September 26, 2011

Did you know?

By Christan Shirk

Thomas More (6-0-1)
Thomas More is undefeated at 6-0-1.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . going into last week there were still 33 undefeated schools (15 perfect without any ties)?

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . after last week there are only eighteen undefeated schools (4 perfect without any ties)?  Fifteen schools picked up their first loss in week four, cutting the list nearly in half.  A handful (Buffalo State, Connecticut College, Drew, and surprisingly Swarthmore) double-dipped with a pair of losses.  By way of comparison, in 2010 there were 37 undefeated schools after week three dropping to 20 after week four.  [Note: a full list of the undefeated teams is at the bottom of this article.]

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . last year three of the twenty undefeated teams after four weeks, including then #3 Carnegie Mellon (8-0-0), did not go on to make the 2010 NCAA tournament?  Given the competitiveness and parity of the University Athletic Association (UAA) which left Carnegie Mellon (11-4-1 overall) in sixth place, it’s unlikely we see a similarly shocking case in 2011.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . last year had few surprises or unknowns still undefeated at this point, with probably only Pacific (8-0-1 and ranked #25) and Wooster (6-0-2) raising eyebrows after four weeks, while this year the list includes Misericorida (7-0-0), Elmira (7-0-0), Lake Forest (8-0-1), Thomas More (6-0-1), Trine (6-0-2), Roger Williams (8-0-1), Lasell (6-0-1), and Springfield (5-0-3)?

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . probably half the currently undefeated schools will not be in the new D3Soccer.com Top 25 ranking to be released tomorrow?  The rankings will probably only include 8 to 10 of the eighteen (18) undefeated schools, though the chances are good that all but two will receive some votes.  Last year fifteen of the twenty undefeated schools after four weeks were ranked in the Top 25 with three more receiving votes, two of which were surprisingly not ranked higher: UW-Oshkosh (8-0-1) and Middlebury (6-0-0), who would go on to the Final Four and Elite8, respectively.  

Baldwin Wallace (8-1-0)
Baldwin-Wallace has won eight straight.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Baldwin-Wallace (8-1-0) has won eight straight since a season-opening loss?  Despite conceding an average of a goal per game with only one shutout following the 3-2 overtime loss at Elizabethtown, the Yellow Jackets have notched nothing but wins, with opponents including Penn St.-Behrend, Case Western, and Allegheny.  Baldwin-Wallace is atop the OAC standings ahead of Ohio Northern.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Wesleyan has jumped to the top of the always strong NESCAC with a 5-0 conference record (5-0-1 overall), including a season-opening win over Bowdoin and a 2-1 overtime defeat of Williams in a repeat of what happened in the NESCAC quarterfinals last year?  After a seventh place regular season finish in the conference a year ago, Wesleyan was certainly not expected to top the standings this year with the likes of Bowdoin, Amherst, Middlebury, and Williams fighting for that honor. 

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Trine (6-0-2) leads the nation in Goals Against Average (GAA) and hasn’t trailed all season?  The MIAA school has only conceded one goal all season, that after opening a 3-0 lead, to post a 0.14 GAA.  They have defeated DePauw, Transylvania, and tied Hope.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Olivet (7-1-1), also of the MIAA, leads the nation in shutouts with eight?  This unknown has a 0.21 GAA, though admittedly against a pretty soft slate of opponents.  In MIAA action this week they host Hope on Tuesday before locking horns with the aforementioned Trine on Saturday.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . the last time Swarthmore lost back-to-back games before last week was exactly 3 years ago?  The Garnet fell away to Stevens mid-week by a 1-0 score followed by a 2-1 in-conference loss at Dickinson on Saturday (9/24).  It was on September 24, 2008 that Swarthmore lost to Arcadia 1-0 after a 2-0 loss to conference foe Johns Hopkins four days earlier.  It’s only the second time it’s happened since October 2005 season.

Lake Forest (8-0-1)
Lake Forest is 8-0-1 overall.
Lake Forest photo by John Mulder

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Lake Forest (8-0-1) is the only Midwest Conference (MWC) school with an overall record over .500?  Last year all four MWC tournament teams as well Lake Forest finished over .500.  Those four playoff teams from 2010 all have 5 or more losses after just four weeks: Ripon (2-5-2 current / 11-7-2 in 2010), Carroll (2-5-1 / 12-7-1), Grinnell (2-5-1 / 9-7-2), and Lawrence (2-6-0 / 9-7-2).

