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Messages - Flying Weasel

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Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
« on: September 27, 2023, 03:32:45 pm »
Hopkins92 and MAF didn't mention it as a mid-week game to watch, but I think the LVC vs. E-town game is one to keep and eye on.  LVC is 6-1-0 on the season with their lone loss coming at F&M where they allowed a first-ever win over the Diplomats slip away in the final quarter hour after taking a 2-1 lead.  Despite a mediocre 3-2-2 record, E-town showed a lot of fight in their 2-3 loss to Messiah before defeating Scranton 2-1 to open Landmark play on the right foot.

LVC and E-town faced the same three opponents to open the season, swapping visiting St. John Fisher and Rutgers-Newark opening weekend before travelling to F&M.  LVC showed much better across those common opponents, picking up 4-0 and 5-0 wins before the agonizing loss to F&M.  E-town on the other hand went 1-1-1 with a 1-0 win (St. John Fisher), 2-2 tie (Rutgers-Newark) and 0-1 loss at F&M.

LVC has been ranked for the past two weeks by the coaches (USC), moving up to #13 this week.  I think this might be the first time the program has ever been ranked by the coaches.  In 2016, LVC was ranked for one week (Week 8) by when they were 12-2-0 before being tripped up by a 5-10-1 Alvernia in their very next match. A low SOS kept them from ever being considered for an at-large berth that year, but they did win their first of back-to-back ECAC Championships to finish 18-4-0.  LVC's next best run was probably just two years ago when they were 12-3-0 entering their 10/26 tilt with F&M and regionally ranked by the NCAA (#8 of 8 in Region V).  A first-ever win over F&M might have earned them an at-large berth, but they fell 0-3 and although all teams ranked ahead of them in the region received berths, they probably never had a shot at #7 in the region (14-5-0, .567 SOS, 3-4-0 RvR).

Every other year it seems like LVC plays Messiah very tough, but a low SOS and inconsistency down the stretch in October has always kept LVC from reaching the NCAA tournament.  SOS might be a problem again for them this year despite adding Rutgers-Newark (who is having their worst season in years) and some other new additions to the schedule who are under-performing to date.

LVC's top player from two seasons ago, Lucas Strange, is back for a 5th year after missing last season.  He's posted 4 goals and 7 assists already.  And sophomore Nathan Prex, building upon his team leading 17 pts. (5g, 7a) last year, has scored 8 goals in the first 7 games, netting in all but one game so far. He tallied both goals against F&M.  And Jr. Aaron Weitzel is back after scoring 6 and 7 goals as a frosh and soph, respectively. So they have some firepower up top.  They have used the same starting line-up (6 upperclassmen + 5 soph) in all seven games.  Nine of the starters were full-time or part-time starters last year.  So who knows, maybe this is LVC's year to make some sort of a break through.  But there's a long way to go and a local rivalry game, even if E-town isn't world-beaters, should be an interesting test for LVC and one they need to win to continue to be taken seriously.

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
« on: September 27, 2023, 01:54:26 pm »
It's Messiah's Homecoming when Widener come to Grantham in two Saturday's.  So there will be a bigger than normal crowd for Widener to deal with.  On the other hand, Messiah has to deal with the distractions of Homecoming and some disturbances to their normal routine.  Despite being a Messiah alum and fan, the soccer fan in me wants to  see a competitive, compelling game, so I hope Widener proves to be a formidable opponent.  I still want and fully expect a Falcon win, but I still think there's some question marks around this year's squad and not sure they are at the point where they can consistently play like a Top 10 team.

Men's soccer / Re: USC Rankings
« on: September 27, 2023, 01:40:45 pm »
North Central UNIVERSITY (Minn.) is in Region IX.  They have not appeared in the Region IX rankings (or receiving votes) any week this season.  Thus it is completely inexplicable how they would be listed as receiving votes in the national ranking.

If they were in the same region with North Central COLLEGE (Ill.) and they received votes in the regional rankings, then you could put that down to voter error/mix-up.  But that clearly is not what's happening.  So who knows what's happening, but it really is ridiculous.  Apparently there are some non-D3 soccer fans involved in the process of preparing and publishing the rankings, because otherwise that should/would be easily caught and corrected.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: September 22, 2023, 11:37:25 pm »
Messiah played Stevens on turf in the 2017 NCAA sectional semis.  Game was moved from Shoemaker due to heavy rain

Definitely happened, but, and I am only going on what I can see, the two turf fields seem to not have soccer markings. and  May be other fields that they have access.,-76.9885789,614m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x89c8e8c0b22d487d:0x85a6affc49f5bcd3!8m2!3d40.1576139!4d-76.9869025!16zL20vMDIxbmJy?entry=ttu 

However, they may have a way.

