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 5 Notes
Now that we are firmly into conference season compelling regional and national match ups are less likely, but conference results matter in making the national tournament. September’s record doesn’t matter if you win in October.
The column is on to Week 5 of the 2018 season with news and review based on the games to watch from last week and any eye-catching results.
Winter is coming. With dramatic temperature drops in the past week it reminds me of playing style questions. Do teams in the north, who tend to play a more physical direct style, do so because that is what works on frozen and muddy fields? Will that shift as turf fields become more prevalent in club and high school levels? Scandinavian heritage and legacy? Are there other reasons? “How Soccer Explains the World” by Franklin Foer is an inspiration for looking beyond the game.
St. Thomas (8-1-0 / 4-0-0)
No. 19 nationally, mysteriously dropping two places in the national rankings despite winning, and the only team from the North region ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 are the Tommie’s of St. Thomas. They go up against a Carleton team this week with 3 draws in conference and 4 overall (5-1-4 / 2-0-3). Next week they have a game to watch regionally.
UW-La Crosse (7-2-1 / 1-0-0)
The Eagles rolled along this week adding three wins to the season tally. They have a couple of trap games this week, Gustavus Adolphus (4-5-1 / 1-3-1) and UW-Whitewater (6-5-1 / 0-1-0), teams that have played close games all season, but been unlucky on the scoreboard.
Central (8-2-1 / 2-0-0)
The Central Dutch overcame Wartburg (7-4-0 / 1-1-0). The Knights outshot the Dutch 20(10) to 13(8) and had an advantage on corners of 8-3, but the Eagles scored in the 9th and 67th minutes to hold on against an 84th minute Knights goal and a 2-1 final. Central will have a challenging week with matches against Coe (7-3-1 / 0-1-0) on October 3 and against Dubuque (8-2-0 / 1-1-0) on October 6.
UW-Stevens Point (8-1-1 / 1-0-0)
Loras (8-2-0 / 2-0-0)
Wartburg (7-4-0 / 1-1-0)
Dubuque (8-2-0 / 1-1-0)
There are some teams in the region with good records, but low strength of schedule. Kudos for those coaches improving their records, which will in turn help recruiting and team quality – just not enough quality for ranking recognition yet.
GREAT LAKES REGION
Still the one, Mount Aloysius Mounties (9-0-1) are the only undefeated team left in the Great Lakes region. Unfortunately, none of the opponents on their 2018 schedule provide a ranked test but they will face a couple of tougher opponents at the end of October.
No. 11 Carnegie Mellon (6-2-1 / 0-1-0)
The only team from the Great Lakes region ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 are the Tartans who had a bit of a stumble in their first UAA contest against New York University (5-4-0 / 1-0-0) on the road. It was a dull affair with each team only having a lone shot on goal in 13 combined attempts.
Mount St. Joseph (8-1-2 / 1-0-0)
The Lions won two more games during the week and appear to be set to roll through much of HCAC conference play. Unfortunately for the neutral observer, they don’t really have a test till the final two games of conference play.
Hanover (8-1-0 / 1-0-0)
The Panthers won their only game of the week to open HCAC conference play. On Wednesday, October 3 theye meet the team that knocked them from their conference perch last year, Franklin (4-5-1 / 1-0-0) who may have overscheduled a bit this year.
Capital (7-2-0 / 1-0-0)
Ohio Northern (7-2-0 / 1-0-0)
Still leading the way in the Midwest area is a Central region with three unbeaten teams out of 18 (last week it was 44) and the D3soccer.com Week 4, No.’s 1, 3 and 5! Toughest region in the country?
No. 1 Washington U. (10-0-0)
The Bears moved up to Number 1 in the national rankings. They won both games on the week but did give up their second goal of the season in a 2-1 overtime win over opening UAA conference opponent No. 24 Emory (6-3-0 / 0-1-0) in a game where they outshot the Eagles 34 to 6. Their next games to watch are in two weeks.
No. 3 Chicago (8-1-1 / 1-0-0)
The Maroons traveled to cross town rival No. 23 Wheaton (Ill.) (8-2-0 / 2-0-0) and scored in the 15th minute to take the lead. The shot totals and stats were close, but the Thunder scored in the 39th and 74th minutes to take the 2-1 victory giving Chicago their first loss of the season. Chicago recovered to open UAA play with a 3-0 win over Rochester (5-3-1 / 0-1-0).
No. 5 Hope (8-0-1 / 2-0-0)
The Flying Dutch reminded Kalamazoo (5-4-1 / 0-2-0) why they are defending MIAA champs. Hope had a convincing 2-0 win to open conference play. In the game to watch in the region this week Hope travels to No. 23 Wheaton (Ill.) on Tuesday, October 2. Hope jumps back into conference play with Calvin (6-2-1 / 1-0-0) on October 6.
No. 18 Illinois Wesleyan (7-2-1 / 0-1-0)
No. 23 Wheaton (Ill.) (8-2-0 / 2-0-0)
The Thunder hosted cross town rival No. 3 Chicago in a back and forth game that was even on the stats sheet. The Maroons scored first, but the Thunder equalized before halftime. In the second half they scored again to win 2-1. Their second game in the toughest schedule of the week was at No. 18 Illinois Wesleyan (7-2-1 / 0-1-0) where they were victorious by a slim 1-0 margin but outshot the hosts 15-4. The challenging games continue as they host No. 5 Hope on Tuesday, October 2 in the game to watch this week.
Calvin (6-2-1 / 1-0-0)
The Knights opened conference play against Kalamazoo (5-4-1 / 0-2-0) and outshot them 21-7 to win 2-0 with both goals being scored in the first half. They play No. 5 Hope on Saturday, October 6 in a game to watch.
Augustana (8-1-2 / 1-0-2)
Webster (8-2-1 / 1-0-0)
Dominican (9-2-0 / 4-0-0)
Illinois Tech (9-0-1 / 4-0-0)
The Scarlet Hawks Recently joined the NACC and have rolled through a nonconference slate that doesn’t have a great strength of schedule. They could continue all season as they don’t play Dominican until their final regular season game.