Week 8 Midwest Roundup
By D3soccer.com Contributors
The NCAA Regional Rankings set to be released this week and at this stage of the season each game becomes more and more significant. There are less than three weeks remaining in the regular season, which means teams need to be making their final pushes for postseason play.
North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC)
After an exciting weekend in the North Coast Athletic Conference, the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan remain the only undefeated team in league play. Wabash and Kenyon sit right behind OWU having both suffered their first defeats of the season this weekend.
An exciting sequence of round-robin play between the NCAC's top three kicked off with the surprising Wabash travelling to Ohio Wesleyan midweek. The Battling Bishops (10-3-1/4-0-0) schooled the newly-ranked upstarts in a comprehensive 2-0 victory, handing the Little Giants (10-1-2/3-1-0) their first loss of the season and plenty of reason to doubt whether they deserve a place at the big boys' table.
Kenyon, perhaps looking ahead to their own chance to put the upstarts in their place or distracted by the possibility of seizing the No. 1 ranking following Messiah's shock tie the night before, almost got tagged with their first blemish when Denison (5-6-1/2-2-0) stiffled the Lords for nearly 110 minutes. But Kenyon (12-0-0/4-0-0) kept their perfect record intact with a double-overtime tally 28 seconds from time.
DePauw (9-5-0/4-2-0) won two 2-1 games this week, knocking off Wittenberg (5-8-1/0-5-0) and Oberlin (5-6-2/2-2-1). All-American senior Andy Morrison reached the 100-point career mark in the win. The Tigers are sitting in fourth place and look to be a tough opponent as we reach the latter stages of the regular season.
Rather than allow their loss to Ohio Wesleyan precipitate a slide back to the norm, Wabash (11-1-2/4-1-0) matched the previously unbeaten and presumptive No. 1 Kenyon (12-1-0/4-1-0) for 90 minutes and came through with the game's lone goal in the 70th minute. The win put the Little GIants on level terms with the Lords in the NCAC standings and demanded that anyone who wrote Wabash off days earlier have a re-think.
UPDATE: Tuesday night, Ohio Wesleyan (11-3-2/5-0-1) and Kenyon (12-1-1/4-1-1) tied 0-0, while Wabash (12-1-2/5-1-0) defeated Wittenberg (5-9-1/0-6-0) 2-1. The results narrow OWU's lead in the standings to a half-game over Wabash with Kenyon in third a full game back.
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA)
With the fifth week of conference play in the books, four teams appear to have solidified their invitations to the season-ending conference tournament, led by the juggernaut Knights of Calvin.
The game of the week featured then-No. 12 Calvin (13-2-0/10-0-0) traveling to Holland to take on the Hope Flying Dutchmen (12-4-0/7-3-0) before a standing-room-only crowd of 2,000 at Van Andel Stadium. After a scoreless first half, the Knights broke through when senior back Reed Bowden's long throw-in was collected in the box by senior midfielder Sean Broekhuizen and fed to senior All America forward Travis Vegter, who blasted home his 18th goal of the season (and 62nd of his career). Ten minutes later, Vegter fed sophomore midfielder Isky VanDoorne on a two-on-one break, and VanDoorne buried a left-footed shot to complete the 2-0 victory.
Hope completed the week in second position, gaining a 2-1 OT victory over Adrian (4-10-1/1-8-1) to go with their loss to Calvin. With the overtime session barely a minute old, sophomore forward Josh Hagene was sent in on goal by a feed from junior midfielder David Porte and slotted the ball home to give the Flying Dutchmen the victory.
Third-place Kalamazoo (8-5-2/6-3-1) split their two games, falling 3-0 to Calvin before rebounding to dominate Albion (5-10/3-7) on the road, 3-1. The Hornets were led by two goals from sophomore forward Cal Kerchin and a successful PK by sophomore midfielder Kyle “Cheech” Hernandez.
The fourth and final playoff position is occupied by the Olivet Comets (8-7-0/6-4-0), which recorded a 2-0 blanking of Trine (5-10-1/2-8), followed by a 2-1 toppling of Alma (5-6-2/4-6). Both of the Comets' victories came on the road.
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC)
Rose-Hulman has a three-point lead atop the Heartland standings, with Transylania and Franklin the two closest teams on their heels.
