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Messages - Flying Weasel

Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
October 19, 2023, 01:48:40 PM
Yes, conference tournament results are considered.  Per the selection criteria, they are not given more weight for being conference tournament games. From the NCAA's viewpoint, they are just additional regular season contests. And there is no penalty for missing your conference tournament (IIRC, RPI was selected one year despite not making the Liberty League playoffs).  Beyond the chance of winning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, making your conference tournament can also have the benefit of providing a chance to increase your SOS and pick up some wins against regional ranked teams.  Of course, the opposite can happen as well.  Depending on your conference and/or who you get paired with, it can lower your SOS.  And unless you win the conference tournament and AQ (in which case selection criteria is irrelevant), you will probably be lowering your winning pct. and might pick up a loss (or tie) to a ranked team. So unless you go on and win your conference tournament, your at-large resume is probably worse for having participated in the conference tournament, but the same will be true for most other teams needing an at-large berth.

Whether the scenario you laid out could actually happen, it's theoretically possible even if the odds are rather low.  With the more at-large berths this year, the possibility does increase.  It would require the region to be considered strong and deep and for the previously ranked teams, at least the ones in the bottom half of the rankings, to be closely clustered with little separation from the previously unranked teams (including the team of interest) that just missed the previous ranking.  And the team would need to defeat one or more regionally ranked teams in their conference tournament run.
A few things that I don't think have been mentioned or brought up yet on the message board . . .

(1) Due to the dissolution of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and the merger of the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and United East Conference (UEC), there are two less automatic berths (AQs) this year and thus two more Pool C at-large berths.  So this year's tournament field is comprised of 41 AQs, 1 Pool B at-large berth, 22 Pool C at-large berths.  That is significant.  I'm not sure it should change anyone's prediction of who is on the "bubble" for at-large selection, but it probably is more a shift from trying to figure out which 2 of 6 "bubble" teams will make the cut to trying to figure out which 2 of 6 "bubble" teams will be left out.

(2) There are discussions about pushing the NCAA tournament back another week to increase the regular season by a week.  The motivation behind this idea, which would add a weekend to the regular season, is to give teams the opportunity to reduce the number of midweek games and increase the rest/recovery period between games.  While this could also allow teams to play more games if not already at the max. permitted, that is NOT the intent.

(3) For NCAA rankings and at-large selections, a change is being discussed in which winning percentage based on a tie being worth half of a win would be replaced by a point-based system like typically used in standings in which ties are worth 1/3 of wins (i.e. wins = 3 pts, ties = 1pt.).  This is partially being driven by the increase in ties as a result of the elimination of overtime during the regular season.  Beyond each team's winning pct., this would impact Strength of Schedule (SOS) which uses Opponents' Winning Pct. (OWP) and Opponents' Opponents' Winning Pct. (OOWP).

The latter two items, if eventually adopted, wouldn't be in effects for another year or two or more depending on how long discussions and research into the issue drags on.
Men's soccer / Re: 2023 NCAA Regional Rankings
October 18, 2023, 02:36:05 PM
Something that should be kept in mind when looking at the NCAA Regional Rankings and starting to think about Pool C at-large berths . . .

Due to the dissolution of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) and the merger of the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and United East Conference (UEC), there are two less automatic berths (AQs) this year and thus two more Pool C at-large berths.  So this year's tournament field is comprised of 41 AQs, 1 Pool B at-large berth, 22 Pool C at-large berths.

That is significant.  I'm not sure it should change anyone's prediction of who is on the "bubble" for at-large selection, but it probably is more a shift from trying to figure out which 2 of 6 "bubble" teams will make the cut to trying to figure out which 2 of 6 "bubble" teams will be left out.
Men's soccer / Re: Mid-Atlantic Region
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
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
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.
Quote from: SierraFD3soccer on September 22, 2023, 04:09:44 PM
Quote from: paclassic89 on September 22, 2023, 03:02:37 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.
Quote from: Falconer on September 22, 2023, 08:00:17 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
September 20, 2023, 01:32:55 PM
Quote from: Mid-Atlantic Fan on September 20, 2023, 10:05:25 AM
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
September 15, 2023, 04:40:59 PM
Quote from: PaulNewman on September 15, 2023, 12:42:34 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
September 15, 2023, 12:21:05 PM
Quote from: PaulNewman on September 14, 2023, 02:04:37 PM
Quote from: Gregory Sager on September 14, 2023, 01:34:01 PM
Quote from: PaulNewman on September 14, 2023, 01:23:02 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
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
August 09, 2023, 01:01:25 PM
Quote from: Kuiper on August 08, 2023, 05:16:15 PM
Quote from: SierraFD3soccer on August 08, 2023, 04:33:35 PM
Quote from: Hopkins92 on August 07, 2023, 12:29:11 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
July 17, 2023, 09:38:54 AM
Quote from: SimpleCoach on July 17, 2023, 08:46:29 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
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.