October 22, 2018

Midwest News & Roundup - Week 8

By BJ Pheasant

Welcome to the Midwest News & Review. I will highlight women's NCAA D3 soccer games in the Midwest area (comprised of the Great Lakes, Central, and North Regions). National importance will be followed by regional importance and towards the end of the season conference considerations will crop up. Time is limited so I exercise judgement on notable games to report each week. My editors make me look good; thank you.

Week 8 Notes

Last week was a quick look see at contenders in the regional conferences. This week back to ranked teams. Regular seasons are ending and conference tournament time is upon us. Coaches will be judged on whether or not teenagers performed consistently. And the NCAA tournament is just around the corner.

Last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over North Central (Ill.) was the 500th all-time win for the Wheaton (Ill.) women's soccer program and for head coach Pete Felske. Felske is just the third Division III women's soccer coach and only the sixth NCAA women's soccer coach (at any Division) to achieve the 500-win milestone. I noted the potential for 500 wins in the opening column of the year and was remiss in not highlighting the career achievement at the top last week.

The column is on to Week 8 of the 2018 season with news and review based on the games to watch from last week and any eye catching results.

NORTH REGION

Seeding and hosting in the NCAA tournament looks like one North region site in the first round and none in the second. Yes, seeding matters on record and strength of schedule, but more importantly is the almighty dollar. A limited number of North region teams in the tournament means it will be less expensive for the NCAA to pay travel costs for a team to leave the region than for three to come to the region. And, its cold (not an actual consideration, but as a coach that had to travel to the region in the third week of November one year, it should be - 35 degree game time temperature plus 25 mile per hour wind, I am still cold.

No. 15 St. Thomas (14-2-0 / 8-1-0)

The Tommies stumbled this week giving up a free kick goal in the 77th minute and losing to the conference #4 St. Olaf Oles (10-3-2 / 6-2-1). They are still top of the MIAC conference and play conference #2 Bethel (12-2-1 / 7-1-1) on Saturday October 27th.

No. 23 UW-La Crosse (14-2-1 / 6-0-0)

The Eagles crushed teams this week and have two regular season games to play, a midweek out of conference tune up with Carleton before visiting UW-Stevens Point with the WIAC title on the line They are tied for the sixth longest win streak in the country.

Wartburg (12-4-1 / 6-1-1)

The Knights have finished the regular season and temporarily occupy the top spot in the ARC (American Rivers Conference). They need help as two contenders still have a game to play that could flip the seeding.

Loras (13-3-0 / 6-1-0)

The Duhawks lost to Wartburg this week for their first loss in conference. They outshot the Knights 23(9) to 10(6), but gave up an 89th minute goal to lose. They have one game remaining and if they win it they still claim #1 seed in conference.

UW-Stevens Point (12-2-2 / 5-0-1)

The Pointers have a week of rest before hosting WIAC points leader and defending champion UW-La Crosse in a contest for the 2018 title.

Dubuque (13-2-1 / 5-1-1)

The Spartans have one game remaining and their conference tie is with Wartburg. Tie breaking rules may be needed for ARC seeding if they win out.

Bethel (12-2-1 / 7-1-1)

The Royals have worked their way up the standings and are well placed in the MIAC this season at #2. They play No. 15 St. Thomas to end the regular season on October 27.

GREAT LAKES REGION

No undefeated teams left in the region. No nationally ranked teams, but the three receiving votes are Ohio Northern, Hanover, and Mount St. Joseph. Because of central locations geographically first weekend hosting has potential and maybe sneak in a second weekend host.

Ohio Northern (13-2-0 / 7-0-0)

The Polar Bears are undefeated in conference and have the fourth longest win streak in the country. They had a game against Capital that was fairly even on the stats and decided on a 51st minute penalty kick for a 1-0 result. They have a tough test this week against surprising conference challenger Otterbein (13-2-0 / 7-0-0) on October 24.

Mount St. Joseph (13-1-3 / 6-0-1)

The Lions crushed their opposition this week with a strong offense, but suspect defense. A big game to watch in the region and conference on Wednesday October 24 hosting Hanover.

Hanover (14-1-0 / 7-0-0)

The Panthers rolled through the week and are tied for the second longest win streak in the country. A big game to watch in the region and conference on Wednesday October 24 at Mount St. Joseph.