Rose-Hulman (9-3-3/4-0-1) had a pair of wins this last week, blanking Franklin by a 1-0 score and beating Manchester 2-0. Ben Lyon scored two goals for the Engineers and was subsequently named Player of the Week.
St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC)
Three teams remain undefeated in league play in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), while three other teams remain winless in league play.
Fontbonne (6-10-0/5-0-0) only won one game out-of-conference this season but have started a perfect 5-0-0 to sit atop the SLIAC leaderboard. This past week, the Griffins grinded out a big 2-1 OT win over Principia and smoked Eureka (0-13-0/0-5-0) by a score of 13-0. Tim Menzel earned Offensive Player of the Week for his 3 goals and 2 assists.
Principia (4-10-1/2-2-1) rebounded by beating Blackburn (6-10-0, 2-4-0) by a 4-2 score and picking up an important point in their 0-0 draw with Webster (6-8-2/4-0-1), who earlier in the week beat MacMurray (1-12-0, 0-5-0) by a score of 4-0. Ian McReynolds was named Defensive Player of the Week for the Gorloks after back-to-back shutouts as goalkeeper.
Spalding (9-5-1/3-2-1) beat Eureka 16-0 after battling to a 2-2 tie with Westminster (Mo.) (6-6-1/4-0-1). Joey Lesher’s 88th minute goal for the Golden Eagles forced overtime, where neither team could find the back of the net.
Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC)
John Carroll remains unbeaten in OAC play while Capital, Baldwin Wallace Heidelberg are in a three-way tie for second place.
John Carroll (12-3-0/5-0-0) went undefeated in the third week of OAC play after beating second place Heidelberg (7-5-3/3-1-1) 2-1 and middle-of-the-table Marietta (5-8-0/3-2-0) 3-0. Justin Miller scored a brace for the Lobo’s and Brian Potocnik was credited with both assists in the win over Heidelberg. Alexis Mendoza pulled one back for Heidelberg before the break but it wasn’t enough to tie the match. The victory overy over Marietta came courtesy the usual suspects scoring for the Lobos. Brian Potocnik scored 4 minutes into the match and freshman Dalton Browsky scored two minutes later to give JCU a 2-0 advantage. Potocnik tacked on his 13th goal in the 86th minute to complete the 3-0 win.
Capital (8-5-1/3-1-1) opened up the week with a 2-2 double-overtime tie over Wilmington (5-7-3/0-3-2). R.G. Florey scored his eighth goal of the season to open the scoring in the 37th minute. Capital scored again in the 60th minute to take a 2-0 lead. Wilmington answered as Martin Holmquist scored goals in the 80th and the 86th minutes to tie the game. Wilmington held a slight advantage in shot during the overtime periods but neither team was able to find the game winner.
Capital dropped a tough one to Ohio Northern (9-6-1/2-2-1) by a 2-1 score. Grant Cayot got the Polar Bears on the board first when he scored in the 12th minute. Capitals Josh McDaniel answered back just 20 seconds later to tie the game at 1. The game remained even until the 98th minute when Austin Horton beat a defender and fired the game winner from the top of the 18.
Otterbein (9-6-0/2-3-0) had a solid week in OAC play beating both Ohio Northern and Muskingum (4-11-0/0-5-0) by a 2-1 score. Luis Rivas gave the Cardinals of Otterbein the lead in the 10th minute as got on the end of a Connor Holland’s through ball. ONU tied the match just after the break as Austin Horton headed in a Dustin Lorenzo’s cross to make it 1-1. Otterbein continued to push for the game winner and it paid off in the 79th minute when Jared Pullam scored his ninth goal of the season.
Baldwin-Wallace (7-8-1/3-3-1) dropped to Mount Union (7-7-0/1-4-0) by a 3-1 tally and beat Wilmington 2-1. Aaron Leizert scored his first hat trick of the season by scoring goals in the 12th, 15th and 37th minutes to give Mount Union a 3-0 advantage. Craig Wallace pulled one back for BWU in the 85th but it wasn’t enough as Mount Union pulled out a 3-1 victory. Baldwin-Wallace bounced back to defeat Wilmington on goals from Trey Arney and Ben Deighton. Wilmington went down a man in the 43rd minute and were only able to notch one goal in the second half.
