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Messages - Christan Shirk

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1
Men's soccer / Re: No longer part of D3sports.com network?
« on: August 21, 2014, 09:43:57 am »
I am pleased to let you know that D3soccer.com is gearing up for the new 2014 season and plans to be an active site again this year.  We do have some resources and manpower issues that, without going into details, is what precipitated the departure from the D3sports.com network.  It was an amicable parting of ways and a disappointment to both sides. The D3sports network has set and met high standards of excellence and has established a very strong "brand".  We at D3soccer.com respect and admire the network's collective success as well as that of the individual sport sites and all the work that goes into it.

As you are noticing, we are behind schedule in having the site ready for the new season, but things are getting done and we expect to have everything ready by day one of the season, if not before.  At present, men's and women's team pages are still missing for about 25% of the schools (if you are finding broken links for anything other than team pages, please e-mail me at chris.shirk@d3soccer.com).  All men's and women's 2014 conference pages are now on-line, a new poll was posted, and you should see some new original articles in the next few days.  We are also planning to continue our weekly national Top 25 rankings during the season. 

So what does the departure from the D3sports.com network means for the site going forward?  For visitors to D3soccer.com, little will change, at least in the short-term.  As you may have noticed, the D3 network sites (besides soccer) got a make-over during the past year, so we do not need to change the look of the site as a result of leaving the network.  A new logo is required and one should replace the generic placeholder sometime before or shortly into the season.  Without the need to remain consistent with the network of D3 sites anymore, we may and probably will tinker with some cosmetic and site layout changes along the way this season.  Any major changes to our look would probably only occur during the next off-season.  So the experience for visitor's to the site should be virtually unchanged from previous seasons.

It's gratifying to know that people appreciate the site and that fans would be very disappointed to see it disappear.  It is a challenge to maintain the site and produce original content in the form of articles and columns, so if anyone has a serious interest in contributing to our effort on a regular, committed, on-going basis, whether behind the scenes or as a writer/columnist, please contact me at chris.shirk@d3soccer.com.

2
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: March 23, 2014, 07:56:56 pm »
This site http://www.studentsports.com/soccer/2013/09/25/class-2014-ncaa-division-iii-commitments/ lists midfielder Bryce Ciambella as transferring to Amherst from Division I Creighton.  From the Creighton men's soccer pages, he was a red-shirted as a freshman in 2012 and then did not appear in any games in 2013. 

3
Men's soccer / Re: DIII player goes for the USL
« on: February 01, 2014, 10:40:21 am »
Dan Figura's post-Combine thoughts: http://duhawkfutbol.com/archives/2246

4
Men's soccer / Re: NESCAC
« on: February 01, 2014, 01:29:25 am »
Very cool that they did an article like that.  Too bad the author completely overlooked Lance Key, a 3-time All-American at Trinity (Tx.), who started 34 games for the Colorado Rapids in 2000 and 2001 as a defender.  Key should have been at No. 3 or 4 on the list, and then the author wouldn't have needed to reach so much to fill out the list with Blake and Schunk at No. 5 (no offense to either of those players).  Key was a 4th Round pick in the 2000 SuperDraft (43rd overall).

5
Men's soccer / Re: 2013 D3soccer.com Men's All-Americans and POYs
« on: December 30, 2013, 02:04:43 pm »
Ryan makes some great observations and points.  I would supplement with some addition comments.

Like most years, the NSCAA placed much more than 11 players on their second and third three teams.  This year they went to 15 players on those teams for a total of 41 All-Americans.  At D3soccer.com we have decided to stick to just 11 players per team for a total of 33 All-Americans.  So, the NSCAA honored 8 more players which means a player on the NSCAA third team who missed out on the D3soccer.com teams may have been similarly rated, but there simply wasn't as many spots available.  And I'm not sure how much regional balance matters to the NSCAA, but by giving themselves the extra spots it would be easier to acheive that balance.

