27 Sep

Midwest News & Round up wk 4

Midwest News & Roundup – Week 4

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 4 Notes

Only 21 undefeated teams and 4 come from the Central Region: ChicagoHopeIllinois Tech and Washington U.

The column is on to Week 4 of the 2018 season with news and review based on the games to watch from last week and any eye catching results.

NORTH REGION

And then there were none. No undefeated teams in the North Region.

No. 17 St. Thomas (6-1-0 / 2-0-0)

No. 17 nationally, and the only team from the North region ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 are the Tommies of St. Thomas (6-1-0 / 2-0-0). Their contest against Gustavus Adolphus resulted in a 2-1 victory as they stamp their authority on the region.

UW-La Crosse (4-2-1)

The Eagles were victorious 2-1 over No. 15 Wheaton (Ill.) (6-2-0 / 1-0-0) in overtime as their tough early schedule pays off. They scored right before half time. The Thunder scored right after half time and the game was decided in the 107th minute. Wheaton outshot their hosts 23(8) to 14(5).

Central (6-2-1 / 1-0-0)

The Dutch won three games on the week. They have a game on Saturday, September 29 against a Wartburgteam that has been tough to play against.

UW-Stevens Point (6-1-1)

The Pointers roll in their only game this week. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.

Loras (7-2-0 / 1-0-0)

With two more victories this week and a solid win against Dubuque on Saturday, September 22 the Duhawksare moving up. The Duhawks scored a minute into the game and 7 minutes into the second half while outshooting the Spartans 21-8.

UW-Whitewater (6-3-1)

The Warhawks tied MWC champs Knox in a game that was even on shots. Their next game to watch is in three weeks.

Wartburg (6-3-0 / 1-0-0)

The Knights won two games this week and play Central on September 29 in a game with regional implications.

Other teams of interest with regional ranking from the United Soccer Coaches regional rankings are the Carleton Knights (5-1-2 / 2-0-1) with a draw and a win this week and the Dubuque Spartans (6-2-0 / 0-1-0) who lost in their conference opener to Loras.

GREAT LAKES REGION

Still the one, Mount Aloysius Mounties (7-0-1) are the only undefeated team left in the Great Lakes region. The won their only game this week 5-3. Unfortunately none of the opponents on their 2018 schedule provide a ranked test.

No. 12 Carnegie Mellon (5-1-1)

The lone team from the Great Lakes region ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 are the Tartans who rolled in their only game of the week. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.

Mount St. Joseph (6-1-2)

The Lions had three games against solid teams during the week and rolled through all of them. Unfortunately for the neutral they don’t really have a test till the final two games of conference play.

Hanover (7-1-0)

The Panthers have won seven straight with the latest over Capital (5-2-0) 2-0 in an evenly matched game. The resurgence in the nonconference schedule after a down year puts HCAC teams on notice that Jim Watt’s team is back. Their next game to watch is in two weeks versus the team that knocked them from their conference perch last year.

Baldwin Wallace (6-1-1)

The Yellow Jackets are showing their potential under long-time assistant and second year head coach Jim Wojtkun. Now that he has turned his considerable energies away from business and into coaching BW has reaped the effects in a leap forward. This week they have two tough games against PAC champ Grove City (5-3-0) and OAC conference and regional opponent Capital to show their mettle.

Capital (5-2-0)

The Crusaders went 1-1-0 this week losing to Hanover (7-1-0) 2-0 in a game that was close in the statistical categories. In a game to watch regionally on Saturday, September 29 they host Baldwin Wallace (6-1-1).

Denison (5-2-0 / 1-0-0)

The Big Red rolled in their only game of the week, but do not have a currently ranked team on their schedule for the remainder of the season.

Ohio Northern 5-2-0

The Polar Bears added two victories to the tally. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.

CENTRAL REGION

Still leading the way in the Midwest area is a Central region with four unbeaten teams out of 21 including No.’s 2,3 and 6 in the D3soccer.com Top 25. Toughest region in the country?

