Author Topic: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)  (Read 832 times)

Offline PaulNewman

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Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« on: October 02, 2021, 02:44:40 pm »
I was halfway through this and lost it.  Frustrating.

Anyway, the WEST and NORTH tend to get little attention on this site, except for Trinity, and especially since two prolific Loras posters faded into the sunset roughly parallel to Rothert stepping down as coach after Loras for probably a decade or so was one of the top 5-6 programs in the country.  I offer the following weakly researched review with the idea that some attention is better than none.

First, the West, and in no particular order except to start the historical top dog and currently highly rated Trinity Tigers.

Trinity 8-0-0 -- Key results = Willamette (W); Hardin-Simmons W); Texas-Dallas (W); Mary Hardin-Baylor (W); Colorado College W); Centenary (W)

Trinity is always a little hard to place nationally and imo tend to be just a tad over-ranked.  Imo the safest bet is to place them #6-#8 at the beginning of the season and just leave them there.  No question the Tigers have had one of the premier programs in the country for a very long time, led by a legendary coach and boasting a superb facility.  We'll see what happens.  Along with Kenyon and F&M, Trinity has had a run of Sweet 16 and Elite 8 finishes, and one of these years they're no doubt gonna break through.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps  7-1-1 -- Key results = UC Santa Cruz (T); Oglethorpe (W); Redlands (W); Whittier Poets (W)

CMS has been good in recent years and interestingly traveled to Gambier, OH in 2019 for the Kenyon Sectional and were bounced in the Sweet 16 by Centre who went on to the Final 4.  The only loss so far this year was to Westmont, I assume a NAIA or D2 outfit, 1-0.  The win over Redlands separated CMS from Redlands in terms of being ranked nationally. 

Mary Hardin-Baylor 5-3 -- Key results = Messiah (L); F&M (L); St Thomas TX (W); Trinity (L); University of the Ozarks (W....and included because I like typing University of the Ozarks)

I know next to nothing about MHB.  I don't know the history behind the name or for that matter, Hardin-Simmons.  Hardin must mean something, and daggummit now I'm gonna have to look that up.  I am curious about the brutal road trip to PA with back to back games vs Messiah and F&M, both ending in 1-0 defeats.  That said, the stats suggest MHB held their own against both.  However, the Crusaders subsequently got their doors blown off by Trinity 3-0 in a game with very lopsided stats.  A showdown today with Texas-Dallas will be one to check on.

Texas-Dallas 6-2-2 -- Key results = Rhodes (L); Southwestern (T); Trinity (L); Centenary (W); Concordia TX (T)

Texas-Dallas is a perennial contender for a NCAA bid.  The Comets made the tournament 2014 thru 2016 and then again in 2019.  They last garnered a NCAA victory in the 1st round in 2014 versus Pomona-Pitzer.  See above re: showdown with MHB today.

Pacific Lutheran 6-2 -- Key results = Gustavus Adolphus (L); George Fox (W); Pacific (W); Whitman (W); Whitworth (W)

Pacific Lutheran caught my eye when doing the poll thing.  After losing to NAIA Warner Pacific the Lutes have rattled off a string of blowout wins, besting George Fox (another to research name-wise!), Pacific, Whitman, and Whitworth 18 (EIGHTEEN) to 0.  One to watch to see if the Lutes can emerge from the NWC conference.

Colorado College 7-2 -- Key results = Gustavus Adolphus (W); St Olaf (W); Macalester (L); Trinity (L); Texas Lutheran (W)

Oh, the enigma that is Colorado College.  Also the Tigers, CC had impressive wins over GAC and St Olaf (two teams with legit shots to make the NCAA tourney), and then got blow out by middling Macalester and Trinity by the same 6-2 scorelines.  CC also is usually in the mix for a bid but their nemesis is Trinity kind of like how Loras was a nemesis of Trinity for a few years.  But what a cool place to go to school and play soccer!

Redlands 6-1-1 -- Key results = Whitworth (W); Oglethorpe (W); CMS (L); Pomona-Pitzer (W)

See CMS above.  Redlands is also a perennial NCAA candidate and knocked hard on the door of Mr. Final Four in 2016 when ousted in the Elite 8 by St Thomas (MN) 3-2.  They lost to Trinity in the round of 32 in 2015, and in 2011 got brutally knocked out in the Elite 8 by Calvin in PKs.  CMS won round one this year, but there could be re-match in the SCIAC conference final with a NCAA bid on the line as the WEST rarely snares more than one at large bid (and sometimes none).

