September 6, 2018

Letting go . . . of unfinished business

By Christan Shirk

Editor's note: During the 2017 season, Christan Shirk transitioned from Managing Editor to Special Consultant and Advisor. As the time in which he can pretty much do as he pleases on this website comes to a close, we'll indulge his need to seek closure through the writing of one more long-winded, detail-bloated article (his words!) chronicling his involvement with the website and sharing his insights and reflections on the site’s evolution. So bear with us as he takes a stroll down memory lane. And please take advantage of all the hyperlinks to archived content spanning the history of our website.

I had no idea where things would lead when I discovered now-defunct D3soccer.net and its accompanying D3 Soccer Message Board during the Fall 2001 season. As an engineer and nothing more than a rec-league player, I certainly couldn’t have imagined writing columns for the leading website dedicated to Division III soccer much less becoming its Managing Editor. I step back into a consultant and advisory role with mixed feelings as I weigh the accomplishments against the (yet) unfulfilled potential of the website. This is the story of (a) my journey from casual D-III soccer fan to former D3soccer.com Managing Editor, (b) the website’s evolution, growth spurts, and perseverance, (c) how the two became intertwined and finally (d) my need and struggle to untwine despite unfinished business.

D-III Soccer Addict

In the fall of 1998 after twenty months overseas and out of touch with Messiah and Division III soccer—with a slow and unreliable dial-up connection in post-war Bosnia, we just hoped all our e-mail would go through before the connection failed or timed-out!—I moved close to my alma mater, Messiah College. It wasn’t the same Messiah men’s soccer that awaited me on my return to the States. In the early to mid-90’s, Messiah seemed a step behind the elite programs, but now the Falcons were a year into the Coach Brandt era and quickly progressing toward their first national title. It didn’t take long until I was hooked and I would be among the immense travelling...

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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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Sep 6: Letting go . . . of unfinished business
Sep 3: What's new in 2018
Nov 10: 2017 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 5: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 3: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: Coming Wednesday: the rankings that matter
Nov 12: 2016 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 6: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Oct 30: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: Coming Wednesday: the rankings that matter
Sep 10: Week 1 Flybys
Sep 1: What's new in 2016? - Part 2: Rules Changes
Aug 25: What's new in 2016? - Part 1
Nov 11: 2015 Tournament Field Factoids
Nov 8: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 5: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: The rankings that matter are coming next week
Oct 9: 2015 Midseason Flyovers
Oct 4: D3soccer.com Year Nine: State of the Website
Sep 28: Kelsey Graham is named a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year
Sep 4: D-III soccer represented among Top 30 honorees for NCAA Woman of the Year
Sep 1: Kyle Goodwin, Natalie Caney net season's first goals
Aug 20: What's new for 2015 season?
Jul 23: Division III soccer players get conference nod for NCAA Woman of the Year
Jul 14: Lillie Toaspern pursues pro career with the Chicago Red Stars
Jun 19: Thirty-one Division III soccer players nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Apr 30: Alumni game scheduled for Saturday in effort to save Titan soccer
Apr 22: Curtains on UW-Oshkosh men’s soccer?
Nov 20: Getting to know the 2014 men's Sweet 16
Nov 9: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 8: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 15: The rankings that count are coming next week
Aug 27: What's new in 2014? - Part 2: Rules Changes
Aug 22: What's new in 2014? - Part 1
Nov 22: Getting to know the 2013 men's Sweet 16
Nov 10: Men's at-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 7: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Nov 6: The most important rankings of the year
Oct 23: New criteria debuts in today's NCAA Regional Rankings
Sep 28: Two streaks end while another one continues
Sep 15: Week 3 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 15: Week 3 Flybys, weekend edition
Aug 29: What's new in 2013?
Nov 14: Welcome to the Sweet 16, Part 2: the Men
Nov 13: Welcome to the Sweet 16, Part 1: the Women
Nov 4: At-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 3: AQ's, Pool B and Pool C? What does it all mean?
Oct 1: Dear Men's Top 25 Voters
Sep 22: Week 4 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 21: Week 4 Flybys, midweek edition
Sep 17: Week 3 Flybys
Sep 4: Labor Day Weekend Flybys
Sep 3: New rules, new conference, name changes
Aug 31: 2012 Preseason Flybys (INCOMPLETE)
Nov 14: Hellooooo Neumann!
Nov 13: A Super Saturday to like and dislike
Nov 6: At-large berth analysis and predictions
Nov 4: So what's this talk about AQ's, Pool B and Pool C?
Oct 24: Week 8 Flyby Distractions
Oct 19: NCAA Regional Rankings (aka 'The Rankings that Matter')
Oct 17: Week 7 Flybys, Conference Edition
Oct 14: Midseason stars and surprises
Oct 8: Week 6 Flybys, weekend edition
Oct 6: Week 6 Flybys, midweek edition
Oct 1: Week 5 Flybys, weekend edition
Sep 29: Week 5 Flybys, midweek edition
Sep 26: Did you know?
Sep 19: Who's top dog after 3 weeks?
Sep 10: Friday Notes, Weekend Questions
Sep 2: Off with a bang!
Sep 1: Preseason perspectives
Sep 1: After 17 years, trailblazer calls it a day