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Redlands hasn't lost to UC Santa Cruz in their past six meetings?  Redlands shutout the Banana Slugs 3-0 on Sunday to add to their four wins and a tie from 2005 to 2009.  The last UC Santa Cruz win in this series came in 2004, the year the Slugs reached the Final Four.  These are the two most successful California schools over the past decade (both with eight NCAA appearances from 2000 to the present), but for the first time since 1999 neither of them made the 2010 tournament.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Bethel (6-1-1) might be the most improved team thus far in 2011 if strictly looking at wins and losses.  They have already doubled their win total from last season when they limped to a 3-13-2 mark, and there single conference win in 2010 has also been doubled.  But a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Augsburg two weeks ago casts doubts on whether they can really compete for a playoff spot in the MIAC.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . St. Lawrence (8-0-0) played just their first road of the season on Sunday?  They opened the season with seven straight home games on MacAllaster Field, all wins, and will play eleven of their 17 regular season games there.  Winning ways followed the Saints on the road to Ithaca where they picked up the 4-0 win Sunday to remain perfect.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Augsburg (6-0-1) is off to their best start since 2006 when they also started 6-0-1 which they stretched to 8-0-2 before picking up their first loss.  Before that, you’d have to go back to the 1970’s to find an Auggie squad that came out of the gates so strong.

Rutgers-Camden (8-2-0)
Rutgers-Camden is best in the NJAC.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Rutgers-Camden (8-2-0) is 3-0 in the competitive NJAC, the only school perfect in conference play after three games?  The Scarlet Raptors have rebounded from back-to-back seasons missing the conference playoffs with seventh place finishes, and look posed to be among the top four as they always were from 2004 though 2008 despite the pre-season coaches' poll picking them to finish seventh yet again.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Hiram (4-1-1), the team that tied #1 Messiah the opening weekend, scored double-digit goals in their second straight shutout last week?  After tallying 11 goals in a white-wash of Penn St.-Beaver the week before, they almost duplicated the feat with a 10-0 pounding of Thiel last Tuesday.  They should have saved some of those goals for DePauw who beat them 2-1 on Saturday in their first real test since the Messiah game.  

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . there is only one (1) Pool B berth this year?  With only thirteen schools currently in Pool B, the lowest number since the system of automatic berths and Pool B and Pool C at-large selections was instituted back in 1997, the number of berths has also shrunk to its lowest ever.  Over a decade ago there were about 60 schools classified in Pool B (independents and schools whose conferences did not qualify for an automatic berth) with seven at-large berths to go around.  Starting in 2003, unselected Pool B schools where subsequently added to Pool C for additional at-large consideration, a change which proved wise as the desired decrease in Pool B schools finally took off, gradually reducing the berths to its current low.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . with only one (1) Pool B berth, UW-Whitewater’s 0-4 start to the season and UC Santa Cruz’s four losses in the last five make the Pool B berth UW-Oshkosh’s to lose despite the fact that they themselves stumbled off the blocks, starting 1-1-1, but now at 5-1-2.

Did you know that . . . 

 . . . Swarthmore grad and 2010 All-American Morgan Langley made his MLS debut last Saturday (9/17) coming on as an 80th minute substitute for the Philadelphia Union in their crucial 1-0 win over Columbus.  Langley signed with the Union after playing with the Harrisburg City Islanders in the USL this year and was an unused substitute against Sporting KC on Friday.  He joins D-III products Khari Stephenson (Williams, 2002 and 2003 1st Team All-American) and Greg Sutton (St. Lawrence, 1998 1st Team All-American) in the MLS.  Stephenson has started 23 games as a midfielder for the San Jose Earthquakes this year, scoring five goals, while goalkeeper Sutton has started 10 games for the New York Red Bulls, notching two shutouts.


Undefeated and untied schools St. Lawrence (8-0-0), Misericordia (7-0-0), Elmira (7-0-0), Amherst (5-0-0) 

Undefeated schools (with ties):  Roger Williams (8-0-1), Lake Forest (8-0-1), Messiah (7-0-1), Plattsburgh St. (7-0-1), Thomas More (6-0-1), Christopher Newport (6-0-1), Augsburg (6-0-1), Lasell (6-0-1), Wesleyan (5-0-1), Mary Hardin-Baylor (5-0-1), Trine (6-0-2), Trinity (Texas) (5-0-2), North Park (5-0-3), Springfield (5-0-3)


Comments or feedback for the author?  Email Christan Shirk.

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CHRISTAN SHIRK

Christan Shirk

 

Christan Shirk is a Messiah College graduate (1993, Civil Engineering) and has been a keen and passionate observer of D-III soccer for over a decade and a half. Never more than a rec-league player himself, Chris brings an analytical approach and nationwide perspective to D3soccer.com. He loves D-III soccer history, statistical number-crunching, and off-the-radar action, all of which he gladly shares with his readers when he's able to find time to write. [see full bio]

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