Yes, I know for a fact (I was there) that the 2017 Sectional at Messiah was moved to the turf Lacrosse Field.  You are correct that the lacrosse field has no soccer markings.  Looking at the highlight videos (,, I'm guessing the 6-yd and 18-yd boxes were marked the old-fashioned way with chalk.  They are hard to see in the Sweet 16 match vs. Stevens, but easier to pick out in the Elite 8 match vs. Rochester.  Given they had moved the games to the lacrosse field in 2017, I think many of us figured we'd keep the 2018 Sectionals at home again.

Men's soccer / Re: 2023 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: September 22, 2023, 10:43:59 am »
Just an FYI for those anticipating the game between Messiah and Mary Washington: owing to the forecast, it’s been moved all the way up to 11:00 am Saturday, with the women’s game to follow.
Came here to post the same thing after finding out.  Well . . ., any chance of me catching part of this game is gone now.  So frustrating that the most attractive game on Messiah's schedule isn't one that I can get to even though it is at home on a Saturday.  #1 vs. #3 in the nation is huge.  It was going to be a tight for me to get there by the second half when the game was at 5pm instead of later in the evening.  Now, zero chance of seeing a single minute given the kids' soccer games and a trip to the airport to pick-up an in-law flying in from Brazil.  Ugghh!   And, yes, the decision to move the game up makes sense in an effort to not lose the match entirely.  Just personally frustrated that I'll miss the top match on this year's schedule and won't get to see Mary Washington in person despite living 20 minutes away.

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
« on: September 20, 2023, 01:32:55 pm »
MAF Power Rankings (9/20)

Region 4
1. Montclair
2. Leb Val
3. Stevens
4. Stockton
5. Rowan
6. Kean
7. St. Marys (Md)

Region 5
1. Messiah
2. F&M
3. Scranton
4. JHU
5. Widener
6. Dickinson
7. Muhles

I had totally forgotten that LVC was moving to the Freedom Conference to balance the MAC after the departure of Wilkes and Lycoming.  So strange to see them ranked in Region IV with the Jersey schools and to not have them on Messiah's schedule.  I wonder if LVC will make it back onto Messiah's schedule as a regular non-conference opponent in future years like other nearby schools Dickinson, Gettysburg and E-town.

Men's soccer / Re: Great Lakes Region Navigation Channel
« on: September 15, 2023, 04:40:59 pm »
I having flashbacks to last year and my bid to award oldest bookstore to Kenyon...which I stand by after an actual direct consultation with the bookstore and despite FW I think suggesting Leb Valley or maybe the town of Annville had the oldest...or I might just be making up who he said.

Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, PA.

Men's soccer / Re: Great Lakes Region Navigation Channel
« on: September 15, 2023, 12:21:05 pm »
The OWU media guide....50 pages in small worth browsing.  I can't imagine any other program has anything close.  Maybe Messiah?

I concede. North Park's is only 41 pages long.

Maybe after the season I'll add some picture pages to it to pad it out further. :D

OK, I checked it out.  Can't believe you conceded so easily.  Especially when with pictures you might have even topped 50.

The thing is, many programs have a Gregory Sager?  That's basically cheating.

Ohio Wesleyan and Wheaton always had very good, thorough record books. In recent times, Wheaton broke up their yearbook/media guide that contained their record book and now some of the content is on webpages instead of in a PDF document.  For a pure records book/historical record, Ohio Wesleyan's 50 pages is impressive. Which is fitting for one of the longest-standing and historically successful programs.

Many schools have a combination of yearbook, media guide and record book, and some of them (not many) start approaching 50 pages. Scranton had always had good archives and their media guides have exceeded 50 pages, but only about 30 of those pages were the record book.

Messiah has a pure record book that currently has 46 pages, so it's not a too risky assumption that, by page-count, Ohio Wesleyan has the biggest record book in men's D-III soccer. Messiah, like North Park, does not insert pictures throughout and it also has no player index. One of the coolest things found in the Messiah record book that you don't usually find is that the game-by-game all-time results includes the goal scorers for every single game in program history (going back to 1967). That helps jog the memory about games and/or helps you correctly connect your recollections to a specific game.

