wallace 2, Otterbein 1 – It might not have been as easy as they would have liked, but Baldwin-Wallace (12-1-0 / 3-0-0) just keeps winning—now 12 straight—and tops the OAC at 3-0-0.  Giving up the games first goal in the 16th minute to low-scoring Otterbein wasn’t in the game plan, but they equalized minutes later and scored the game-winner 7 minutes after the interval.

Colby 2, Bowdoin 0 – No offense to Colby, but any aspirations Bowdoin (4-4-1 / 1-4-1) had for this year seem all but dead and buried after being outplayed by the White Mules in the second half, the visitors’ greater urgency paying off with two late goals for the win.  With Lynchburg under .500, Bowdoin at .500 and UW-Oshkosh slipping ever closer, this has to represent the greatest fall-off for a Final Four group in D-III history.

UW-Platteville 1, UW-Oshkosh 0 – Having lost their third straight and scoreless in four, UW-Oshkosh seems to be doing everything in its power to make sure that the Pool B race goes down to the wire, letting the door open to rival UW-Whitewater, UC Santa Cruz, and Maryville to claim the lone berth that seemed the Titans to lose just two weeks ago.

Pacific Lutheran 4, Puget Sound 2 – In a NWC match-up of two of the three teams tied atop the standings at 5-1, Pacific Lutheran (9-2-0 / 6-1-0) did better with their chances to score four sandwiched between the opening and closing tallies by Puget Sound (6-4-0 / 5-2-0).

Redlands 2, Pomona-Pitzer 0 – Make that nine in a row, the last six by shutout, for Redlands (11-3-0 / 8-0-0) who are starting to run away with the SCIAC.  Of course, an unlucky game in the conference tournament could nullify all this good work, but that’s a topic for another column.  Right now they are the class of the west coast schools and wouldn’t tarnish the Top 25 if they were to be recognized.

Catholic 2, Merchant Marine 1 – Another chapter in this growing Landmark Conference rivalry saw Catholic (8-3-0 / 3-0-0) score first in what proved to be a pretty tame, uneventful affair.  Merchant Marine (7-4-1 / 2-1-1) got on the board themselves 17 minutes into second half, but Catholic regained the advantage within ten minutes for the win that puts them top of the conference standings at 3-0-0 with Drew and Merchant Marine in chase.

Springfield 4, Clark 1 – Four days after losing their first game of the season, Springfield (7-1-3 / 4-0-0) are back in the win column, beating Clark in NEWMAC action to stay first in the standings with Babson breathing down their necks.  

Babson 5, MIT 1 –  First half letdown for Babson (9-2-2 / 3-0-0) after the huge emotional win over Williams last week?  Maybe.  Back in conference play they conceded an early goal to MIT (5-6-0 / 0-3-0) and besides a PK conversion to equalize minutes later it was a lackluster opening period.  But they found their shooting boots at halftime and ripped MIT for 4 goals in twenty minutes to put the game well out of reach.

Eastern Connecticut 3, Keene State 0 – Three losses and a tie out of conference, but Eastern Connecticut (8-3-1 / 4-0-0) is perfect in the LEC, scoring three in the first half and holding on in the second as Keene St. pressed to get back into the game.

Roanoke 2, Methodist 1 (OT) – Even if it took 12 seconds extra seconds to do so, the ODAC’s best managed to even its record at 2-2-0 against non-ranked USA-South opponents.   As much as it stings to give up a goal 12 seconds after kick-off—a defensive miscue giving Roanoke (9-3-1) the chance—the real disappointment for Methodist (7-2-2) should be that they allowed the game to go to overtime, having taken double the shots (11-5) and placed more than twice as many on frame (6-2) in regulation.  

UW-Whitewater 3, UW-Superior 0 – A mid-week loss to ranked North Park dumped cold water on Whitewater’s rising hopes of catching struggling UW-Oshkosh for the lone Pool B berth.  But the Warhawks (7-5-0 / 3-0-0) didn’t wallow in disappointment, earning their seventh win in the last eight by downing an improved UW-Superior 3-0 in WIAC play while their rivals dropped a third straight to push the Pool B door back open.

Brockport State 3, Geneseo State 1 – In this statistically even SUNYAC contest (shots 13-12, SOG 5-5) Brockport responded to Geneseo’s opening goal with two of their own before halftime, and closed the game with a third with 48 seconds showing on the clock.  The win keeps Brockport (7-3-1 / 4-1-0) second in the conference behind Oneonta St. while Geneseo (6-5-1 / 3-2-0) is in a fourth place tie with Fredonia St.