Don't want to lose this so will post and then do NORTH later.  But also put Pomona-Pitzer, Cal Lutheran, Willamette, Whitman, Southwestern, and St Thomas (TX) on your radar.


Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2021, 12:10:23 am »
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps  7-1-1 -- Key results = UC Santa Cruz (T); Oglethorpe (W); Redlands (W); Whittier Poets (W)

CMS has been good in recent years and interestingly traveled to Gambier, OH in 2019 for the Kenyon Sectional and were bounced in the Sweet 16 by Centre who went on to the Final 4.  The only loss so far this year was to Westmont, I assume a NAIA or D2 outfit, 1-0.  The win over Redlands separated CMS from Redlands in terms of being ranked nationally.

Westmont is typically a very good NAIA program, although the Warriors appear to be a little down this season, if their 3-4 record is any indication. Head coach Dave Wolf, who has been there 30 years and owns a .682 winning percentage as the program's mentor, is a legend as far as Wheaton soccer is concerned. He was the tip of the spear when Wheaton won its first D3 national title back in 1983. He was an All-American there, and later played for the Chicago Sting when they moved to the indoor league.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.. -- John Wooden

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 05:04:44 pm »
And...the NORTH...


Augsburg 9-1-0 -- Key results = Puget Sound (W); Macalester (W); Carleton (W); St. John’s (L)

Augsburg marched to a 9-0-0 record before falling yesterday to St. John’s.  Coach Greg Holker took over in 2004, inheriting a program that had won seven conference games over an eight year span.  The Aggies’ finest hour occurred in 2008 when they bested Whitworth and Redlands before bowing out in the Sweet 16 to Loras.  In 2010 Augsburg was bounced early by UWW, and the most recent NCAA appearance was in 2018 when the Aggies suffered a 1st round exit at the hands of Wisconsin-Superior 2-1.  Messiah Nation I’m sure already is well aware but Falconer-favorite Samuel Ruiz Plaza has graduated to an assistant coach slot at Augsburg after a graduate assistant year.  Augsburg has a showdown with GAC on 10/13, and then back to back donnybrooks with UWW and St Olaf on 10/22 and 10/26.


Gustavus Adolphus 8-3 -- Key results = Wartburg (L); Colorado College (L); UW-Platteville (L); Pac Lutheran (W); Luther (W); Carleton (L); St John’s (W)

After stumbling out of the gate with losses to Wartburg and Colorado College GAC has been on a roll briefly interrupted by a home setback at the feet of Carleton.  The Gusties still can determine their own fate as a  trio gauntlet awaits in rapid succession with Augsburg, St. Olaf, and UWW on 10/13, 10/16, and 10/17 before closing with Macalester on 10/30.  GAC has a sterling 18-3-1 record in 2019 and were bounced in the 2nd round courtesy of North Park in PKs (5-4) after a 1-1 draw.  The Gusties also made the tourney in 2018 but the stay was brief with a loss to Dominican.  Earlier in the decade GAC lost in the 1st round to UW-Platteville in 2012, the second round to Westminster (MO) in 2013, and the second round to Loras in 2014.

Loras 6-4-1 -- Key results = St Norbert (T); North Park (L); UWW (L); Simpson (L)

Sorry Duhawks fans, Kevin Cavers ain’t walking through that door.  When your best W is probably over Nebraska Wesleyan and you just lost in-conference to Simpson, you are looking like a shell of your former self.  I’m old enough to recall Loras battling Amherst in a NCAA Final just a few years ago after multiple Final Four appearances.  Best overall result so far is a 3-2 LOSS to UWW.  Can the Duhawks recapture magic in the Rock Bowl?  Probably not, but the ARC is still wide open with no teams appearing NCAA-worthy.  Loras desperately needs a win at home versus a beleaguered Dubuque on 10/6.

Luther 6-4 -- Key results = Macalester (W); St Norbert (W); GAC (L); North Park (L); Chicago (L); St Olaf (L)

Luther may be the best team in the ARC, the cream of a milkshake that gets sent back after a couple of sips. The Norse looked competitive in back to back losses to Chicago and North Park. but losses to GAC and St Olaf sandwiched around the Chicago trip meant a brutal stretch of four losses out of five fixtures.  Luther faces rival Loras on 10/12 before tilts with Dubuque on 10/20, UW-Plattevile on 10/22 and ARC foe Wartburg on 10/26.  Luther often has played second fiddle to Loras and occasionally Wartburg, but 2019 brought an Elite 8 run aided by prevailing in a PK shootout in the Sweet 16 versus OWU before becoming another victim of Calvin.