Also like most years, the NSCAA teams honor a disproportionate number of forwards.  Each of their teams has as many or more forwards as midfielders and defenders (1st Team 3-3-4, 2nd Team 4-5-5), 3rd Team 3-5-6), this despite the most common playing formations being some sort of 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 in which there are not more forwards.  At D3soccer.com we try to keep to our distribution between the positions close to that used in reality, meaning the odds of being honored are basically equal for all positions instead of forwards having a better chance and defenders less of a chance.  The D3soccer.com teams usually end up with a 4-4-2, 4-3-3. or 3-4-3 formation/distribution, and in four years have never had more forwards than the other positions.

The above two points needs to be kept in mind when comparing who the NSCAA honored but D3soccer.com did not.  For example, the combination of those two difference resulted in the NSCAA honoring 15 forwards this year while D3soccer.com honored 9 forwards.

It has been mentioned that the D3soccer.com teams seemed to heavily favor players on tournament teams.  And Ryan mentioned the difference in process (the NSCAA developing regional teams first as the basis for the AA teams, while the D3soccer.com teams are done on strictly a national basis) which impacts this considerably, but the other big factor and difference is the timing of the nominations and vote.  Nominations for the NSCAA awards need to be made prior to the the NCAA tournament getting underway, with the vote overlapping with the NCAA Sectionals (opening midweek before and closing midweek after) with the regular season generally being the basis for the award.  For a variety of factors, voting for the D3soccer.com teams has thus far always occurred after the NCAA tournament with nominations, even if starting prior to the Final Four, continuing through the Final Four.  So, inevitably, how teams and players fare in the tournament does inevitably impact/influence the D3soccer.com teams.  However, we have always considered and included non-tournament participants.  I'm not sure if the 2013 D3soccer.com teams contained a higher percentage of tournament participants than the previous three years or not.  It does seem like the results gravitated to the big teams/ranked teams a little more this year than the past couple years.  Not really sure why, but just the way it came out this year.  In 2012 the D3soccer.com teams had players from Lake Forest, Dubuque, Centre, Hiram, Colorado, Union, and Vassar, for example.  In 2011 Manhattanville, Oglethorpe, Thomas More, Medaille, Case Western, Hope, Luther, and Rutgers-Camden were represented. We didn't have much of that type of representation this year. 

6
Men's soccer / 2013 D3soccer.com Men's All-Americans and POYs
« on: December 23, 2013, 04:44:17 pm »
2013 MEN'S PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Forward of the Year: Joshua Wood (Sr.), Messiah
Midfielder of the Year: Jeremy Payne (Jr.), Messiah
Defender of the Year: Dan Figura (Sr.), Loras
Goalkeeper of the Year: Mike Randall (Jr.), Rutgers-Camden

2013 MEN'S ALL-AMERICANS
FIRST TEAM
F
Joshua Wood
Sr.
Messiah
F
Mike Ryan
So.
Rutgers-Camden
F
Travis Vegter
Jr.
Calvin
M
Jeremy Payne *
Jr.
Messiah
M
Colton Bloecher
Jr.
Ohio Wesleyan
M
Kevin Cavers *
Sr.
Loras
M
Mitch Grotti *
Sr.
Rutgers-Camden
D
Dan Figura *
Sr.
Loras
D
Aaron Beale
Sr.
York (Pa.)
D
Carter Robbins *
Jr.
Messiah
GK
Mike Randall
Jr.
Rutgers-Camden
SECOND TEAM
F
Raphael Araujo
Jr.
Rutgers-Newark
F
Yuri Ribeiro *
Sr.
Trinity (Texas)
F
Jack Thompson *
Jr.
Messiah
M
Andrew Bednarsky
Sr.
St. Lawrence
M
Victor Araujo
Jr.
Trinity (Texas)
M
Lucas Terci
So.
Montclair State
D
Julien Aoyama *
Sr.
Amherst
D
Harry Copeland
So.
St. Lawrence
D
Zeke Hemme
Sr.
Stevens
D
Keith Grafmeyer
Jr.
Rochester
GK
Aaron Costello
Jr.
St. Lawrence
THIRD TEAM
F
Jalon Brown
Jr.
Christopher Newport
F
Ben Beaver
Sr.
Franklin and Marshall
F
Andrew Vandervoort
Sr.
Gordon
M
Max Fikke
Sr.
Amherst
M
Matt Muralles
Jr.
Williams
M
Jamed Garcia-Prats
Sr.
Luther
M
Marshall Hollingsworth
So.
Wheaton (Ill.)
D
Erik Berkowitz
Sr.
Loras
D
Ben Applefield
Sr.
Brandeis
D
Richie Marquez
Sr.
Redlands
GK
Brandt Rentel
Sr.
Oberlin
* previous D3soccer.com All-America honors