Otterbein (13-2-0 / 7-0-0)

The Cardinals have quietly put together a good season. They will be tested this week with an October 24th game against Ohio Northern and an October 27th game against Capital. May be the toughest schedule this week in the region and will show if they belong.

Capital (11-4-0 / 5-2-0)

The Crusaders lost their second conference game. This time to Ohio Northern on a 51st minute penalty kick. They have a demanding match up with Otterbein (13-2-0 / 7-0-0) on October 27th.

CENTRAL REGION

Still No. 1 Washington U. at 14-0-0. Only six undefeated teams remain nationwide. At least three first weekend hosts from the region and two second weekend hosts are also likely. There could be more hosts because of central locations and bringing in the remaining North and West region teams for second weekend.

No. 1 Washington U. (14-0-0 / 4-0-0)

The Bears have the best start in school history at 14-0-0 and have the third longest win streak in the country. It’s hard to believe they have never gone undefeated as a team routinely described as having the most talented roster in D3 soccer (in 2013 they went 20-1-1). The Bears have won 19-straight straight road games dating back to 2016, the longest streak in NCAA women's soccer. They traveled to No. 7 Wheaton (Ill.) and dominated the game outshooting the hosts 15(9) to 5(3). They won the first half and the game 2-1. Their 44th minute goal at the end of the first half came after a 30 minute weather delay on a game that included 40 mph gusting wind. Three conference games remain and they play No 5 Chicago in two weeks.

No. 5 Chicago (13-1-1 / 4-0-0)

The Maroons crushed two games this week; one in UAA conference play and one out. Three UAA games remaining with a tilt at No. 1 Washington U. in two weeks.

No. 7 Wheaton (Ill) (13-3-0 / 6-0-0)

The Thunder hosted No. 1 Washington U. and were outshot 15-5 in a game even the weather tried to help them win. They fell by a score of 2-1. They won their conference game and have two more CCIW games to play in the regular season.

No. 11 Hope (12-1-2 / 6-0-1)

The Flying Dutch have one MIAA game to play. They look to wrap up the MIAA #1 seed and prepare for tournament time.

No. 22 Illinois Wesleyan (10-4-1 / 3-3-0)

Ouch. The Titans lost both CCIW matches this week. They outshot their opponents in both matches, but were shut out themselves. With two regular season games remaining the Titans are suddenly in danger of not making the conference tournament.

Augustana (11-2-3 / 4-1-2)

The Vikings beat their Top 25 opponent, No. 22 Illinois Wesleyan, 2-0 this week in a game the Vikings were outshot 15-8. They have two games remaining only one of which is in conference as they look to claim the CCIW #2 seed.

Dominican (15-2-0 / 10-0-0)The NACC champs are rolling and looking like defending conference champions and are tied for the longest win streak in the country. They have one regular season game left on October 24 against Illinois Tech (14-3-1 / 9-1-0).

Webster (14-2-1 / 7-0-0)The Gorloks rolled through two conference opponents this week. They should get some competition on October 27 against Fontbonne (10-5-1 / 7-0-0) in their final regular season SLIAC game.

Thank you for the feedback from week one. Follow us on twitter to get updates as we post news from all regions of the country throughout the week. @D3_Soccer

 


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Midwest News & Round Up

 

Midwest News & Roundup provides coverage of Division III women's soccer throughout the states bordering on the Great Lakes. All the NCAA Great Lakes region is included as well as Michagan, Illinois and Wisconsin all with at least a few teams from the Central and North regions. The "Midwest" contains eleven conferences and Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve and Chicago from the UAA. The MIAA, WIAC, CCIW, OAC and the NCAC are some of the top conferences in this geography. Each week the more significant results of the previous week are discussed, along with impressions and analysis, followed by the selection of a game to keep an eye on in the week ahead.

Columnist

BJ Pheasant

 

Contributor turned Columnist BJ Pheasant has significant D3 experience with women's soccer throughout the midwest as a coach for the past nine years. With experience ranging from successful rebuilding projects to nationally ranked teams with a post season pedigree he is excited to spotlight happenings in the Great Lakes region on a weekly basis to help players, parents and fans of D3 soccer be knowledgeable about the sport and competition. [see full bio]

 

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