Author Topic: D-3 Women 2019  (Read 605 times)

Offline 2xfaux

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D-3 Women 2019
« on: August 25, 2019, 04:26:02 pm »
I am certainly ready to see some soccer.  After looking at the D-3 Sooccer "this is not a poll"  I was surprised to see Messiah at #2.  While I am sure the Falcons will be fine, I think they have some work to do before I can imagine them that high.

As I wandered down through the "not a poll" list and looked at schedules, I was struck by how few teams jumped off the deep end to start to season.  It seems to me the toughest schedules early on belong to Hopkins, William Smith and Wheaton (Ill.).  I understand that Nescac and the UAA have their own issues to deal with but other schools seem to have softened their early schedules.  This will sort it self out as the seaon goes on but it surprised me.

So..let's talk.



Offline cciw83

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Re: D-3 Women 2019
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 05:03:40 pm »
I picked Christopher Newport last year to go all the way and they came close. I thought they were the most athletic team with Washington U. right behind them. The Williams team was not as athletic as they had been in the past, but they were the smartest and most disciplined team I have seen over the last several years, shutting down passing lanes, keeping shape and just playing the game simple.

That being said I find it hard to go against Williams repeating with the number of players returning, I keep thinking they won't be as strong, but every year they come back to the Finals.
I was tempted to pick Christopher Newport again, but the one returning starter loss is a huge one. Washington U. lost some really outstanding, athletic seniors. I don't know that it will be a rebuild, but that loss of talent will cause some time for them to sort things out. TCNJ is a team every year I think they might breakthrough, maybe this is the year. I always enjoy watching Messiah and they return enough players they should be in the mix.

It was a weird year for the UAA last year as it looked like they would have more teams going deeper. I just never felt Chicago found the right chemistry maybe this will be a bounce back year.  Here's hoping for any CCIW team to make a deep run, the usual suspects Wheaton and IWU return a lot of players.

I noticed the same thing about the softening of some team's schedules. I guess the worry of Strength of Schedule does not concern them as much as in the past.

Online PlaySimple

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Re: D-3 Women 2019
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 12:46:21 pm »
I haven't kept up with the D3 scene as much as I have the past few years but I have some observations from what I have seen up to this point.

Some of these are in response to what cciw83 wrote here:


Washington U. lost some really outstanding, athletic seniors. I don't know that it will be a rebuild, but that loss of talent will cause some time for them to sort things out.

It was a weird year for the UAA last year as it looked like they would have more teams going deeper. I just never felt Chicago found the right chemistry maybe this will be a bounce back year.  Here's hoping for any CCIW team to make a deep run, the usual suspects Wheaton and IWU return a lot of players.


Wheaton - Wheaton is Wheaton. They are well-coached and have a lot of athletes. Sometimes they don't always play the most attractive soccer because they play very direct sometimes but it seems to work for them. They always put up a lot of shots in every game and they defend well. I'm always amazed at how many more shots Wheaton puts up compared to their opponents. Up to this point in the season Wheaton has 130 shots compared to 32 for the opposition. They've outscored their opponents 14-2. Something tells me that Pete Felske, the Wheaton coach, isn't pleased that the opposition has managed to put up 32 shots. 

In addition to being a very good coach, Felske is an excellent recruiter. He just keeps bringing in really good players. Recruiting is the life blood of any college team but as most know, with D3 soccer it is a bit more challenging and is vital. Those D3 programs that are able to snare players that could have potentially played at a higher level, D1 or whatever, are helping themselves tremendously. Not being a Christian, I always wondered how Felske was able to find the athletes that were OK with what a Christian school like Wheaton demanded. It's a dry campus, chapel is mandatory, there are religious study requirements, etc. However, Wheaton is an excellent academic school. In my previously narrow view I have thought that aspect of Wheaton would be a deterrent to get student-athletes but it must be an advantage.

We will get an idea of how good Wheaton is when they play at Wash U tomorrow, September 18, and at Chicago on September 24. Ii expect Wheaton to win the CCIW and I expect them to make a deep run in the tournament. They have Elite 8 and possibly Final 4 potential.

