October 2, 2019

Zinn's Contenders - Late September

By Matthew Zinner

We are back with the third edition of Zinn’s contenders. We are approaching the halfway point of the season and teams are beginning to solidify their positions. Since the last poll, the traditional powers have started to reassert themselves. I also think the top tier is once again beginning to separate themselves from the pack. Last year around this time, many fans were confident we would be treated to a Tufts, Messiah, Calvin, Chicago Final Four. Messiah fell one match short, but otherwise the midseason favorites were all able to handle their business. This time around I think there is a clear group of about seven teams that are favorites to make it Greensboro. So given my history, we now know exactly which seven teams won’t be there.



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Zinn's Contenders


Zinn's Contenders is an attempt to project the current year men's national champion based on a combination of facts, opinion and a bit of insider's knowledge. 


Matthew Zinner

Matthew Zinner was a four year member of the Tufts Men’s soccer team winning two national championships in 2014 and 2016. After graduation he spent one year as a member of the coaching staff, winning a third national championship. After five years of division III soccer, Matthew hung up the boots to attend medical school. With his abundant free time, he is still an avid follower of Tufts and DIII soccer as a whole.

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1. Tufts Mid-September:   No. 1  |  7-0-0 (1.000)  |  23 GF / 3 GA
  Since the last edition, Tufts has put together two dominant wins, 6-0 vs Wheaton (Mass.) and 4-0 vs Colby, and a narrow win, 1-0 (2OT) against Bates. The most significant indicator of Tufts’ success is that through seven games their leading scorer is junior Alex Ratzen, nominally the third striker. Ratzen is a player that would start or compete for the job at probably any other NESCAC school. That type of depth is what has fueled the Jumbos run the last five years. They should take care of business against Wesleyan midweek and the line against Trinity (Conn.) this weekend is Tufts (-6.5).