October 24, 2014

Midweek Wrap - Week 8

By Ryan Harmanis

The Midweek Wrap highlights weekday matches before they are forgotten in the weekend whirlwind. Compelling match-ups and intriguing results from across the country will be covered. You can expect both brief recaps of the games themselves and to have performances and outcomes placed into context.

Monday, October 20

Wartburg 1, Carleton 1 (2OT)

Wartburg (10-2-4), third in the first NCAA North Region rankings, struggled to its second consecutive 1-1 draw, this time against Carleton (6-6-2). Wartburg was rewarded for a dominant first half when Paris Martins made it 1-0 in the 27th minute, but Carleton responded in the second period. After offering little in attack, Branden McGarrity spurred Carleton into life with a 51st-minute goal. Carleton goalkeeper Keenan Smith would make 10 saves to keep things level, including four in the second overtime alone. Consecutive ties against teams without winning records do not bode well for Saturday’s showdown with No. 8 Loras, but Wartburg must rise to the occasion if it wants to win the IIAC.

Tuesday, October 21

No. 6 Kenyon 0, No. 18 Ohio Wesleyan 0 (2OT)

The Midweek Wrap’s marquee matchup delivered plenty of fight but no goals as No. 6 Kenyon (12-1-1) and No. 18 Ohio Wesleyan (11-3-2) battled to a nil-nil draw. Both defenses shone, as Sam Justice marshaled OWU’s Colton Bloecher and Ohio Wesleyan’s young outside backs grew up over 110 minutes. The draw puts OWU firmly in the NCAC driver’s seat, as three wins will seal a seventh straight regular season crown. Things are more worrying for Kenyon, who has only scored once in over 300 minutes. The Lords’ defense will keep them in games against anyone—No. 1 Messiah can attest to that—but Kenyon leaves itself at the mercy of Lady Luck if it cannot translate possession and control into shots and goals.

No. 7 Calvin 6, Adrian 0

Sixth-ranked Calvin (14-2-0), tops in the NCAA Central Region rankings, pummeled MIAA bottom-dweller Adrian (4-11-1) behind Stephan Hooker’s hat trick. With the victory, Calvin clinched another MIAA title with three games to spare. The Knights should not let their foot off the gas, as NCAA home-field advantage and even a first-round bye could be on the cards. Calvin has won 13 straight, and with senior Travis Vegter (19g, 7a) leading a devastating attack, the Knights looked poised for a deep NCAA run reminiscent of 2009 and 2011.

No. 20 Coast Guard 0, Eastern Connecticut 0

No. 20 Coast Guard (13-1-1), who surprisingly checked in at second in the New England Region rankings, failed to capitalize on a strong performance against Eastern Connecticut (9-3-3). The Bears led 7-1 in shots on target, but Greg Walton kept things airtight in goal to help the Warriors hold on for the tie. Coast Guard has racked up wins, but this tie along with a previous loss to Clark (6-9-1) leaves the jury out on the Bears. This weekend will provide answers, as Coast Guard faces its toughest test of the season against No. 15 Wheaton (Mass.). A win would give Coast Guard a share of the conference lead, probable home-field advantage in the playoffs, and a huge scalp for its NCAA resume.

No. 24 Wabash 2, Wittenberg 1

24th-ranked Wabash (12-1-2), fresh off a signature win over No. 6 Kenyon, used a lighting-quick start to beat NCAC doormat Wittenberg (5-9-1). An open game saw a total of 34 shots, including 17 on goal, and was a far cry from Wabash’s defensive affairs with Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan last week. The Little Giants silenced doubters by topping Kenyon, but the NCAA committee remains unimpressed and omitted them from the first Great Lakes Region rankings. Wabash now faces season-defining games against Denison and DePauw. Wins would give Wabash a home playoff game, while losses could drop them out of the NCAC tournament altogether. Regardless, Wabash has already tripled its 2013 win total, making 2014 an unqualified success

Wednesday, October 1

No. 1 Messiah 5, Hood 0

Top-ranked Messiah (15-0-1) dominated from start to finish in a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Hood (8-7-0). The Falcons bounced back from a wobbly week in style, and gave notice to all of Division III that the title still runs through Grantham. The game itself was a routine Messiah rout, but it was also an historic occasion. Senior Jack Thompson notched a pair of assists to become Messiah’s all-time assists leader with 47. Both assists came in traditional style, as Thompson ghosted by defenders before unselfishly squaring the ball to a teammate. Messiah looks to be firing on all cylinders and is one win away from yet another Commonwealth regular season title.

No. 25 North Park 1, Carthage 0

No. 25 North Park (12-3-0) took sole possession of first place in the CCIW by nipping Carthage (8-8-0) for a homecoming win. Kebba Sanyang scored his third goal of the season in the 15th minute before being sent off in the 90th, as both teams finished with 10 players. The Vikings are in a strong position and did well to capitalize on No. 12 Wheaton (Ill.)’s slip against Carthage last week. However, they face difficult matches against Augustana and Elmhurst, and must keep focused before welcoming the Thunder for a CCIW title-decider in ten days’ time.

John Carroll 4, Baldwin-Wallace

Capital 5, Marietta 1

The top two teams in the OAC tuned up for Saturday’s showdown as John Carroll (13-3-0) and Capital (9-5-1) cruised to comfortable wins. John Carroll remains perfect in the conference, and was rewarded for its 10th straight win by checking in at second in the Great Lakes NCAA rankings. The Blue Streaks have the opportunity to confirm that lofty ranking by beating Capital on the road Saturday afternoon. A win would also see John Carroll clinch the OAC regular season title and break Ohio Northern’s grip on the conference.

Capital, on the other hand, is looking to go 2-1 against the Great Lakes’ top three. While an at-large bid might be a tough ask, the Crusaders have won four straight at home—including a win over No. 18 Ohio Wesleyan—and will feel confident heading into the weekend.

Thursday, October 16

No. 16 Salisbury 1, No. 17 Christopher Newport 1 (2OT)

Our other Top-25 midweek matchup also ended even, with No. 16 Salisbury (11-1-4) coming back to force a 1-1 draw with No. 17 Christopher Newport (12-2-4). Newport had a statistical edge, and imposed a physical style on a game with fifty fouls and as many yellow cards as shots on goal. The result keeps Salisbury in pole position in the CAC race, and the Sea Gulls now have the opportunity to avenge last year’s conference title loss to York (Pa.) on Saturday. Newport will be disappointed with another draw, and have only won once in four outings. They face an upstart Penn-State Harrisburg Saturday afternoon and need to improve to secure a home game in the CAC playoffs.

 



Midweek Wrap

 

The Midweek Wrap highlights weekday matches before they are forgotten in the weekend whirlwind. Compelling match-ups and intriguing results from across the country will be covered. You can expect brief recaps of the games themselves while the performances and outcomes will be placed into context, be that of a player's career, a team's season, a conference race, tournament bids, or a more historical context.

Columnist

Ryan Harmanis

Ryan Harmanis graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University (2011, Math & Economics) after four seasons playing for Dr. Jay Martin. Ryan has continued to closely follow Division III soccer since graduating. He combines an analytical background with a passion for writing and the game of soccer. [see full bio]

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