Labor Day weekend: a milestone and some twists
The weekend threw a lot of great soccer our way this weekend, and we've picked a few highlights to review. We'll have more to say later in the week about the weekend's action as well as a look at the scheduled matches for the coming week.
It has been a strong start to the season for the Wash U women as they won three in a row by a combined 18-1. After kicking off with a 7-0 victory over Missouri Baptist, the Bears showed the lack of depth in any preseason poll by defeating No. 22 Calvin 8-1, and Whitworth 3-0. Coach Jim Conlon picked up the 250th victory of his career with the win and is 142-73-12 in 12 seasons as a women’s coach and was 108-48-10 in eight seasons as a men’s coach for a combined record of 250-121-22 (.664). As host for the early season tournament, No. 12 Illinois Wesleyan followed the Bear's example and went 2-0 against the same opponents.
In men's action, the big names from 2010 had mixed results over the long weekend as No. 2 UW-Oshkosh split a pair, falling to Ohio Northern 1-0 and picking up an overtime win against Wilmington, while No. 3 Ohio Wesleyan cruised past Hamline 8-0 after a Friday loss to No. 1 Messiah 2-1. No. 1 Messiah also stumbled as they followed up their win over OWU with a 1-1 draw with Hiram.
Meanwhile, No. 4 Trinity came out strong with three shutouts, their last as their best with a 3-0 win over UT-Tyler, and No. 6 Christopher Newport also stayed clean with a two wins. The Captains had to face an early season test against powerhouse No. 23 York in their second match, as they came back form an early 1-0 deficit to win 3-1.
CCIW contender North Park moved to 2-0 with a shutout win over No. 7 Dominican, and No. 8 Swarthmore won the 14th Annual Garnet Alumni Classic with two victories. No. 10 Emory added to the surprises by dropping two straight.
In the big name category for the women, the defending national champion Hardin-Simmons Cowgirls fell to No. 10 Trinity 3-2 in overtime. The Tigers had taken a two goal lead, but the Cowgirls surged back with two goals from 2010 All-American Katie Kuykendall, only to fall in extra time to Abigail Loar's winning goal, her second of the night.
No. 1 Messiah has started with gusto, going 2-0 with relative ease. But the easy stuff might be over on Wednesday as the 2010 runner-up Falcons will face No. 3 Johns Hopkins. The two teams met in the 2010 post-season, with Messiah holding on for a 2-1 victory in one their few challenges of that season. The challenges continue into the weekend as Messiah will travel to No. 4 for the 2011 Heron Cup. William Smith is 3-0 on the season, with all three wins coming on shut-outs.
No. 5 Wheaton (Ill.) finished their opening weekend undefeated, including a 3-1 win over No. 9 Loras. No. 6 Emory fought No. 24 Redlands through regulation and two overtimes, yet could not get past the Bulldogs, settling for a 1-1 draw. And Cal Lutheran made their case for early recognition as they knocked off No. 19 Puget Sound 2-1 on a late goal by Kristin Cameron. The Regals move to 2-0 with the win and will meet Texas Lutheran and Hardin-Simmons next weekend.