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.
|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).|