November 13, 2019

Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 11

By Contributor

Twelve Atlantic area schools advanced to the NCAA tournament. Seven squads automatically gained a spot by winning their respective conference championships. Five other schools earned at-large bids.

Here’s a quick look at how the teams got there and who they’ll face in the first round.

CC Johns Hopkins wins, Franklin and Marshall and Gettysburg both get in

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (16-2-1) came from behind twice on their way to winning the Centennial Conference Championship against the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats (16-3-0). Down 2-1 through 60 minutes the Blue Jays scored twice in the next 10 minutes and held on for the win. Sophomore Jake Kooyman scored a goal and assisted on the game winner to propel the Baltimore school to their first conference championship since 2009. Junior Xander LeFevre made four saves in goal.

In the NCAA tourney Johns Hopkins will take on the John Jay Bloodhounds (6-10-2), the CUNYAC champion. Franklin and Marshall gets an at-large bid and gets first time NEAC champion Penn State-Harrisburg Lions (15-5-1).

A third CC squad also received an at-large bid. The Gettysburg Bullets (11-7-1) square off against fellow at-large pick, the Oglethorpe Petrels (14-4-0).

CAC Mary Washington over Christopher Newport in PKs

When they played in early October it was a one-sided affair with the Christopher Newport Captains (13-2-4) coming out on top, 2-0. But in the Capital Athletic Conference Championship game the Washington Eagles (13-3-4) stood toe-to-toe with the Captains. Both teams scored early in the contest. It stayed that way through 110 minutes.

In PKs it was all Eagles as Ken Kurtz stopped CNU’s first attempt, their third attempt, and saw their fourth attempt clang off the crossbar. It ended 3-1 with no need to take the fifth.

Mary Washington gets a first-round matchup against the Keystone Giants (13-4-1), the CSAC champion.

Christopher Newport gets the Eastern Eagles (11-9-1), the MAC Freedom champion.

ODAC W&L get by Lynchburg, Roanoke also gets bid

Washington and Lee Generals (15-2-3) topped the Lynchburg Hornets (9-5-5) 1-0 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships. Scoreless through 81 physical minutes, junior Harris Salom provided the heroics by getting to a bouncing ball in the box and tapping it home. Sophomore goalkeeper Michael Nyc made seven saves and recorded his 11th shutout of the season.

The Roanoke Maroons (14-2-3) lost in the ODAC semifinals to the Hornets but get an at-large pick and will face another at-large pick in the Swarthmore Garnet (11-3-3).

Washington and Lee gets NC Wesleyan (16-2-2), the USAC champion.

NJAC Montclair gets 89th minute winner, Rowan also gets bid

Out of a very tight conference table the 4-seed Rowan Profs (11-5-2) and 2-seed Montclair State Red Hawks (16-4-1) wound up in the NJAC Championship game.

In the championship game, there were a lot of shots, a lot of fouls, but goals were not being scored. As he’s done several times this season, frosh Oscar Sanchez knocked in a rebound in the 89th minute for the game’s only score and his 14th of the year. The Red Hawks run their unbeaten string to nine games.

Montclair State gets the Hobart Statesman (14-4-2), the Liberty League champion.

Rowan gets an at-large bid and a meeting with the Salve Regina Seahawks (14-4-3), the Commonwealth Coast Conference champion.

Catholic holds serve in the Landmark

Senior Andrew Laurenzano delivered a free kick cross that classmate Ryan Kennedy turned into a diving header goal midway through the first half in their Landmark Conference final against the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (11-6-2). After the restart, junior Nelson Zimmerman scored his first of the year just 38 seconds after substituting into the game. Sophomores Ben Alexander and Paul Egan combined with him to set up the game winner. Junior keeper Jake Long pitched the shutout in his 16th win of the year.

The Cardinals get at-large pick the Connecticut Camels (10-3-3) in the first round.

AMCC Penn St-Behrend late over Medaille, avenges only season loss

The Lions (19-1-0) great season continues as they held a very potent Medaille (13-5-2) offensive squad scoreless and got one of their own from the penalty spot in the 75th minute to win the Allegheny Mountain Conference Championship. They’ve won eight in a row since October 8th when the Mavericks put the only blemish on the Lions record, 1-0.

Senior Matt Warnaka collect eight saves and registered his 18th win.

Penn State-Behrend gets a tough first round opponent in the Kenyon Lords (17-1-2), the NCAC champion.

Messiah takes MAC Commonwealth

The Messiah Falcons (16-2-2) ran their unbeaten string to 18 games as they withstood the Lycoming Warriors (13-7-0) physical play and came away with a 2-1 win. Senior goalie Nate Flanders grabbed nine saves for the Falcons

The Falcons get MASCAC champion Framingham State Rams (11-8-2) in their first-round match.


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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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