No. 2 Washington U. (8-0-0)

The Bears rolled. They play the (7-1-1) Webster Gorlocks Wednesday this week and then open the UAAconference season Saturday, September 29 hosting Emory.

No. 3 Chicago (7-0-1)

The Maroons traveled to regional opponent Calvin (5-2-1) and escaped with a 2-1 victory. The winning goal coming in the 89th minute in a game that was fairly close statistically. They get a test on Tuesday, September 25 as they travel to cross town rival No. 15 Wheaton (Ill) in the game to watch this week in the Midwest area.

No. 6 Hope (6-0-1)

The Flying Dutch sailed through two victories this week and face a regional test against Kalamazoo (5-2-1) on Wednesday, September 26.

No. 15 Wheaton (Ill) (6-2-0 / 1-0-0)

The Thunder traveled to UW-La Crosse and lost in overtime in a game where they outshot the hosts 23(8) to 14(5). They host to cross town rival No. 3 Chicago in the game to watch this week in the Midwest area on Tuesday, September 25. Up next will be CCIW conference opposition No. 19 Illinois Wesleyan on Saturday in the toughest Midwest schedule this week.

No. 19 Illinois Wesleyan (6-1-1)

The Titans beat a couple of HCAC opponents this week to extend the W column. They open conference play Saturday, September 29 against No. 15 Wheaton.

Calvin (5-2-1)

The Knights had a close game with Chicago but gave up the game winning goal in the 89th minute. They have a regional and conference test against Kalamazoo (5-2-1) Saturday, September 29 in a game to watch.

Kalamazoo (5-2-1)

The Hornets have two challenges this week with No. 6 Hope on Wednesday and Calvin on Saturday. It is a week that will determine regional and MIAA conference placement.

Augustana (7-1-1 / 0-0-1)

The Vikings drew with North Park (3-4-1 / 0-0-1) in their opening conference game. Their next test is in two weeks.

Webster (7-1-1)

The Gorlocks have a big test this week against No. 2 Washington U (8-0-0) on Wednesday, September 26.

Dominican (Ill) (7-2-0 / 2-0-0)

The 2017 NACC champion Stars have gone seven and zero since two early losses and coach Carlos Carrillo has them looking like defending conference champions.

20 Sep

Midwest News & Round up wk 3

Midwest News & Roundup – Week 3

By BJ Pheasant

Welcome to the Midwest News & Roundup. I will highlight women’s NCAA D-III 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 3 Notes

No. 23 Illinois Wesleyan with two straight weeks of having the most dramatic comebacks in college soccer. For the neutral fan there is some exciting soccer going on!

The column is on to Week 3 of the 2018 season with news and review based on the games to watch from last week and any eye catching results.

NORTH REGION

And then there was one. The St. Catherine Wildcats at 3-0-1 are the only undefeated team left in the North region. They narrowly escaped this week with a draw in game where they outshot their opponents 22-8.

No. 17 St. Thomas (5-1-0 / 1-0-0)

No. 17 nationally, and the only team from the North region ranked in the D3soccer.com Top 25 are the Tommies of St. Thomas. They have a test on Saturday, September 22 against Gustavus Adolphus (4-2-0 / 1-0-0) in a regional game to watch.

UW-La Crosse (3-2-1)

There were a number of teams ‘receiving votes’ from the North region in the D3 Soccer Top 25 poll. In order of votes received is UW-La Crosse with two victories this week in region after a tough national schedule to open the year. They won both games 2-1 with Wednesday’s match over Wartburg (4-3-0) in a game that was postponed from September 5th (weather). The Eagles scored in the 8th minute and again two minutes into the second half before allowing a PK goal to set the final score line. The Eagles play at Wheaton 5-1-0 in a game to watch this week on September 19.

Central (3-2-1)

The Dutch hosted Knox 3-2-1, MWC champs, and drew 1-1 in a game that was even across the stat board. Then they hosted Illinois Wesleyan, in a game to watch, and succumbed 3-2. They led 1-0 and 2-1, but game up the tying goal in the 86th minute and lost in overtime. They were outshot 35(15)-17(10) in the battle.

