Author Topic: Mid-season Stars and Surprises  (Read 3114 times)

Offline Christan Shirk

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Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« on: October 14, 2011, 05:53:31 pm »
October 14, 2011
Mid-season Stars and Surprises
A mid-season look at some of the leading
All-American candidates and the biggest
surprises of the first half.

By Christan Shirk

My apologies to everyone who was enjoying and getting accustomed to the flybys and were expecting to find this week's report by now.  The flybys will likely return intermittently in some form or another throughout the rest of the season, but not as extensive in their coverage as over the past two weeks.  Other types of columns will also get my attention starting with this admittedly risky stab at a mid-season All-American team.  As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

MID-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS

I was going to do a Player of the Year watch, but opted to give it a different slant by naming a full team.  I know this may be considered premature and may stir some controversy because of who doesn’t get named, but I hope that it can be taken in the right spirit and not too seriously.

MORE . . .
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 06:08:28 pm by Christan Shirk »
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Offline NHsocca1

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 08:55:42 am »
How can Purdy be the only NESCAC player on this list? Best league in the country has about five players that are more deserving than some of the guys mentioned.

Offline Flying Weasel

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 10:24:35 am »
So to clarify, are you saying that one conference (11 schools) contains half of the best starting 11 in the whole nation (43 conferences, 400+ schools)? 

However debatable that may be, please do share who these players are to help those of us that are not from, in, or as familiar with the New England region and NESCAC.  I know Noon and Heo from Amherst are top players.  Macnee from Middlebury.  Who else do you see being at that elite status and proving it this season?

Offline NHsocca1

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 09:18:41 pm »
The ACC had four First Team All-Americans in each of the past two seasons.  Like the NESCSC, it's the best league and contains the best players. 

Macnee, Bishop, Heo, Noon, Rataczak, Purdy, Redmond, Pitney, Tsatsimpe, Kushina, Nichols...that's an entire starting lineup. All of these players would be standouts on some of these teams that play in other regions. 

The bigger issue is that d3soccer.com, much like d3soccer.net is completely biased against New England.  Every year teams like Trinity, Christopher Newport, St. Lawrence, etc. get free passes and New England teams get totally passed over. The five last times those three "dynasties" played a NESCAC team in the NCAA Tournament? 0-3-2.  In 2009 Christopher Newport was in the Top 5 all season, and got outshot 25-5 by Williams in the Elite Eight. 

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 12:38:31 am »
NH - How many teams do you think will make it into the dance this year from the NESCAC?

Offline NHsocca1

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 08:29:15 am »
Three or four.  Why does that matter though, since they play each other over and over they take points off each other.  It's not like some of these teams that play one or two real games all year.  NESCAC teams play eight-ten.
 
There are nine good NESCAC teams capable of beating most teams in the country.  The tenth place team, Hamilton, returned most players and went from 9-3-3 in the Liberty League to 3-6-2 in the NESCAC.  They went from runners's up in a decently regarded league to tenth place in another.

Offline Sandy

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 02:50:20 pm »
They actually finished in 4th place. Their wins also came against some of the weaker teams in the conference and did not really have any impressive out of conference wins either. They always played their LL opponents tough though, but they are definitely not of a quality that is ready to compete in the NESCAC.

Also, Shirk even wrote that he hopes people don't take the list too seriously, as it may indeed be premature, but he made it to give a nod to some players who have been playing well up until this point in the season. No need to worry NH. I'm sure there will be a few NESCAC players on the All-American teams come the end of the season.

Offline GarbageGoals33

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 04:09:09 pm »
Lucas Thompson from GAC is pretty good.  I would say he is probably only all-region though.  Justin Eglseder from GAC has to be a strong candidate for MIAC MVP and All-American.  He is phenomenal.

Offline Christan Shirk

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 05:19:23 pm »
The best possible outcome of writing the article I did and going out on a limb with a mid-season All-American team, is that it incites an exchange among fans from all across the nation regarding who each sees as being the cream of the crop in their team, in their conference, and in their region.  We all are better for it.  I know I am not offended nor ashamed that GarbageGoals33 has informed us all that Eglseder is better than Thompson, rather I am excited and grateful that I have been enlightened.  I honestly would love to be here reading dozens of posts citing a player that might have been more deserving than someone I named and explaining why.

Until people start getting paid to travel the country covering D-III soccer, message boards have the potential to be the best way to become informed and educated about the teams and players that each of us will likely never see play.  But whether that potential is realized depends on the level of participation from all of us and how many more fans we can attract to join our on-line "community".  And what can make our "community" attractive is precisely this exchange of information that usually cannot be found anywhere else.  However, the way in which the exchange takes place can be critical for its continuation and growth, and while there is a time and place for banter and rivalries, it's important to have a lot of mutual respect and humility.  We can sing the praises of players or teams or conferences without disparaging other players, teams, conferences and those who sing their praises.
Christan Shirk
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Offline Jim Matson

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Re: Mid-season Stars and Surprises
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 12:46:57 am »
Well said.
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