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Messages - Christan Shirk

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Men's soccer / Re: New rule changes for 2016 season
« on: September 02, 2016, 11:34:03 am »
Got this posted to this morning:

What's new in 2016? - Part 2: Rules Changes

Overall, there's no really big or impactful changes this time around.  Most seem sensible, worthwhile changes.

Men's soccer / Re: Hot Stove Action
« on: September 02, 2016, 11:01:15 am »
Looking forward to 2016 Rule changes piece. Hopefully, that comes out before Thursday. Any major changes that we all should be aware of

Didn't make the Thursday deadline, but Part 2 on the Rules Changes has now finally been finished and posted.

What's new in 2016? - Part 2: Rules Changes

You guys on here already mentioned and somewhat discussed the video review and offside.  Overall, there's no really big or impactful changes this time around.  Most seem sensible, worthwhile changes.

Men's soccer / Re: Liberty League
« on: August 30, 2016, 05:34:41 pm »
I'm pretty sure the proposal before the LL is that next year when Ithaca joins, the men's soccer playoffs will go to a six-team format.
When the original announcement was made about Ithaca joining the Liberty League it said the move would "occur no later than the 2018-19 academic year".  Has there been any subsequent information about the move happening for next year?  If so, I should include it in the Upcoming Changes section of my What's new for the 2016 season? article.  In fact, regardless, I should probably have included it.  Might still do so.

Men's soccer / Re: Hot Stove Action
« on: August 30, 2016, 04:56:33 pm »
I am a bit confused about the "new" opening weekend for the 2 bye teams. Has the mid-week "play-in" game been elimanted and now they are sending those 2 teams to the selected Bye teams for the week-end? Id so why would they add more travel if not needed

Yes, as I understand it, the mid-week "play-in" games have been eliminated and moved to the weekend for a 3-team pod.  Here's the language from the Division III Championships Committee's meeting minutes back in February.

For men's soccer, the recommendation to increase to 62 teams also brings stand-alone first-round
games to the same site as second-round play where one team, typically the host team, has a bye.

So it will function the same as all the other 1st/2nd Round pods except it's missing one team meaning just one game the first day.

As to it potentially increasing travel, it could also potentially reduce travel, couldn't it?  Well, thinking that through, maybe not.  It could help reduce missed class time and the potential for back-to-back long trips for the same team if the visitors win the mid-week game.  Think about a Redlands/Colorado midweek game to advance to play Trinity (Tx) who got a bye.

And remember in 2007 when Trinity (Tx) had earned a bye, but their pod also included Principia and Texas-Tyler.  The committee made Trinity play Texas-Tyler in the first round and gave Principia the bye as a way to remove the risk of either having Principia travel round-trip from Illinois to Texas twice or putting them up in a hotel for an extra couple days in the event they won the first round match at Tyler.  Eliminating the the mid-week game, removes that quandary.

But wouldn't the best thing be to allow both arrangements to be used based on the tournament participants and how the bracket shapes up.  Why not keep both on the table.  Sometimes it would be advantageous to have the midweek game (think Redlands/Claremont and Trinity with the bye) while the 3-team weekend pod makes sense for the two other scenarios I used above.

Finally, why this change triggered by going from a 61-team tournament field to a 62-team field (changing the number of byes and stand-alone 1st round games from 3 to 2), I have no idea.  Maybe that wasn't the trigger, but the language in the meeting minutes gives that impression.

Men's soccer / Re: Hot Stove Action
« on: August 26, 2016, 01:14:40 pm »
Finally got this posted to

What's new for the 2016 season?

Hopefully it contains some new info and tid-bits even for the diehards.

Men's soccer / Re: 2014 / 2015 Coaching Carousel
« on: August 10, 2016, 05:42:38 pm »
BTW, for anyone that hadn't noticed, we ( finally got a chance to work on the coaching carousel and post the changes we are aware of (38 men's changes and 33 women's changes).