Washington University - As was stated, Wash U lost a lot of really good seniors from last year's team. There are still some solid players returning. There are some solid defenders as well as a potential All-American keeper. Jim Conlon is an excellent coach and I expect him to do well with what he has. I was a little surprised with the loss to St. Thomas and the draw with Hope but I would look for Wash U to make a good run in the tournament. Telling will be the game on September 18 vs Wheaton.

Chicago - Many are overlooking Chicago this year. They are a very deep team with a lot of talent. There is not a huge talent drop off when UC gets into the bench and in the OT games that may arise in the post- season, fresh legs can mean a lot. In their game against Illinois Wesleyan this past Saturday they managed 25 shots to IWU's 4. They are also very good at set plays and scored the bulk of their 6 goals vs IWU on set plays.  Amy Reifert is an excellent coach and recruiter. Of course, with U of Chicago being one of the finest academic institutions anywhere, she gets a lot of help in her recruiting efforts. Chicago vs Wheaton on September 24 will be a battle.

Illinois Wesleyan - IWU has nearly played themselves out of an automatic post-season bid and have put themselves into a position that they'll need to win the CCIW tournament to qualify for the NCAA. That is not a common occurrence for the Titans. It appears that IWU has many talented players but they don't appear to be well-coached. Dave Barrett was at IWU for many years and was a relentless recruiter that always managed to get talented players. I've heard that the new coach does not make much of an effort on the recruiting front and is relying on Barrett's recruits. The well will eventually dry up. The Titans have lost games this year that could have been won with better coaching.

I don't normally like to criticize coaching but it appears that the new coach, now in his 2nd year, may be in over his head. In the observations that I've made, he does not seem to make in-game adjustments well. IWU's biggest problems are that they can't hold possession, can't finish chances, and give up way too many goals on set pieces. Some of these are coaching issues. Possession is lost a lot due to not playing the ball out of the back and a lack of patience. IWU will almost always punt or kick the ball from the keeper into the midfield and the midfield usually turns it over. The defense is constantly under pressure because of this. The lack of finishing also greatly decreases possession because there appears to be no patience in building up an attack. Low percentage shots are taken from all over the field with the end result being a loss of possession. It is apparent that work needs to be done when marking on set pieces. Lastly, from what I saw in the Chicago game, IWU would not pressure UC high at all. When the Maroons' keeper had the ball there was no pressure on her. UC's defenders were easily dribbling the ball into their attacking 1/2 and even the attacking 1/3 and IWU was just letting them do it. Again, this is a coaching issue. It appears that IWU made a poor hire and it is hard to believe that he was the best available. Hopefully they'll rebound but it's not looking good. The coach came from a successful Lynchburg program so this is somewhat surprising. 

A few other quick notes because I'll probably run out of characters soon.

Otterbein - there are a lot of solid players at Ottebein but they had a surprising 5-4 loss vs Kenyon despite outshooting them by a wide margin. I'll pick Otterbein to win the OAC over Ohio Northern.

Ohio Northern - have tested themselves early and have done fairly well. They lost narrowly to Wheaton, 2-1, and managed to keep them under 20 shots. They've also beaten Carnegie Mellon and draw with Hope. Surprising, though, was a draw with Denison. They'll be in contention with Otterbein for the OAC title.

The NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference) will only get one bid to the NCAA and that will be to the team that wins the tournament. There does not appear to be any one team that is that strong in the conference this year.

Online WUPHF

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Re: D-3 Women 2019
« Reply #3 on: Today at 12:00:44 am »
We will get an idea of how good Wheaton is when they play at Wash U tomorrow, September 18, and at Chicago on September 24.

I expect Wheaton to win the CCIW and I expect them to make a deep run in the tournament. They have Elite 8 and possibly Final 4 potential.

Washington University was in full control this afternoon with a lull here and there.  They are still finding an offensive identity, but this game could have been a 4-1 or 5-1 or more with a shots off the pipes and a point blank shot that sailed right.