Men's soccer / Re: USC Men's Regional Rankings-2023
« on: September 13, 2023, 04:16:47 pm »
The Bowdoin ranking is a little perplexing.

The following points do not really provide a possible explanation for Bowdoin's ranking, but they may be worth mentioning for those still kind of new to the USC Rankings or yet unaware of how the USC Rankings work.

1. As already mentioned, the USC Pre-season Poll is NOT really a pre-season poll; it is just a re-posting of the final poll of the previous season.  That is, the pre-season poll does not reflect a new vote of the coaches in the build-up to the new season.  Why they continue this ruse, I have no idea.

2. Therefore, a team's position in the first poll of any season shouldn't really be compared to the "pre-season" poll as if that was their starting point.  It wasn't.

3. For the weekly polls throughout the season, the USC is very committed to fairly equal regional representation in the national Top 25. Prior to the regional re-alignment that increased the number of regions from 8 to 10, almost without fail, seven regions had 3 teams ranked with an eighth region getting fourth team ranked. Additionally, most of the time each region got a team in the top 8, another in spots 9-16, and their third rep in spots 17-24. Now with 10 regions, such exact equal representation can't be achieved, but most of the time each region will have 2 or 3 representatives in the Top 25. It's fairly clear that Region 2 is the weakest region under the current alignment which splits New England in half numerically, but not in quality due to the strength of the NESCAC which is all in Region 1.  Consequently, Region2 will sometimes get less representation which opens the door for a region to get a fourth rep.

4. In the final poll of the season (after the NCAA Tournament), the USC isn't concerned with equal regional representation in the Top 25 like they are in the weekly polls throughout the season.  Rather the rankings very strongly reflect tournament finish with a few exceptions when a very strong team gets bounced early. 

5. Thus, a region could have more teams in the final poll than during the season, but not all of them can remain ranked in the first poll of the following season when equal representation comes back into play.  So, for example, Region I (i.e., NESCAC) could have 5 teams ranked in the final poll of one season which means 5 teams ranked in the following pre-season poll, but come the first poll of the new season, no matter how good those five teams started, at most four of them could be ranked and maybe only three.

6. From what I have heard, the USC has some "rules" for their rankings and how teams can and can't move relative to one another from one weak to the next.  For example, I think that if a ranked team wins its games in the new week, they cannot be leap-frogged by another team or they cannot fall in the rankings or something like that.  So this can sometimes explain why a Top 25 team didn't fall in the rankings after a poor performance (i.e., narrow win against a weak opponent) or why another team didn't climb ahead of someone on the strength of huge win against Top 25 opponent. I'm not 100% sure exactly what the "rules" are, but something along these lines.

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
« on: August 09, 2023, 01:01:25 pm »
Well, since we're swimming in Lake Mid-Atlantic, I'll just flag my dark horse favorite from last season: Widener. They had somewhat of a breakout season in 2022 (11-6-2), yet they are ranked 84. Like NPU basketball, their prior seasons were pretty bleak going back many years. I'll be interested to see what happens if they put up another solid run this fall. I don't know their entire roster, but I do see that Sean Fatiga, their star striker, is back, so... Baseline of having the dude that accounted for probably 75 percent of the offense is pretty high.

I would also like to put Rosemont in that category.  If they play like last year, they could be really good.  FYI, Rosemont was women's college for many years and is right outside of Philly.  They won their league and made the NCAAs and lost to CNU 1-0 in the first round. When F&M played them, F&M won (4-1) which was F&M's  most lopsided close win ever.  It could have easily gone either way until the end. Rosemont was really fast and scrappy.  They play Widener, F&M, Swarthmore, Haverford, Ursinus and Dickenson this year.  On top of this, they are the Boise State of the mid-atlantic as they play on grey turf.  It was very, very disorienting.

Speaking of Rosemont, the schedule on its website lists the CSAC playoffs, through the CSAC Finals, and then a "Cross-Over Finals" to come after that.  Is that a transition to the combined United East or is something else going on?

Yea, the two conferences are officially one entity for the 2023-24 season, using the name United East Conference and only having a single AQ berth to the NCAA Tournament in each sport for the 17 schools.  However, with schedules (conference and non-conference) largely already in place before the merger was finalized, the season will largely proceed as if the CSAC and UEC were still separate conferences, with each former conference being considered a division.  Each division will have playoffs to crown a division champion, with the two division champions meeting in the final to win the NCAA automatic berth.

