Week 4 Flybys, midweek edition
In what may or may not be a regular feature this season, we will run down a variety of results from across the nation, "flybys" if you will, with comments that hopefully are informative, insightful, and interesting. The intent is to give snapshots of the D-III soccer landscape, covering top teams and important high profile matches but also going off the beaten path as much as possible as we criss-cross the country.
Click here for a run-down of the weekend's top matches and the weekend flybys.
Thursday, September 20
• Mary Hardin-Baylor 2, East Texas Baptist 0 - A surprise 1-0 win over Texas-Tyler last week left East Texas Baptist in an early first place tie atop the ASC, but Mary Hardin-Baylor brought that to an end with goals in either half for the deserved win. The Crusaders (5-1-1) may be the most formidable team in the ASC at this point of the season.
Wednesday, September 19
Some big games, some huge results, some upsets, . . . a good night for D-III soccer.
• No. 21 Ohio Wesleyan 2, No. 8 Ohio Northern 0 - Such a huge result for the Battling Bishops. They lost so much quality from their title-winning side and it showed on a rough opening weekend, but they had strung four wins together before the big intra-state clash against favored Ohio Northern. The Polar Bears were flying high, only a 3-2 loss to highly ranked Carnegie Mellon spoiling their season's start. Led by Nate Bascom's 9 goals, the Bears were averaging 3.5 goals per game from 18.5 shots, scoring at least twice in every outing. But Ohio Wesleyan limited Bascom to one off-frame effort and his colleague to two total shots on goal for the shutout while scoring 12 minutes into both halves. Notice has been served: the Bishops (5-1-1) are to be reckoned with. Ohio Northern (7-2-0) knows they still have work to do.
• Stevens 2, No. 14 Swarthmore 1 (OT) - This was a great opportunity for both schools to pick up a quality win and make their case as one of the nation's top teams. The game did not disappoint as the sides went toe-to-toe for 90 minutes without deciding winner. The Garnet took a couple more shots, but the Ducks did better with their chances, putting 6 of 10 shots on target before heading into extra time. Without conceding a shot in overtime, Stevens (5-2-0) grabbed the winner when the Garnet keeper slipped on the wet truf as he tried to make a play on a speculative 30-yard effort. For the second year in a row, Stevens hands Swarthmore (5-1-0) it's first loss.
• Wisc.-Platteville 2, No. 3 Loras - Is this an upset or is Platteville a pretty good team? Both Loras and the Pioneers now sport 7-1-1 records as the Duhawks lost for the first time in 2012. Loras took 21 shots and placed 9 on frame but only once beat the keeper. They limited Platteville's chances (8 shots, 4 on goal), but senior midfielder Brandon Chimiel scored perhaps the two biggest goals of his collegiate career--a ripped shot past the keeper in the 20th minute and a curling free kick into the upper corner of the goal ten minutes later. Platteville has now beaten Augsburg and Loras back-to-back, so at the least they are not a team to be taken lightly. Time will tell if they are more than that.
• No. 7 Brandeis 2, No. 20 Babson 1 - When does Eric Anderson graduate? It seems he has been knocking in goals for Babson forever and he was at it again opening the scoring in this Top 25 tilt for the visitors. But after a fairly even first 45, Brandeis had the upper hand throughout the second half (shots 16-6, SOG 8-1), good enough to net the equalizer but not the deserved winner. That would have to wait for the 12th of extra time, when the Judges broke the shotless overtime with a headed goal off a long throw-in. I have to admit that I felt both teams were overrated by the Top 25 panel, but Brandeis (8-0-0) finally has a quality win on their resume. Babson (5-2-1), with two straight losses, is still looking for a quality win.
• No. 4 Messiah 2, Dickinson 0 - The Falcons absolutely suffocated a pretty decent Dickinson side to the tune of just 4 shots allowed, one on goal. In the first half the visiting Red Devils were pretty successful at limiting Messiah's looks at goal as well (6 shots allowed). Unfortunately, Messiah did convert shortly before the break and though Dickinson (6-1-0) battled and showed some evidence to support those who thought they were a Top 25 side coming in, they ended up playing on the back heel more in the second stanza with little suggestion they could break down the Falcon defense. Messiah (6-0-1) grabbed a late, but deserved, goal for the 2-0 win.
• No. 12 Rutgers-Camden 2, Rowan 1 - It was a physical match in the NJAC that helped disguise the gap in quality for about 45 minutes. Camden upped the intensity and effort in the second half, but despite nearly one-way traffic and a 12-1 advantage in shots, the Scarlet Raptors only forced the Prof's keeper to make one save. It took half of an overtime period for Rutgers-Camden (6-1-0) to get the win when a second effort found it's way into the goal after the keeper deflected the initial shot.
• No. 15 York (Pa.) 1, Johns Hopkins 0 - Another nice win for the Spartans to move to 6-1-1. Hopkins is an even 3-3-0, not unlike their 3-2-2 mark at this time last year before marching to the Centennial regular season title. York has two huge matches coming up against Messiah and Salisbury, but first has to make sure they don't look past a Neumann side struggling in the early going.
• No. 13 Franklin & Marshall 1, Stevenson 0 - The Diplomats dominated the home side, but their 20 shots, 10 on target yielded but a lone 40th minute goal. It was a enough. It also was just their second clean sheet this season.
• No. 10 New York Univ. 1, Merchant Marine 0 - A goal with 11 ticks left on the second half clock gave the Violets a perfect record through seven games. It also was their fifth shutout. It's going to be interesting once UAA play starts with how well so many of the schools are playing so far.
Tuesday, September 18
• Rain was the big winner out east on Tuesday, causing the postponement or cancellation of many matches. Unfortunately we did not get to see a pair of 6-1-0 teams from PA tangle when Lebanon Valley's trip to No. 17 Susquehanna was called off. The game might have helped clarify if these teams really belong in the Top 25 discussion.
• Dominican 2, No. 16 Wheaton (Ill.) - In a great Central Region clash, the Stars shone a little brighter than the Thunder. In a fairly even match, Wheaton (5-2-0) will feel they deserved better than a 2-goal loss. Dominican (4-1-1), who hasn’t been ranked in the Top 25 this season, needed a win like this to get themselves back in the reckoning.
• No. 18 Washington U. 1, Greenville 0 - Unless 4-3 Greenville is that much better than is apparent, this was not a good outing for Washington U. (5-0-1). Combined with how much Loras outplayed the Bears two weeks ago, a Top 25 ranking may flatter them.
• No. 23 Tufts 2, Endicott 0 - Tufts (4-0-0) was outplayed in the first half, but asserted themselves in the second stanza with a 14-5 shots advantage, 8 corners to none, and the Jumbos finally won it with goals in the 75th and 86th minutes. The Jumbos will need a better effort for the full 90 minutes if they are going make a run for the NESCAC title.
• Chicago 4, Ill. Wesleyan 0 - Back to reality for the Illinois Wesleyan Titans. After a 6-0 start against a mediocre slate of opponents, Chicago (4-1-1) was too much for them to handle. The Maroons are hard to gauge, but they deserve consideration for the Top 25 if they can knock off their second CCIW opponent in a row this weekend when North Central (6-1-0) pay them a visit.
Comments or feedback for the author? Email Christan Shirk.