St Olaf 8-1-1 -- Key results = Colorado Coll (L); Chicago (T); Wartburg (W); Macalester (W); Luther (W);Carleton (W)

St Olaf is looking like the best the North has to offer, and that might be quite good.  The last time I recall St Olaf on the national radar was ever so briefly while D3 fans were glued to a compelling 2015 Sweet 16 match with Wheaton (Ill) in a blizzard where even Adam Venatiari would have waved a white flag.  Especially in the 2nd half, the ball was being played literally through several inches of snow.  The Oles fought valiantly but lost 2-1 in OT.  But now we’re in the Travis Wall era, the same Travis Wall who danced and dazzled his way to a 2011 national title at OWU.  After mentoring as an assistant to the legend of all NCAA divisions himself, Dr. Jay Martin, Wall took his talents to Northfield and has the St. Olaf program on the rise.  The Oles got a big win over cross-town rival Carleton yesterday and now look ahead to St John’s on 10/9, GAC on 10/16, and now blemished Augsburg on 10/26.

UW-Whitewater 8-1-1 -- Key results = St John’s (T); Loras (W); Wash U (L); Wisconsin Lutheran (W)

Challenges remaining on the Warhawks slate are Macalester on 10/10, GAC on 10/17, Augsburg on 10/22 and UW-Platteville on 10/27.  After a two season hiatus UWW made the NCAA tourney in 2019 but drew Calvin at Calvin to get things started, yielding a quick exit after a 1-0 loss in a tight game despite the Warhawks getting manhandled on the stats sheet.  UWW earned NCAA bids in 2009 (L to Dominican), 2010 (T  to Calvin), 2011 (L to Wash U), and 2014, 2015, and 2016 during the era of 6’6 behemoth Justin Stanko, losing to Wheaton, Wheaton again on a Hollingsworth 1st half PK, and Benedictine in a game UWW dominated.  With all of those appearances the Warhawks failed to advance past the first weekend, with the exception of the crushing Sweet 16 match with Calvin in 2010 that ended in PK shootout agony.

Other North teams to keep tabs on include Carleton, Dubuque, and UW-Platteville.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 07:48:01 am by PaulNewman »

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2021, 08:31:54 pm »
First, the West, and in no particular order except to start the historical top dog and currently highly rated Trinity Tigers.

Trinity 8-0-0 -- Key results = Willamette (W); Hardin-Simmons W); Texas-Dallas (W); Mary Hardin-Baylor (W); Colorado College W); Centenary (W)

Trinity is always a little hard to place nationally and imo tend to be just a tad over-ranked.  Imo the safest bet is to place them #6-#8 at the beginning of the season and just leave them there.  No question the Tigers have had one of the premier programs in the country for a very long time, led by a legendary coach and boasting a superb facility.  We'll see what happens.  Along with Kenyon and F&M, Trinity has had a run of Sweet 16 and Elite 8 finishes, and one of these years they're no doubt gonna break through.

[...]
Don't want to lose this so will post and then do NORTH later.  But also put Pomona-Pitzer, Cal Lutheran, Willamette, Whitman, Southwestern, and St Thomas (TX) on your radar.

Thanks for giving the north and west some love and representation on the board.  I probably post 75% of the Trinity (TX) content here and it's weak sauce compared to your observations. Would agree that #2 is at least a few places high, especially as they deal with an injured starting keeper and a missing (reason unknown, could be injury) striker who had been averaging over a goal per game.  Both have been out for the last week.  After having to get a golden goal at home to defeat Centenary (LA) on Friday, Trinity travelled to St. Thomas (TX) for a non-conference matchup today.   After the teams exchanged two goals each in a span of six minutes in the first half, it was scoreless the rest of regulation and the first OT despite St. Thomas going a man down with 20' left.  The Celts were called for no fewer than seven cards on their home pitch to Trinity's one before a Tiger defender headed in the game winner in the fourth minute of the second OT.  The sides will play when it counts again in three weeks, this time in San Antonio, and hopefully Trinity (who also lost a starting defender for the season three games ago) will be closer to full strength by then. 