2016 Men's Coaching Carousel

2016 Women's Coaching Carousel

Men's soccer / Re: 2016 Schedules
« on: May 25, 2016, 01:32:02 pm »
Did USMMA move out of the Landmark? 

Answering my own question here:

USMMA is now in the Skyline.  Not sure if NCAA Tournament eligible for 2016, but they will be a November mainstay out of that conference for the future...

You should check out our website,, more often  ;)   We mentioned this in our August 20, 2015 article What's new for 2015 season? in the final section "Changes (and Potential Changes) on the Horizon". 

As to your lingering question: they are NCAA eligible this year.  Not really sure why you would have questioned that.  Their status as a D-III member isn't affected in any way by changing conferences or even if they had gone independent.  The conference affiliation would only affect which tournament selection Pool(s) they are in (A/C or B/C).   In this case, the Skyline was already an AQ conference and, obviously, adding another team doesn't do anything to change that, so USMMA will be fighting for the Skylines's AQ berth (Pool A) and, failing that, a Pool C at-large berth.

By the way, there's other changes in conference affiliation happening for the 2016 season (e.g. Carroll moving to the CIIW).  Check out that article from last year and then keep an eye out for a similar article again this year.

Well, this was an intersting topic to see here today, especially four days after the current "Reader's Poll" was published. For the record, I wrote the poll; I wrote the options; I take full responsibility.  Part of me wanted to wait until more people gave their perspectives on our poll (and specifically the options provided) before posting a response here, because I am genuinely curious if Mr. Right's take is representative of many others. But I won't delay.  And even though part of me would prefer to just post a big ol' "Lighten up! It was a joke!", I'm going to basically post here what I wrote in response to the few e-mails we received shortly after the poll was published on Sunday (e-mails, which I might add, though "concerned" about the absence of the "NESCAC" as an option, acknowledged the possibility of an honest oversight/clerical error--a granting of the benefit of the doubt that was appreciated).

Given the NESCAC had just claimed both men's and women's titles (something I assumed everyone reading and responding to the poll would know), the poll was somewhat of a rhetorical, toungue-in-cheek joke (not that a case couldn't be made for the UAA--actually a very strong case, and maybe another conference or two). I wanted to have fun with it as I have sometimes done in the past with our poll questions. But apparently what I intended to be funny (the blatant omission of the most glarringly obvious answer) hasn't translated for everyone even though I tried to make it rather obvious by placing the "other" option right where the NESCAC should have been listed instead of placing the "other" option at the very end of the list as is normal. I thought that would assure everyone would "get it" . . . if not right away, as least after a few seconds. 

My other option was to post the same poll question, but repeatedly list the NESCAC as option one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine, with the obligatory "other" as option ten.  I opted for the more subtle, might-take-a-second-or-two-to-get approach knowing it might put a rise into some NESCAC fans until they got the joke (not if they got the joke). I miscalculated, apparently, whether that is due more to over-estimating my ability to execute the intended joke or under-estimating how seriously NESCAC fans take this stuff and wouldn't be able to find the humor in it, I don't know.

Bottom line, the honest truth is that the poll was/is meant as a light, humorous tip of the cap to the NESCAC, not an unintended oversight nor an intentional slight (neither of which would have been consistent with the website's complete body of work, in my opinion). I hope that most fans have picked up on that and have taken the poll in the sense it was/is intended. If not, it won't be the first nor last time I miss the mark, and I can live with that.

However, what would have the potential to bother me much more would be if the broader sentiments seemingly expressed by Mr. Right were representative of a larger segment of the fans on here and the visitors to our website. I truly hope not and would be surprised and disappointed to find that to be the case. Even if this particular poll didn't/doesn't sit right with some, I would hope that's not reflective of or consistent with a broader perception of the website. But, if it is, I am open to listening to Mr. Right and any others who believe they have reason to think is guilty of or prone to (i) pettiness, (ii) unappreciativeness of NESCAC fans (or any segment of fans) for visiting/supporting the website, (iii) disrespect of NESCAC fans (or any segment fo fans), and (iv) biases and favoritism shown to certain schools (e.g. Messiah) or conferences. If there are instances or examples of these types of things, please specifically name them so they can be discussed and maybe we can learn and improve moving forward. (And that can be done openly on the message board or privately via e-mail.)

