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 2 Notes
Washington U. (4-0-0) earned the 400th win in program history. And in a surprising stat freshman Ariana Miles recorded the first hat trick for the Bears program since 2011 in that victory.
The column is on to Week 2 of the 2018 season with news and review based on the games to watch from last week and any eye catching results.
Only six unbeaten teams left in the North region out of 50 after two weeks. Both Carleton and UW-Stevens Point are 3-0-1 having faced some solid competition. The remaining four teams have not been seriously tested, but have taken care of business. Interesting to note that Carleton and UW-Stevens Point both test themselves against Wartburg next weekend. Carlton is at Wartburg on Sunday, September 16 and UW-Stevens Point travels there a day prior on Saturday, September 15.
UW-La Crosse (1-2-1)
UW-La Crosse has challenged themselves early and not had it go their way on the field. Hopefully, for Coach Jason Murphy’s side the adversity will pay off as they enter the conference portion of the season battle tested. They may have played the game of the week with Illinois Wesleyan 1-1-1 as the Eagles were 3-1 at half time. However the Titans rallied with three second half goals, including two in the final six minutes, to earn a 4-4 draw. The overtime game on Saturday must have been physically tiring and emotionally draining as on Sunday St. Thomas (4-1-0) took advantage with a 4-0 pasting outshooting the hosts 23-14.
Loras hosted St. Thomas on Tuesday, September 4 and went down three goals to nil. However, the last two goals came in the final 15 minutes. The Duhawks bounced back with two victories over the weekend to end the week on the upswing.
Wartburg has three games packed into the next week with all at home. On Wednesday, September 12 they host UW-La Crosse, then on Saturday and Sunday they play UW-Stevens Point and Carleton on what may be the toughest schedule upcoming this week.
UW-Whitewater did not have the expected barn burner emerge against Concordia (Wis.) (0-2-0) (who played in an exciting 9 goal game in the opening weekend) and won 2-0. They did stumble against a surprise North Central (Ill.) (3-1-0) team after playing their third game in four days. They gave up a goal two minutes into the game and never really challenged for the game and lost 2-0.
St. Thomas (4-1-0)
The Tommies of St. Thomas put away three comfortable wins this week. Their NCAA rematch with UW-La Crosse (1-2-1) was anticlimactic as they won 4-0 and outshot the Eagles 23-14. They only have one game next week as they recover. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.
Central had three walk away victories this week and are looking forward to a couple tough games next week. They host Knox 2-2-0, MWC champs and NCAA tournament team on September 11. Then they host Illinois Wesleyan on September 16 at 3pm in a game to watch this week.
GREAT LAKES REGION
Out of the 51 Great Lakes region they also have only six unbeaten teams left in the region after two weeks. Three of them have a draw, but have kept a 0 in the loss column.
Carnegie Mellon (3-0-1)
Carnegie Mellon beat 2014 national champions Lynchburg (3-1-0) Saturday 1-0 on a neutral site where the stats were virtually even. Sunday brought another road game at Roanoke (1-1-2) where they prevailed 2-0. The Tartans prepare for a big game this week on September 15 hosting Messiah (3-1-0) at 6pm in a game to watch with national implications.
After a 9 goal barn burner in the game of the opening weekend Franklin traveled to St Louis for a pair of games. The opening game against Fontbonne (1-3-1) on Saturday had 20 shots apiece for the two teams, but ended in a 1-1 tie. In the big test against Washington U. the Bears earned the 400th win in program history over the Grizzlies and in a surprising stat freshman Ariana Miles recorded the first hat trick since 2011 for the Bears while winning 5-0.
Capital had weather issues, like much of the Midwest, and have only managed two games so far. They look towards a tough week three weekend on the road. They play at MIAA champion Hope (3-0-0) on Saturday, September 15 and at Albion (2-2-1) on Sunday, September 16.
Leading the way in the Midwest area is a Central region with nine unbeaten teams out of 44. Augustana at (4-0-0) is unblemished including a 1-0 (2OT) win over a talented young Hanover team, which is 3-1-0. The Webster Gorlocks are 4-0-0 including a 3-1 win over a young up-and-coming Dominican (IL) 2-2-0 team that made the NCAA tournament by winning the NACC for the first time last year.
Chicago and Washington U.
Chicago and Washington U. each remain 4-0-0. Chicago tests themselves against an MIAA leading Hope team (3-0-0) on September 12 while Washington U. has three games this week including a Saturday fixture against Rhodes 2-1-1 and then Sunday, September 16 against either UW-Whitewater (3-2-0) or DePauw (0-3-0).
Wheaton (IL) (3-1-0)
Wheaton (IL) had a tough week squeaking by an 0-4-0 Thomas More team 1-0 after outshooting them 23(8)-4(2) and then losing to Kalamazoo 0-1 in a shocker where the Thunder outshot the Hornets 26(9)-3(1). As pundits like to say, “the only stat that matters is on the scoreboard,” but as Coach Felske goes for his 500th win this season he has the experience to increase the shooting efficiency by tournament time.
Illinois Wesleyan (2-1-1)
Illinois Wesleyan may have played the game of the week at UW-La Crosse as the Titans were down 1-3 at half time and rallied with three second half goals, including two in the final six minutes, to earn a 4-4 draw. The Eagles have to be disappointed with the result as they did out shoot the Titans 21(12)-14(6). Their second game of the week also included travel. This time to Luther College in Iowa in a weather delayed matchup winning 1-0. In a game to watch next week they play at Central on September 16 at 3pm.