Adrian 2, Olivet 1 – What opposite weeks these two MIAA schools have had!  Adrian entered the week 1-7-1 overall and winless in five conference matches.  Olivet was flying high at 9-1-1 and a perfect 5-0 mark in the conference.  However, Olivet was brought back down to earth rather abruptly by Calvin in a resounding 3-0 midweek loss, while Adrian shocked Trine with 2 goals that matched the total they had conceded in their 10 prior matches.  Olivet seemed to still be dazed from the re-entry to earth, managing a single off-target shot in the opening 45 minutes while letting Adrian get off ten, a 22nd minute effort giving them a 1-0 lead.  Olivet (9-3-1 / 5-2-0) woke up some during the break and netted an equalizer 7 minutes after the restart, but Adrian (3-7-1 / 2-5-0) refused to play the part of a 2-7-1 team and pressured to regain the advantage which they did  11 minutes later.  That finally did wake up the Comets who proceeded to dominate as was expected but Adrian’s keeper saved all five goal-bound efforts in the final 25 minutes to preserve the upset.

St. Olaf 6, St. Thomas 3 – Despite a very good overall record, St. Olaf could not afford to slip further back in the conference race and further from a playoff spot.  But St.Thomas was still in the hunt as well, and a win would see them move into a fourth place tie.  The game see-sawed for 55 minutes with St. Thomas (6-4-0 / 3-2-0) taking leads on three separate occasions only to see St. Olaf (10-2-1 / 3-1-1) equalize each time.  Then the Oles took control and scored the games final three goals for the win.

Middlebury 3, Hamilton 0 – That makes five shutouts in a row for Middlebury (5-2-3 / 2-2-3) who are getting back on track while Hamilton (3-5-1 / 1-5-1) is still coming to grips with their new reality in the NESCAC. 

Macalester 2, Concordia-Moorhead 0 – Macalester (7-5-0 / 4-2-0) keeps themselves right in the mix for a MIAC playoff spot by downing last place Concorida (3-7-1 / 0-5-1) with 2 second half goals after a fairly even opening stanza.

Maryville (Tenn.) 2, LaGrange 0 – Maryville opened their 3-game GSAC slate by dominating LaGrange much more than the 2-0 score would suggest.  Strength of schedule will hurt them, but with UW-Oshkosh’s free-fall, Maryville (8-2-2) is probably in the mix for the lone Pool B berth available this year.

Medaille 3, Penn State-Altoona 2 (2OT) – Eight in a row for Medaille (11-2-1 / 5-0-0) who also remains a perfect 5-0-0 in the AMCC, but it wasn’t easy.  The Mavericks were glad that overtime is sudden-death because the both leads they took in regulation—one early, one late—were cancelled within minutes by PSU-Altoona.

Trine 3, Kalamazoo 0 – How quickly a huge victory can be forgotten if you don't follow it up with more good results.  Trine (8-2-2 / 4-2-1) dropped their next next two after hanging a 2-0 loss on Calvin and returned to relative obscurity.  But they are back with a conference win to stay close to the top in the MIAA.

Whitworth 2, Whitman 1 – It took two goals in the final two minutes for Whitworth to keep pace with Pacific Lutheran atop the NWC standing.  For a bulk of the game Whitman (4-5-2 / 4-3-0) played more like the team tied for first and Whitworth (8-2-1 / 6-1-0) more like a mid-table squad, and it was Whitman that scored first and came within minutes of the upset.

Texas-Tyler 5, East Texas Baptist 0 – They are atop the ASC and beat a bottom-of-the-table East Texas Baptist with ease at home, but what does that tell us about UT-Tyler (9-2-0 / 6-1-0) on the national scene?  Hard to say as the ASC seems weaker this year.

Texas-Dallas 3, Schreiner 0 – They are atop  the ASC and beat a bottom-of-the-table Schreiner with ease at home, but what does that tell us about UT-Dallas (8-1-2 / 6-1-1) on the national scene?  Hard to say as the ASC seems weaker this year.