It had not yet been determined what the conference configuration and championship format will be in future after this transitional year.

This merger seems to be the opposite of what happened with the ever-growing USA South Athletic Conference that finally broke into two conferences a year ago. 

The UEC was losing two schools after last academic year, dropping them to 7 institutions which was still enough for an AQ if all seven schools sponsored the sport.  But with the growing instability across Division III with schools closing their doors and conferences having to react to closures and departures in order to maintain numbers for automatic berths, this merger provides these 17 schools with some conference stability/security in at least the near future.  The cost is a reduced access ratio to the NCAA Tournament:  1 AQ berth for 16 men's and 17 women's soccer programs.

By the way, the formerly all-women Notre Dame of Maryland, begins it's first academic year with male students and is debuting men's soccer, men's basketball and men's cross-country this school year.  This addition increased the number of men's soccer programs in the CSAC to nine before the merger.

Men's soccer / Re: Coaching Carousel
« on: July 17, 2023, 09:38:54 am »
Travis Wall it is.

Wall takes command of Lords Soccer Program



Going head-to-head with his alma mater and mentor in a huge rivalry.  Quite a move!

Men's soccer / Re: 2023-24 Schedules
« on: May 24, 2023, 02:12:18 pm »

To be honest, a bit underwhelming and disappointing.  The Falcons are losing W&L, Lynchburg, NYU and Christopher Newport from their 2022 schedule and the only similar level teams that have bene added are Catholic and Mary Washington.  Brockport isn't a bad pick-up, and I don't mind the Lancaster Bible addition as it will give a nice boost to a nearby program's SOS.  But it would be nice to have a couple more Top 25 to Top 40 calibre teams.

Women's soccer / Re: UAA
« on: December 06, 2022, 04:37:12 pm »
Good effort by Case today.  These were the "players mentioned" in the Hopkins recap.  While this is permitted by the NCAA rules, it's certainly not in the spirit of D3 to load up your squad with a boatload of one and done former D1 athletes.

#20 Rachel Jackson - F 5' 9" Graduate Student (D1 James Madison transfer JHU fifth-year)
#15 Katie Sullivan - F 5' 7" Sophomore
#00 Emma Huntzinger - GK 5' 10" Graduate Student (D1 Rutgers transfer)
#4 Breukelen Woodard -M 5' 7" Graduate Student (D1 South Carolina / Penn transfer)
#5 Kacie Filian - M/D 5' 9" Graduate Student (D1 St. Bonaventure transfer)

#11 Maria Romo-Nichols - F 5' 6" Freshman
#33 Kendall Dandridge - D 5' 7" Graduate Student (D1 Fordham transfer)
#42 Rebecca Rosen - M/F 5' 9" Graduate Student (D1 Brown transfer)

As phil eluded to, Johns Hopkins also had #1 Priya Gillan - GK 5' 7" Graduate Student (D1 Illinois State transfer) on the bench.

On the other side, Case Western Reserve had two grad student D-I transfers:
#11 Fwd Camryn Hartman (Grad Student - D-I Univ. of Cincinnati transfer):  22 starts, 14 goals, 10 assists (both led team)
#27 Fwd Samantha Cramin (Grad Student - D-I Iowa transfer):  22 games played (0 starts), 7 goals, 3 assists

Men's soccer / Re: Big Dance 2022 - Let's Go!
« on: December 06, 2022, 04:12:15 pm »
Congratulations to UChicago-- 2022 NCAA DIII Men's Soccer Champions

Final:  UChicago 2, Williams 0   Chicago gets an empty net goal with 14 seconds left to seal it.

Congratulations to Julianne Sitch- First woman to coach a men's soccer team to an NCAA Championship in any division.

I wonder if Sitch is also the first coach to win it in the their first year with the program and in their first year as a college head coach at any level (she was head coach of the Chicago Red Stars reserves that won their conference in the WPSL in 2021, but otherwise her college (and senior level pro) experience has been as an assistant coach).  I wouldn't be surprised if those are firsts in college as well.  Although she inherited a really strong team with tournament experience, I've seen many a head coach screw that up.  Plus, she helped integrate some strong freshman attackers into the lineup and kept the team united and tactically strong.  Arguably, she brought in tactics that pushed them over the top.