2013 MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR
Tim Oswald, Rutgers-Camden (23-1-2) - 2013 National Runner-up

7
Men's soccer / Re: Top Conferences and NCAA Bids
« on: December 08, 2013, 02:44:41 pm »
As to the All-Tournament selections, they basically have a predetermined amount of spots for the champion, runner-up, and two semifinalists.  And as I understand it they tell each coach how many spots his team gets and each coach says which of his players should be honored.  And I think I've heard of coaches even letting the team itself decide who to give the honors to.  And it's not unusual for a senior player to get picked instead of a younger teammate as a last chance to recognize a graduating player.  Now, that wouldn't explain Figura being let out, but could explain Payne's absence. 

8
Men's soccer / Re: 2013 Bracket Challenge
« on: December 08, 2013, 08:48:22 am »
So, what's the prize for the co-winners of the duhawkfutbol bracket challenge?

Congrats to lastguyoffthebench who got the most picks correct even if losing the points lead when Rutgers-Camden fell to Messiah in the final.

9
Men's soccer / Re: Top Conferences and NCAA Bids
« on: November 22, 2013, 04:19:48 pm »
Excellent sectional preview articles so far.  Very well done.  The quality of the writing on the site, from Shirk to the new guys, is superb.  I assume these are side hobbies for all, but any of them could be doing high-end sports coverage.  Too bad they don't have even more time to devote to things like profiles of some of the student-athletes who really are exceptional young adults.  Very appreciative of what is here, though.

+1 NCAC.

I have a feeling that if the traffic to the site warranted it that there would be more stories.    Soccer just doesn't get the hits that the other football, basketball, and baseball sites do.

Very thankful to have what we do have.  Living in TX there isn't any media interested in covering college soccer, let alone D3 soccer.

Thank you for the kind words and compliments. 

You are right, the website is pretty much a hobby for us.  One we take very seriously, but it can't always be priority no. 1, or even no. 2 or 3, . . . even during the soccer season.  The number of articles has nothing to do with how many visitors or hits we are getting, it just reflects how much "hobby time" and energy we have left over to write after we take care of the other aspects of the site (keeping schedules/results up-to-date; doing the Top 25 polling, tallying, and posting; preparing and maintaining the Conference Championship Central and NCAA Tournament Central, etc.).  Speaking personally, I am as frustrated as anyone that I no longer have the time to contribute more columns.  The additions of Jim Naprstek (who's work should not be unfamiliar to some of our visitors) and Ryan Harmanis late in the season has been wonderful and they are doing awesome work for the site, including on the two men's sectional previews that we have put out so far.  If we are able to hold onto them for next season (fingers crossed), the site stands a much better chance of having fresh, new content with greater frequency and of having more content that goes beyond the factual recaps and results summaries and more into the opinion/editorial realm.  And if you or someone you know would be a great addition to our now growing staff of (unpaid, volunteer, for-the-love-of-D-III-soccer) writers, please reach out to us in the off-season.   

To wrap up, we sincerely appreciate the visits and hits that let us know that a website like this one is needed and wanted for D-III soccer and worth the effort.  And we do enjoy hearing feedback, especially positive compliments (but also negative and/or constructive criticism).  So, thanks.

