Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 8
By D3soccer.com Contributor
Nine Atlantic teams held a spot in the latest D3soccer.com national poll, and six of them lost across an exciting Week #8 slate. Those results will shake up the Top-25, but have, maybe more importantly, tightened conference contests across the region. Here are the games in this week’s spotlight:
No. 10 Johns Hopkins over No. 5 Franklin and Marshall
The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays withstood a strong start by the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats, got a late first half goal from junior Pablo Martinez, and withstood an even stronger second half barrage to secure a 1-0 victory.
In the 45th minute, after the action had evened, Blue Jay freshman Sam Martin played a short cross to Martinez who found the upper right corner from 20 yards out. It turned out to be all the visitors needed, but it wouldn’t be easy. The Dips’ offense applied constant pressure throughout the second half, outshooting their guests 13-4 and forced junior keeper Xander LeFevre to make five saves. It seemed like the Dips were ready to equalize at any moment, but LeFevre held on for his fifth shutout of the year as the Blue Jays ended F&M’s 11-game winning streak.
After six games, and three to go, the Centennial Conference standings have the Dips a half game ahead of both the Blue Jays and the Gettysburg Bullets (8-4-1) (4-1-1) with the Dickinson Red Devils (8-6-0) (4-2-0) another half game back.
Bridgewater (Va.) orchestrates stunning upset of No. 8 Roanoke
Through their great start to the season, it has been the Roanoke Maroons (12-1-2) defense that has led the way. They’ve allowed only four goals on the season, but equaled that total in their first loss of the season. After trailing 1-nil at the intermission against the Bridgewater (Va.) Eagles (4-9-1) (2-3-0), a seven-minute lapse led to three quick goals to start the second half, and the Maroons’ 14-game unbeaten streak ended.
Senior Thomas White and sophomores Luke Stubbs and Sam Franklin worked well together and repeatedly found themselves during those seven minutes – both with the ball and behind the defense. For the game, White finished with two goals plus an assist while his classmates both picked up one of each.
Eagle freshman keeper Mark Collins collected seven saves in the win, several of the spectacular variety.
While Virginia Wesleyan just as stunningly takes down No. 6 Washington and Lee
The Virginia Wesleyan Marlins (6-8-0) (3-2-0) packed it in on Saturday, anticipating having to absorb a lot of pressure from the highly rated Washington and Lee Generals (10-2-2) (4-1-0). The Generals managed 12 shots, but the six they put on goal were all saved by the Marlins’ sophomore goalie Griffin Potter.
The defensive approach resulted in the Marlins mustering just two shots of their own – but they only needed the one off the head of freshman Matthew Goldberg. A few minutes after the restart and a foul near midfield, soph Matt Campbell sent a free kick curling into the box. Goldberg found it and finished for a 1-0 lead.
The Marlins continued to absorb, and their strategy worked till the end as they halted the Generals’ 10-game unbeaten streak.
Quick overtime winner for host No. 21 Mary Washington over No. 16 Christopher Newport
Entering this weekend, the Christopher Newport Captains (9-3-2) (6-1-0) were two games clear of their closest Capital Athletic Conference rival – the Mary Washington Eagles (10-3-2) (5-2-0). On Saturday, the Eagles avenged an earlier loss to the Captains and cut their conference foes lead in half - but it took extra time to earn the win.
The game was scoreless through 90 minutes and both teams were statistically even through regulation with only a few good chances from either side. Just moments into overtime, sophomore midfield Pierre Richard took a pass from junior Joshua Everard and finished to end the Homecoming battle.
Ken Kurtz collected three saves in the shutout win.
No. 12 Messiah continues climb
In uncharacteristic fashion, the Messiah Falcons (11-2-2) (5-0-0) opened the season with two 1-goal defeats. They haven’t lost since and are currently on a 13-game unbeaten streak. They’ve gotten better as the streak has progressed and have posted shutouts in six of their last seven games.
This past week, they visited the Lycoming Warriors (8-6-0) (2-2-0) and hosted the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchman (6-7-2) (2-2-1). Each opponent played well and could’ve pulled off the upset, but in the end, a single tally by the Falcons held up in each match. The pair of 1-0 wins leave the Falcons two games clear in MAC Commonwealth standings.
In a non-conference matchup, the Washington College Shoremen (7-6-1) (1-4-1) scored from distance in the first 30 seconds and went on to defeat the Catholic Cardinals (13-2-1) (4-0-0) 2-0 on Wednesday evening. The defeat snapped a 13-game undefeated streak by the Cardinals.
Returning to Landmark Conference play on Saturday, the Cardinals outshot the Juniata Eagles (7-7-1) (1-3-0) 22-5 and came away with a 2-0 win. Darius Siahpoosh picked up his eighth of the year midway through the first half, and an insurance goal in the 86th came from a Bradley Pierre penalty kick after a takedown in the box.
Junior keeper Jack Long made two saves and registered his ninth shutout of the season.
Wednesday brought NJAC separation, Saturday bunched it back up again.
Two weeks ago, five teams were tied at the top of the NJAC. Last week, two teams were up top with four teams right behind. By Wednesday night? The Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors (11-5-1) (4-2-1) held the top spot – alone – thanks to their 2-0 takedown of the Rowan Profs (8-3-3) (4-2-1). Then, on Saturday, the Scarlet Raptors fell to the Ramapo Roadrunners (8-1-5) (3-1-2) by a 3-1 scoreline and the Montclair State Red Hawks (12-4-1) (4-2-1) won the both of their games this week – meaning --so back to being bunched at the top.
Montclair State, Rutgers-Camden, and Rowan lead the conference with Ramapo and the Kean Cougars (9-4-2) (3-1-2) not far behind.
Games with impact this week
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