Offline Ommadawn

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2021, 08:41:15 pm »
Thanks for giving the north and west some love and representation on the board.

I second Ron's motion!  Great work, Paul!

Offline Centennial1

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2021, 08:48:27 pm »
Great Stuff. Great Read. Thanks, PN!

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2021, 09:22:49 pm »
Much appreciation for the posts.  Enjoyed doing it.  Sometimes the best thing on this site is getting a simple thank you.

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 08:16:22 am »
The box score and a recap of 2015 St Olaf vs Wheaton (Ill) Sweet 16 blizzard game follow below where the squads combined in wretched conditions to fire off 41 shots (23 for Wheaton and 18 for St Olaf).  I forgot also that the game was played at the renowned Rock Bowl in Dubuque, the home field of Loras.

After surviving with a Max Carey OT GW, Wheaton went on to lose to host Loras 2-1, courtesy of a Johnny Rummelhart tally for Loras in the 64th minute and an OT GW in the 98th minute via Justin Giacotto.  Wheaton had leveled in the 76th minute through as assist from D3soccer 2014 Midfielder of the Year, Marshall Hollingsworth, to one of the Wheaton Golz brothers, Stephen.

On a trivia note, the Elite 8 tilt between Wheaton and Loras had to be postponed due to the blizzard...and played on a Monday to determine the last 2015 Final 4 puzzle piece (as Wheaton cannot play on a Sunday).

And of course Loras went on to be denied their 1st national title after a run of Final 4 appearances as Amherst prevailed in a taut national final 2-1, with Loras' Rummelhart putting the Duhawks out front in the 9th minute.  Amherst's Jackson Lehnhart (a lot of 'harts' that day and iirc Lehnhart was an Alaska product) leveled in the 14th minute.  The GW came through Bryce Ciambella assisted by Greg Singer.  Also iirc Amherst's Nico Pascual-Leone was the Final 4 MVP and/or  the D3soccer 2015 Midfielder of the Year.  That national final occurred at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, MO.


https://athletics.stolaf.edu/sports/mens-soccer/stats/2015/wheaton-college-ill-/boxscore/1656

https://www.d3soccer.com/seasons/men/2015/contrib/20151121epfda4
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 09:20:50 am by PaulNewman »

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Go WEST young man (and NORTH)
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2021, 12:50:52 pm »
A PN "under the hood" segment...

The Dubuque Spartans 11-3-1 (7-0-0)

Dubuque entered the 2021 campaign with very high expectations, coming off a 2020 "I didn't know they even played" Covid Spring season that saw the Spartans take the American Rivers Conference (ARC) crown with a 6-1-1 record.  Dubuque sputtered out of the gate and after a 9/22 2-1 loss to UW-Platteville the Spartans were sitting at a pedestrian 3-3-1 (with a pair of 1-0 losses to North Central and Grinnell and an earlier draw with Milwaukee School of Engineering.  However, since then, Dubuque has ripped off 8 straight wins and is unblemished in the ARC.  A solid 2-0 victory over Luther a few days ago cemented the regular season title for the Spartans.  There are no other truly signature wins so far given Loras' retreat to mediocrity, but a end of the regular match with a bipolarish Carthage squad on 10/23 may be informative.

Dubuque is led by Brad Johnson, a Loras grad who still holds the Duhawks records for goals and points, and that's saying something because at least up to 2015 Loras had been one of the top 5 programs in the country and a frequent guest of the Final Four for nearly a decade.  Loras also of course happens to be in Dubuque, literally .7 of a mile away in the Key City.  The Spartans have waited quite a while for town bragging rights.  If my quick review was accurate, Dubuque as recently as 2018 was a paltry 4-12, and the only NCAA appearance was a brief one in 2016 when the Spartans were unceremoniously bounced in the first round by Westminster (I'm assuming MO).

A rapid scan of the Dubuque roster shows at least 12 Swedes (with likely more given a handful of players with no origin listed), and players from Italy, Germany, England, and Ireland.  How some schools attract so many internationals, including for example North Carolina Wesleyan and other under the radar programs, and how all that works is worthy of a feature article and/or thread in itself, but I digress...

Dubuque is led in goals by senior Luwara and junior Skog-Johansson, and in assists by table-setter sophs Niyibizi and Gray as well as frosh Wooldridge.