Now can I muster up the energy to do a sectional preview of my own?

10
Men's soccer / Re: Top Conferences and NCAA Bids
« on: November 18, 2013, 04:20:23 pm »
Does anyone know if Kenyon submitted the paperwork to host a sectional round?  I'm just a bit surprised that Rose-Hulman will be flying when, with Kenyon hosting, the other three would have bused it to Gambier.

My impression from the last decade or so is that flying one team so that the top seed can host is not uncommon.  I haven't looked back through the brackets to confirm this impression, however, so take my impression for what it's worth.  The problem is more with having to fly 2 or 3 teams. 

The cost-savings factor is real and effects match-ups, bracketing, and hosting--no doubt about that.  But I think people have an exaggerated impression of it's effect that isn't always fair to the committee/NCAA.   

In the case of Messiah vs. Kenyon to host, there's not much point in discussing it too much until you have confirmation that Kenyon did in fact bid to host.  Even if they did bid to host (and I'd tend to think they would have), I still don't find it surprising in the least that Messiah was still selected as host.

11
Men's soccer / Re: Top Conferences and NCAA Bids
« on: November 18, 2013, 09:35:02 am »
Confirmed.

12
Men's soccer / Re: 2013 Bracket Challenge
« on: November 18, 2013, 12:24:07 am »
Is the Rose Hulman win the biggest upset in D3 tourney history?  OWU is #1 seed in entire tournament.

How about Neumann beating Messiah two years ago in the same situation: top overall seed gets first round bye and gets upset by winner of mediocre-to-weak conference in second round?

Close call.  On one hand, Rose-Hulman might have been less expected to pull off the upset than Neumann.  They didn't win their conference regular season title and were carrying more losses and ties coming in (11-5-5) than Neumann (13-4-1) who did win both the conference reg. season and tournament.  Also Neumann in beating Salisbury in the 1st round already raised eye-brows and gave notice in a way that Rose-Hulman's win of PSU-Behrend in round 1 did not.

On the other hand, while Ohio Wesleyan was the #1 overall seed and undefeated, Messiah was all that and more, riding a 42-game unbeaten streak and the three-time defending champions (eight of previous eleven) and a team that had never been upset in a tournament game in their history (tied or lost to a top team or a better team, but never truly upset).

So, I think Messiah was the bigger giant than Ohio Wesleyan, but maybe Rose-Hulman is a smaller David than was Neumann.  Either way, both very shocking, both very huge upsets.

13
Men's soccer / Re: 2013 Bracket Challenge
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:37:08 pm »
The sectional host sites that were showing on the D3soccer.com brackets for a period of time were the result of a programming error--nothing more, nothing less.  It was not an attempt to predict the hosts nor was it based on any advanced insider information. 

Sincere apologies for the confusion caused and that we did not catch it and correct it sooner.

If there is any positive in an error of this nature, it is that it lets us know how much people go to our website for their D-III soccer information.  We are so thankful for the growing number of people that visit the site as we strive to build credibility and earn trust.  Thus we truly regret mistakes that undermine that aim.

14
Men's soccer / Re: IIAC 2013
« on: November 17, 2013, 09:36:39 pm »
The sectional host sites that were showing on the D3soccer.com brackets for a period of time were the result of a programming error--nothing more, nothing less.  It was not an attempt to predict the hosts nor was it based on any advanced insider information. 

Sincere apologies for the confusion caused and that we did not catch it and correct it sooner.

If there is any positive in an error of this nature, it is that it lets us know how much people go to our website for their D-III soccer information.  We are so thankful for the growing number of people that visit the site as we strive to build credibility and earn trust.  Thus we truly regret mistakes that undermine that aim.

15
Men's soccer / Re: NCAA Northeast Region
« on: November 17, 2013, 01:16:38 am »
Predictions

Stevens 6, Baruch 0
York 4, Mt. St. Mary 0

Ooops!  Stevens and York held scoreless for almost 78 and 92 minutes, respectively.

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