Alvernia 1, Lebanon Valley 0 (OT) – For 90 minutes Alvernia and Lebanon Valley matched each other, neither able score and open up an advantage.  The deadlock was finally broken by Alvernia  on an individual effort 3:30 into the first overtime period to gain the win and their eighth shutout.  Alvernia (9-2-1 / 2-0-0) signals their intent to be the top challenger to Messiah in the Commonwealth Conference, something Lebanon Valley (7-3-0 / 1-1-0) had done in their second ever defeat of Elizabethtown to open conference play.


Friday, October 7

New Paltz State 1, No. 19 Plattsburgh State 0 – For the past three years New Paltz has been an inconsistent .500 team, but one who regularly raises its game and frustrates bigger name opponents.  For instance, taking Williams and Stevens to overtime last year and this year dealing Stevens an opening weekend loss.  Add ranked Plattsburgh to the list of victims.  Though undefeated coming in, the Cardinals had played a soft non-conference slate and had already twice tied teams in the bottom-half of the SUNYAC standings.  The stage was set for Hawks to end a 22-year winless streak against their much more heralded opponents.  The sides played each other even until New Paltz (6-6-1 / 2-2-1) broke the deadlock with a 72nd minute goal, their first in the series since 2004.  From there until the end it was all Plattsburgh (9-1-2 / 1-1-2) as they chased the equalizer, putting 4 of 6 shots on frame in the final 18 minutes in the losing cause. The loss leaves Plattsburgh in seventh and outside a SUNYAC playoff spot, but with plenty of time to still move up.  New Paltz sits in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

No. 5 Trinity (Texas) 10, Rhodes 3 – If Trinity was as efficient as Rhodes (2-6-2 / 1-1-1), this SCAC tussle would have ended 15-3, but as it was, Trinity (8-0-2 / 3-0-0) only barely hit double digits on a mere 10 for 31 shooting.  It was Rhodes that registered a .667 SOG pct. and a 0.500 shot pct., marking the first time all season that an opponent bettered Trinity on both counts.  And in a season-long trend, the Tigers’ keepers once again were second best in total saves made, this time by an whopping 8-to-1 margin.  But it’s not all doom and gloom for the 14-time SCAC champions: apart from the favorable final score they also led in offsides (6-0), and fouls (10-8) demonstrating they were more aggressive on both sides of the ball.  Also, having spelled the starters by going 33 deep they should be able to deal with the quick 44-hour turn-around time to host Millsaps whose .507 SOG pct. for the season is better than Trinity’s but used a much shorter bench in tonight’s loss to Southwestern.

Oneonta State 4, Potsdam State 0 – The win raises Oneonta’s conference leading record to 4-0-1 with two of those wins coming last weekend against the teams currently in second and third place.  Overall the Red Dragons (7-2-2) are now unbeaten in their last eight, and they can solidify themselves as the SUNYAC’s best if they can deal with Plattsburgh St. on Saturday at home.  

Centre 4, Austin 0 – It’s two 4-0 conference wins in a row for Centre (7-3-1 / 2-1-1) after falling to Trinity in their SCAC opener.  In both wins they scored in the first five minutes and added two more before half-time.  The Colonels look a solid bet to make the inaugural 6-team SCAC playoffs.

St. Scholastica 4, Northland 0 – The Saints had no problem brushing aside Northland as they run their overall record to 9-1-1 and sit atop the UMAC at 6-0-1.  A second pass through the conference slate will give challengers Minnesota-Morris and Northwestern (Minn.) another chance at the defending champs and pre-season favorites who are looking for their second straight ticket to the NCAA’s.

Eastern Mennonite 3, Guilford 2 – Don’t look now, but Eastern Mennonite (7-6-1) has climbed to the top of the ODAC.  With the win their conference record stands at 5-1-0, and having played once more than Roanoke, to whom they owe their lone loss (3-0), it was good enough to slide up from second place.  The fact that the Royals are only 2-5-1 out of conference and Roanoke has lost to the USA-South’s Greensboro and N.C. Wesleyan suggests the ODAC isn’t nearly as strong as it traditionally has been.

Oglethorpe 2, Hendrix 0 – That’s six straight wins for Olgethorpe (9-2-0 / 3-0-0) including their first three conference matches to stay on Trinity’s tail in the SCAC.  While they have yet to play the top teams in the conference, this win suggests they can hold onto a playoff spot even if they would unsurprisingly slip towards the middle of the pack as they get deeper into conference play.  


Comments or feedback for the author?  Email Christan Shirk.

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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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