October 16, 2018

Atlantic Spotlight, Wk 7

By D3soccer.com Contributor

The Atlantic region's top teams faced tough away tests during a critical stretch of conference play. While some passed those tests to remain at the top of table, a few Top 25 teams dropped points against conference rivals. Let's take a look: 

Messiah cruises, twice.

The No. 3 Messiah Falcon (12-0-2 / 5-0-0) held serve this week, travelling each time in securing two solid MAC Commonwealth wins.

On the road Tuesday, to face the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchman (7-4-1 / 3-1-0), five different scorers tallied in the 5-1 win. Nick West picked up his 20th goal of the season.

Against the Alvernia Golden Wolves (1-3-0 / 5-9-2) West scored in the 4th minute (his 21st) to pace the 3-0 outcome.

Lynchburg takes two, stays ahead in ODAC

The No. 5 Lynchburg Hornets (10-0-2 / 6-0-1) also hit the road twice. On Wednesday they took the five minute ride across town to face the Randolph Wildcats (4-6-3 / 3-4-1). Senior defender Austin Kues scored the first and fourth goals as the Hornets won 4-1. Senior Clay Van Gieson setup Kues in the 2nd minute and the Hornets never looked back.

They then travelled to Harrisonburg, VA (about 2 hours) for a very cold Saturday night game against the Eastern Mennonite Royals (7-7-1 / 4-3-0). And while the Hornets had the run of play the only difference in the 1-0 win was the result of a hand ball in the box. Kues stepped up for the visitors and buried the eventual game winner.

Mary Washington goes 1-1-1 on the week

The No. 9 Mary Washington Eagles (9-1-3 / 2-1-1) had three away matches on the week including back-to-back on the weekend. After Capital Athletic Conference matches against Frostburg State (4-8-2 / 1-2-1) and Salisbury (9-2-2 / 2-1-1) they finished the week in Ashland, VA to face the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets (6-6-2 / 3-4-1).

The game in Frostburg went as many games have gone this season for the Eagles. That is, stingy defense, an opportunistic attack, and Ken Kurtz pitching a shutout in goal. Neither team tallied in the first half. In the 52nd minute Senior Gary Foley sent a free kick from around midfield forward finding senior Justin Cary who deftly headed it home. In the 74th a foul in the box sent Foley to the penalty spot where he completed the scoring in the 2-0 win.

Things were different in Salisbury on Saturday. The Eagles stuck first as Cary found senior Ryan Van Maanan in the box who then placed it inside the right post. The Gulls responded in front of their Homecoming crowd in the 37th to knot it 1-1. Ryan Spadin one-timed a cross from junior Kevin Eriksen. That’s how it stayed until the 88th when Sea Gull junior Matt Mackensie drilled a free kick from 25-yards out to secure the 2-1 victory and 3 valuable CAC points.

Even with the back-to-back scheduling, the Eagles came out strong in the first 20 minutes on Sunday evening – winning several corners and putting a few shots on goal. They did not convert any of those chances, the rest of the half was played even up, and the half ended 0-0. Yellow Jackets junior Paul Duffy cleaned up a free kick from junior Anthony Astruc in the 56th to break the deadlock. In the 78th Van Maanan found a bouncing ball in the box and buried an equalizer for the Eagles. Now 1-1 each team had chances through the rest of regulation and overtime but neither converted.

No. 16 Franklin & Marshall tops No. 15 Stevens; falls to No. 24 Johns Hopkins

The Diplomats (10-2-2 / 3-1-2) won a tough out-of-conference match visiting the Stevens Ducks (12-2-1) but dropped an equally tough Centennial Conference pairing against the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (10-3-1 / 4-2-0).

The Ducks had been unbeaten in ten straight matches but might feel they let one get away. they out shot the Diplomats 17-7 and had several very good chances but never found the net. The Diplomats got on the board in the 61st when freshman AJ Kopacz finished a feathered pass into the box from senior Ugo Okolie. Junior keeper Christopher Amoruso and the Diplomats` back line held off a furious last 20 minutes from the Ducks in preserving the 1-0 win – Amoruso`s 5th shutout of the year.

In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins continued its recent good play as two late goals turned what had been a close contest into a solid 4-1 Blue Jay victory. The Diplomats actually had the run of play out shooting the home team 24-12 but getting little for it. In the 15th and 16th minutes three goals were scored – two for JHU, one for F&M. Blue Jay Achim Younger assisted on two 2nd half goals – he had three assists on the day – to round out the scoring.

York (Pa.) leads CAC standings after PS-H tie, topping CNU

The Spartans (9-3-2 / 2-0-2) had two games, scored two goals, and came away with four points to take the lead in the Capital Athletic Conference.

Against the Penn State-Harrisburg Lions (14-1-2 / 1-1-2) the Spartans got on the board first. In the 9th minute junior Barak Amige sent a beautiful outside-of-the-foot shot from 30 yards out that curled over the goalie and into the right side netting. It was all defense from there as neither team recorded a shot for the balance of the 1st half. Most of the 2nd half action was in the Lions offensive end of the field and they found the equalizer in the 65th when senior Eric Caldwell took a corner from freshman Chase Foster. It stayed 1-1 through OT and both teams took a point.