Interestingly, I just read about the CWRU women's coach today in part because CWRU being in the title game, especially the women, seemed surprising to me.  Abby Richter, the CWRU coach, fits all those criteria above....hired in August, never a head coach before.  I totally understood why Bianco left CWRU for Denison but CWRU is a fantastic school... maybe doesn't have the glamour of some of its UAA brethren but one of the more underrated, under the radar schools among top tier academic schools.  The CWRU women's record over the past few years suggests that they were building towards a season like the one they're having, but, just like with the Chicago men, being able to go so far with another coach you just met when school started seems impressive.

On the topic of women coaches and Case Western, the head coach that preceded Abby Ritcher at Case Western was also a woman, Jen Simonetti.  Given the timing of Simonetti leaving for Division I Akron (women's HC) in mid-July and Ritcher's hire a week into August, this year's squad is entirely Simonetti's recruits including two grad student D-I transfers. Case only lost 3 full-time starters and 1 part-time starter from last year to graduation while 2 seniors chose to return for a 5th year including their All-American midfielder who led the team in goals and assists in 2021. In three years/two seasons, Simonetti turned a mediocre team and UAA doormat into a nationally relevant Top 25 team, setting the table for what Ritcher accomplished this year.  Simonetti was named the Coach of the Year last year.  Here's the write-up:

     In a somewhat non-traditional, but well-deserved choice, the women’s Coach of the Year is Jen Simonetti, of Case Western Reserve, who led the Spartans to their most successful season in program history. In 2021 they recorded an overall record of 16-2-2, a UAA mark of 4-1-2, good for second; advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen; and finished 12th in the Top 25, each all-time program bests. Coach Simonetti has led a remarkable turnaround for CWRU in the most difficult conference in women’s soccer. She became CWRU head coach in July 2019. In the ten years before her arrival, the Spartans averaged 1-5-1 in the UAA and 8-8-2 overall. In her first year, 2019, the Spartans set a program record for wins and made the NCAA field for only the second time in program history. This season, they blew past those marks with three added wins for another program best and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. In her first two seasons the Spartans have cumulative win percent of .500 / .782 (UAA / overall), dramatic improvements over the .236 / .519 marks of the previous ten years. []

Men's soccer / Re: 2022 D3 Men's Soccer National Perspective
« on: December 04, 2022, 01:43:32 pm »
All I need to know about the fraudulent soccer coaches awards is that UChicago's lead striker who scored in the NCAA semis and title game did not even get All-Region. Which is fine, Yeti would rather be a national champion anyway.

Yeah, that was ludicrous. They aren't quite Max Lopez numbers but 13G, 1A with 7 game winners and goals in 4 of 6 tournament games was more than enough to be All-Region and I would have had him AA.

If I'm not mistaken, the voting for USC All-Region occurs prior to the NCAA Tournament. So his scoring in the tournament wouldn't have been on his resume.  And it's only 1st Team All-Region selections that are considered for All-American.  More important than all of that, unless things have changed again, a coach can only nominate 4 field players and 1 GK from his team for All-Region.  For Chicago's four field players, Gillespie and Wada are givens and looking at the All-Region teams Coach Sitch apparently nominated midfielder Lyndon Hu and defender Nathan Moonesinghe instead of Yetishefsky.  Naz Kabanni is another very good player who probably merits All-Region consideration, but wouldn't have been on the ballot.

I don't know what honors Yetishefsky deserved, but, due to the nomination limits, he wasn't even on the ballot for All-Region. If he had been, he certainly would have be selected as a player for the nation's top team.  But I wouldn't have expected him to have made 1st Team ALl-Region to get into the running for All-American.  His record at the time of voting was 9 goals scored in 17 games (actually 15 games as he missed a pair of games) with no assists.  He had 5 game-winners, but 3 of those came in games won 4-0, 3-0, and 3-0.  And only 2 of his 9 goals were scored in games decided by less than a 3-goal difference.  And one of those, the 2-1 game-winner versus Calvin, came 40 minutes after Calvin was reduced to 10-men.  Besides his hattrick in the 3-0 win over North Park he wasn't really all that impressive on paper.

I'm not fan of the USC awards and agree they always have numerous questionable inclusions and omissions.  But in this case, the main culprit is probably their cap of 4 field players per team, not that ten other forwards from the region were considered better than Yetishefsky by the coaches.  He probably wasn't on the ballot. 

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