September 4, 2019

Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 1

By Contributor

Despite expectations and pre-season rankings, every team in the Atlantic geographic area started on level footing this weekend. While some squads with NCAA tournament aspirations opened their accounts in the win column, others stumbled out of the gate. Here are the Atlantic’s best games and some of the teams will be spotlighting throughout the 2019 campaign.

Ramapo late goal salvages 1-1 tie

Coming off an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and their best season in program history, the Ramapo Roadrunners (0-0-1) expect another big year in 2019. While the Roadrunners outplayed the Staten Island Dolphins (0-0-1) in the season opener for both teams, the Roadrunners needed a 76th-minute set-piece tap-in from senior Nick Petrozziello to escape with a 1-1 draw.

In a very hard-fought game where Ramapo led in shots 16-5 and Staten Island led in fouls 20-10, the Dolphins got on the board just before the 15-mark as Junior Joe Bolella’s cross found fellow junior Bryant Navarro in the box. Bryant went far-post and tucked it in the left side.

Petrozziello’s tying goal was set up by a free kick from Senior Ariton Mimini. Mimini tapped, and Petrozziello struck the back of the net, although not before glancing off a Staten Island defender. The goal saved the Roadrunners, who will have to wait to record their first win of the new campaign.

UMW Soccer Classic

The Mary Washington Eagles (2-0-0) played host to the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (1-1-0), the Hampden-Sydney Tigers (0-2-0), and North Carolina Wesleyan Bishops (1-1-0) this past weekend to start the season. Both Mary Washington and Johns Hopkins opened with wins. The Eagles dispatched a tough Bishops squad 4-0 after a nil-nil half, while the Blue Jays outshot the Tigers 15-2 on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win.

The Saturday match-up between winner’s featured the Eagles and Blue Jays in an early test for regional powers with high 2019 expectations. In the final 2018 rankings the Eagles and Blue Jays finished in the Top 25 and Hopkins is in the top-ten to start this year.

Johns Hopkins struck first as junior RJ Moore played one over the defense which classmate Jonathan Brown collected and finished in the 31st minute. The teams went into intermission with the Eagles trailing on the scoreboard, but leading in shots – 7 to the Blue Jays’ 4.

The Eagles got an equalizer early after the restart – senior Idrissa Barrie linked up with Gabriel Soriano and seniors combined to level the score. It stayed tied into overtime when Soriano played set-up man. He found Ben Ahrens, another senior, with a perfectly placed corner kick that was slotted home to end the contest. While the second half offense will get the headlines, the Eagles defense may have been better - Through the second 45 minutes of regulation and 9 minutes of overtime the Blue Jays were not able to register a single shot.

Washington and Lee starts with two shutouts

The Generals (2-0-0) traveled to Waltham, MA this weekend for the Brandeis Classic to take on the William Paterson Pioneers (0-2-0) and the Brandeis Judges (1-1-0).

The weekend opened with the Generals outshooting the Pioneers 23-9 - with 18 on goal – and Freshman Charlie Colby collected three assists in the first game of his career. Four different scorers found the net and sophomore Michael Nyc made three saves to record the shutout.

While that game was underway, the Brandeis Judges and Roger Williams Hawks (1-1-0) opened their season with a tough 1-0 match. Rookie Will Delight collected his own rebound in the 29th minute and slipped a shot past RWU senior goalie Edward Geschickter. Delight was the only one to find the net on the night as the 1-0 score stood the rest of the way.

When the Generals and Judges got together on Saturday, the Judges controlled the run of play but were never able to capitalize. They outshot their Virginia guests 18-5 and pressured throughout, but the lone goal of the game went to the Generals and came from midfielder Jack Parham. The junior took a long ball from rookie defender Sam Bass before blasting one home from the right side. Nyc was again in goal stopping three shots for his second consecutive shutout.

York (Pa.) takes down two from ODAC teams

The Spartans of York (Pa.) (2-0-0) got their season off on the right foot, claiming a 2-1 overtime win on Friday over the Eastern Mennonite Royals (1-1-0) and a 3-0 takedown of the Bridgewater (Va.) Eagles (0-2-0) on Saturday.

The game against Eastern Mennonite was an even affair for most of the match. Senior Brook Addisu found the top left corner to score for the Spartans in the 14th minute, and the Royals evened things in the 34th off a long goal by junior Troy Davis. The score stayed locked for the next 73 minutes before the game-winner eventually came from junior Zion Friday, who finished a cross from senior Malcolm Djiki in the 107th.

St. Mary’s (Md.) Seahawks take two at Elmer Lord Classic hosted by Salisbury University

After pulling away late from an overmatched Gallaudet (0-2-0) squad on Friday, the St. Mary’s (Md.) Seahawks (2-0-0) lined up against the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon University (1-1-0). This was an excellent early season test for two very good teams after the Tartans handled their hosts, the Salisbury Sea Gulls (1-1-0), the day before with a 2-1 win.

The Seahawks jumped out to a 2-nil half time lead on goals by senior Josh McRobie and one from the penalty spot by senior Khalid Balogun. The Tartans dug deep and showed why they appear in the preseason rankings. Senior Elliott Cohen scored in the 60th on a nice touch from sophomore Jason Edmunds, and Edmunds then went unassisted in the 77th to pull the teams even.

It was Balogun who made the difference for the Seahawks. Off a nice feed from sophomore Owen Smith in the 82nd, Balogun juked and beat the keeper.

Messiah at 0-2-0

It’s not easy defending the culture of excellence the Messiah Falcons (0-2-0) have built over the years. The expectations are always high, and opponents always bring their ‘A’ game whenever the Falcons are on the schedule. This past weekend, both the Hobart Statesmen (2-0-0) and Ithaca Bombers (2-0-0) brought their ‘A’ games and came away with 1-0 wins in the Finger Lakes Fall Classic hosted by the Bombers.

The Statesmen got the winner in the 31st minute, as junior Kyle Walsh fired a throw-in deep into the box where classmate Kyle Mangold was able to touch it past diving goalie Nate Flanders.

In a match-up of preseason poll members, Ithaca sits 14th, Messiah 16th; a close match was to be expected. Both defenses limited opportunities early with most of the play occurring in the midfield. After a scoreless first half the Bombers came out pressing and in the 52nd sophomore Alex Leahy blocked a clearing attempt upfront and then netted the go-ahead.

The Falcons tried to rally, but the Bombers back line and senior goalie Max Lichtenstein held strong. Defenders blocked an in-the-box shot in the 85th that seemed to be goal bound, and Lichtenstein made two saves in the 88th to secure the win.


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Atlantic Spotlight


The weekly Atlantic Spotlight will survey the top Division III men's conferences and teams in the combined NCAA Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Regions consisting of fifteen states.  The primary ones are Pennsylvania (45), Virginia (18), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10, North Carolina (9), Georgia (8), and New York (7). The remaining states are home to three or fewer schools with conference ties elsewhere: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.


With so much territory to cover in a single column, we will focus primarily on the tradionally stronger conferences such as the CAC, Centennial, Landmark, Commonwealth, and the NJAC.  Expect to see contests involving teams in our Top 25 typically against perceived stronger opponents along with teams on the rise.


We will look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances, identifying who is trending up and who is trending down each week.

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