On Saturday the Spartans traveled to Newport News, VA to face the Captains of Christopher Newport (6-6-0 / 2-2-0) and while again only finding the net once came away with a win. The 1st half was all defense as a combined 3 shots on goal. In the 56th Spartan senior Nathan Billie rocketed one from 35 yards out to beat the keeper and net the game-winner. Billy Bridegum recorded the clean sheet and secured the three points

Elizabethtown climbs to top of LAND standings

Just past the midway point of conference play the Elizabethtown Blue Jays (5-4-3 / 3-0-1) have jumped out in front of the Landmark Conference standing. This past Saturday, on the road, they took down the Stanton Royals (3-8-2 / 1-3-0) scoring a goal in each half in posting a 2-0 win.

Senior forward Gilbert Waso, off a thru ball from Freshman Jorge Sanchiz, beat a defender and finished in the 31st minute to break the defensive deadlock. Earlier in the week, against Penn State-Berks, Waso registered his 100th career point.

In the 75th senior Tyler Colasanto took a long free kick from senior defender Mitchel Gochnauer and put in the insurance goal. Senior keeper Brian Gately made 2 saves in the shutout.

Eastern leads MAC Freedom

With two wins this week the Eastern Eagles (10-2-1 / 4-0-0) forged to the front of the MAC Freedom standings topping the Misericordia Cougars (3-9-1 / 2-2-0) and the Wilkes Colonels (7-5-1 / 2-2-0).

On Wednesday, on the road, they took an even up, defensive affair from the Cougars, 1-0. It was scoreless through the first half and 15 minutes into the second when, off a restart, soph Sam Sutherland found a settled ball in the box and ripped a left-footer inside the far post. It’s the Eagles fifth 1-0 win of the season.

On Saturday, Eastern`s Homecoming, the Eagles remained unbeaten in conference play with a convincing 5-1 win over the Colonels. Freshman Pascal Verna scored twice, three other Eagles scored, and soph keeper Anthony Hitchcock picked up his sixth win of the year.

Lycoming keeps pace in MAC Commonwealth

With two close match wins this week the No. 18 Lycoming Warriors (12-1-1 / 4-0-0) extended their school record win streak to 10 games as well as kept pace with Messiah in conference play.

On Wednesday they took down the Alvernia Golden Wolves (5-9-2 / 1-3-0) 3-2 and on Saturday the Widener Pride (6-7-1 / 1-3-0) 2-1.

The Alvernia match was a back-and-forth affair. The Warriors jumped out to a 2-nil lead – senior Jake Webb picking up both assists - after 17 minutes and held that to halftime. The Warriors played down a man the entire 2nd half and the Golden Wolves took some advantage of that. They cut the lead in the 62nd but a foul in the box put Warrior Webb at the penalty spot where he converted what became the game winner in the 3-2 outcome.

Against Widener freshman Colin Wieand scored twice in the first half and senior Chris Solecki picked up his 11th win in goal.

In 89th minute, Stockton gets an important NJAC point against Montclair

Last week we started this column with ‘One point gained, or two points lost.’ That’s exactly the case as the No. 19 Montclair State Red Hawks (13-1-2 / 6-0-1) visited the Stockton Ospreys (7-5-3 / 3-2-2) on Saturday.

The Ospreys defended their home turf very well. While Red Hawk freshman Brogan Quigley netted the first goal of his career in the 18th minute with a perfect strike from 18 yards out, the Ospreys played toe-to-toe with their nationally ranked conference mates.

The stat line was effectively even – shots 21-20, on goal 6-8, corners 4-7, saves 5-7 (Montclair-Stockton). Only fouls were dominated by one team has Montclair committed 20 fouls to Stockton`s 12. And it was a Red Hawk foul that gave the Ospreys a chance. With less than 2 minutes left an Osprey was fouled 25 yards out. Junior Christian Bik curled a beauty into the lower right corner – his 6th of the year – for the equalizer.

The point keeps Stockton in the hunt for an NJAC playoff spot as they sit in 5th place in the standings with two games to play. The Red Hawks could have clinched a first place bye but that will now have to wait.


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Atlantic Spotlight


The weekly Atlantic Spotlight will survey the top Division III men's conferences and teams in the combined NCAA Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Regions consisting of fifteen states.  The primary ones are Pennsylvania (45), Virginia (18), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10, North Carolina (9), Georgia (8), and New York (7). The remaining states are home to three or fewer schools with conference ties elsewhere: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.


With so much territory to cover in a single column, we will focus primarily on the tradionally stronger conferences such as the CAC, Centennial, Landmark, Commonwealth, and the NJAC.  Expect to see contests involving teams in our Top 25 typically against perceived stronger opponents along with teams on the rise.


We will look at some of the key match-ups, results, and standout performances, identifying who is trending up and who is trending down each week.

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