Southern Athletic Association (SAA)
Only two teams remain unbeaten–Rhodes and Centre–after the opening four conference games. It is shaping up to be a tight race with five teams all within 3 points of each other.
The Colonels of Centre (5-2-5/2-0-2) beat Hendrix (3-11-1/0-4-0) 1-0 before drawing their fifth game of the season at Rhodes. Jeremy Carlson, a two-time All-Region performer, was named SAA Defensive Player of the Week for guiding them to two shutouts.
Birmingham-Southern (9-2-1/3-1-0) picked up two big wins, thumping Oglethorpe (5-9-1/0-4-0) by a 4-1 score and shutting out Berry (7-6-0/1-3-0) by a 1-0 score. Bastian Jedliczka scored 3 goals and had 2 assists for the Panthers in their two wins to earn Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Millsaps (9-5-0/3-1-0) has quietly won three of their opening four conference games to sit just a point out of first place. The defending SAA champions were led by Lukas Elmhammer’s game-winning goals in their wins against Oglethorpe and Berry.
Midwest Conference (MWC)
Knox stayed perfect in conference play and is just one win away from not only clinching a spot in the conference tournament but the MWC Championship itself and the tournament’s top seed. Carroll scored two big wins in their push for second place.
Knox (12-2-0/7-0-0) stayed on a roll with two more conference victories. Nathaniel Logie scored both of the Prairie Fire’s goals in 1-0 victories over Carroll (7-6-2/5-1-1) and Beloit (2-12-0/2-5-0) to earn Midwest Conference Performer of the Week honors. Knox has now won 11 straight matches and host St. Norbert (9-2-3/3-1-3) on Saturday morning.
Despite the loss to Knox, Carroll had two wins that should go a long way in clinching a MWC Tournament spot. The Pioneers are currently third in the Midwest Conference standings, and sit just one point behind second-place Lake Forest (6-8-2/5-2-2) who Carroll beat midweek in Lake Forest before knocking off Monmouth (7-8-1/5-2-1) 3-1 on Sunday. The Fighting Scots had won four straight matches, all of them shutouts before the loss which dropped them into a tied with Carroll for third in the league with 16 points.
Lake Forest has just one conference game remaining on their schedule, while the other top contenders all have three, which could come back to haunt the Foresters.
To stay in the MWC race, Illinois College (8-5-2/4-2-1) and St. Norbert need to pick up victories. The Blueboys travel to Carroll in a critical match on Saturday, while the Green Knights aim to pick off the conference leaders in Galesburg.
Other notable performances . . .
"Outside the Area"
• Roanoke (10-2-2/7-0-1), based in Salem, VA, are leading the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) with just two weeks remaining in the season. The ODAC has an eight-team tournament, so the Maroons will want to finish out the season at the top of the standings. Ryan Pflugrad ’02 is in his second season as head coach.
• Coast Guard (13-1-0/4-1-0) have only allowed five goals all season en route to an impressive record. Members of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), the Bears are a spot behind Wheaton (Mass.), whom they host later this week.
Games to Watch . . .
Check out these games from around the Midwest this week:
Wednesday, October 22
Baldwin-Wallace at John Carroll
Otterbein at Wilmington
Hanover at Franklin
Transylvania at Mount St. Joseph
Earlham at Rose-Hulman
Webster at Westminster (Mo.)
Greenville at Fontbonne
Carthage at No. 25 North Park
Thursday, October 23
Principia at Washington U.
Friday, October 24
Rhodes at Oglethorpe
Millsaps at Sewanee
Birmingham-Southern at Centre
Ferrum at Maryville (Tenn.)
Saturday, October 25
Hiram at No. 6 Kenyon
Oberlin at No. 18 Ohio Wesleyan
No. 24 Wabash at Denison
Fontbonne at Spalding
St. Nortbert at Knox
John Carroll at Capital
Allegheny at DePauw
Hope at Olivet
Franklin at Anderson
Washington & Lee at Roanoke
Millikin at Carthage
No. 12 Wheaton (Ill.) at North Central (Ill.)
No. 25 North Park at Augustana
Wartburg at No. 8 Loras
Sunday, October 19
Thiel at Thomas More
Millsaps at Centre
Birmingham-Southern at Sewanee