The Final Top 25 and All-America teams will be coming.  No promises on time-table.

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 D3 Season: NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
« on: December 09, 2015, 03:02:42 pm »

Without naming names and getting into details, reasons, excuses, forgetfulness, etc. that may or may not be self-incriminating, there will be a final Top 25 poll.  It will be late.  Hopefully Friday.

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT THREAD
« on: December 03, 2015, 08:22:47 am »'s fourth and final coach's interview has been published.

December 3, 2015
Interview: Iain Byrne, Oneonta State men's coach
The 13th-year head coach of the Oneonta State Red Dragons talks to
about how he's built the program, his team's great defense and exciting style of play,
and the drive to go one step further than 2014.

By Ryan Harmanis

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT THREAD
« on: December 02, 2015, 03:06:37 pm »'s third coach's interview has been published.

December 2, 2015
Interview: Ryan Souders, Calvin men's coach
The 4th-year head coach of the Calvin Knights talks to about
his team's difficult run through the tournament, their incredible team culture, and
their malleable playing style heading into this weekend.

By Ryan Harmanis

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT THREAD
« on: December 01, 2015, 04:19:44 pm »
Just a little "inside baseball" talk here...the way it's listed on their men's soccer schedule has nothing to do with Amherst and everything to do with PrestoSports, their content management system. When you go to schedule a game in Presto, it has all possible opponents listed in their system, and you have to select what they have it labeled as. In this case, it appears Presto themselves haven't made the switch from Oneonta State to SUNY Oneonta. If you look elsewhere on Amherst's men's soccer page, like in the preview they posted for example, they use the SUNY Oneonta terminology.

That's true, however, each website using PrestoSports is able to customize any school name specifically for their website. That said, I don't expect an SID or his/her staff to take the time to utilize this customization feature. We at have numerous customized names (most from before I was involved) where someone decided to deviate from what the larger network uses. And I know we could customize numerous others to get to a/the more commonly used variation of a school's name (changing Rochester Tech to RIT is on my list for next season as that has been annoying me for years). One reason we would hesitate to make a change is that it creates issues with the archives and naviagting into/through archived previous seasons unless you take a fair amount of time to update the name in numerous locations/files for each archived season. But this is boring for most everyone.  I would be curious to know (and another thread would be the place for it) what names we us on that our visitors think we should go with another variation.

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT THREAD
« on: December 01, 2015, 01:40:42 pm »'s second coach's interview has been published.

December 1, 2015
Interview: Justin Serpone, Amherst men's coach
The 9th-year head coach of the Amherst Lord Jeffs talks to about
winnng for the players that came before, his team's playing style, key players and
leaders, and grinding to the Final Four.

By Ryan Harmanis

Men's soccer / Re: 2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT THREAD
« on: November 30, 2015, 02:39:44 pm »'s first coach's interview has been published.

November 30, 2015
Interview: Dan Rothert, Loras men's coach
The 18-year head coach of the Loras Duhawks talks to about
his team's make-up and playing style, the culture and squad depth he's built
over the years, the use of a sweeper, and winning their first semifinal.

By Ryan Harmanis

Men's soccer / Re: NCAA Tournament Interesting Trivia Odds and Ends
« on: November 12, 2015, 11:54:53 am »
A shame no one is adding to this thread.  It would make for a great column on if enough different tid-bits could be compiled. 

In a slightly different vein, but hopefully not too out of place, here is this year's Tournament Field Factoids on  Not sure why I didn't do one last year after doing it in 2013.

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