UW-Stevens Point (5-1-1)

The Pointers join us with a 2-1 (2OT) win over Wartburg (4-3-0) and a loss, 1-2 at Dubuque (5-1-0). Their next game to watch is in three weeks.

UW-Whitewater (5-3-0)

The Warhawks won their first two games this week and then faced their toughest test against Washington U on Sunday. They lost 2-0 in St Louis and were outshot 39-1. They play KnoxMWC champs, on Wednesday in a game to watch regionally.

Loras (5-2-0)

The Duhawks continued their upswing from last weekend with two more victories this week. They have a good test against a 5-1 Dubuque team on Saturday, September 22 in a game to watch.

Wartburg (4-3-0)

The Knights may have had the toughest schedule of the week and put up a good fight. Unfortunately, they lost to both UW-Stevens Point and UW-La Crosse by identical 2-1 margins. The Knights bounced back with a win on Sunday against the Carleton Knights 4-1-1. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.

Other teams of interest

Other teams of interest with regional ranking from the United Soccer Coaches are the Carleton Knights 4-1-1 and the Dubuque Spartans 5-1-0. We will see how these teams do moving forward.

GREAT LAKES REGION

And then there was one. Mount Aloysius Mounties (6-0-1) are the only undefeated team left in the Great Lakes region. They narrowly escaped this week with a draw in game where they outshot their opponents 21-5.

#8 Carnegie Mellon (4-1-1)

The Tartans hosted No. 5 Messiah 5-1-0 in a game to watch and gave up two goals in the first eight minutes, bounced back with a goal in the 10th minute, but lost 4-1. The score did not quite match the stat line as in the game Messiah had only 8 shots with 6 on frame for a ridiculous efficiency number while the Tartans had 9 shots with only 4 on target. Their next game to watch is in three weeks.

Denison (4-2-0)

The Big Red has had a good start to the season and tested themselves against Centre (6-0-0) this week. They took the No. 25 ranked Colonels to overtime but lost 2-1.

Capital (4-1-0)

The Crusaders earned two wins this week and had a loss to No. 11 Hope 4-0-1. They have a good test on Saturday, September 22 at Hanover 5-1-0 in a game to watch regionally.

Mount St. Joseph (3-1-2)

The Lions hosted No. 25 Centre College amongst their three-game last week and lost 3-1 while being outshot 15(10)-6(4).

Ohio Northern (3-2-0)

The Polar Bears added two victories to the tally. There next game to watch is in two weeks.

Other teams of interest

Other teams of interest with regional ranking from the United Soccer Coaches are the Hanover Panthers (5-1-0) and the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets (4-1-1). We will see how these teams do moving forward.

CENTRAL REGION

Still leading the way in the Midwest area is a Central region with five (nine last week) unbeaten teams out of 44. Toughest region in the country?

No.2 Chicago (5-0-1)

The Maroons hosted No.11 Hope (4-0-1) squaring off in a battle for regional supremacy and national positioning. The game ended in a 1 all draw with both goals coming in the first 15 minutes of the contest. Chicago had a slight advantage in shots on target and led on corner kicks 6-1 in their first real test of the season.

No.4 Washington U. (7-0-0)

The Bears rolled through their three game this week making it look easy to remain undefeated. Their next tests will come in conference season in two weeks.

No. 11 Hope (4-0-1)

The Dutch traveled to Chicago and came away with a 1 all draw in the game of the week. Their next game to watch is in two weeks.

No. 15 Wheaton (Ill.) (5-1-0)

The Thunder had two wins this week including a solid 2-1 win against Calvin. On September 19 they play UW-La Crosse in a game to watch.

No. 23 Illinois Wesleyan (4-1-1)

The Titans had a good week with two wins and had another exciting come-from-behind game against Centralwinning 3-2. They were behind 0-1 and 1-2, but came up the tying goal in the 86th minute and won in overtime. Their next major test is in two weeks.

Calvin (4-1-1)

The Knights have started well this year. In a game to watch this week they host Chicago on Saturday, September 22.

Kalamazoo (4-2-1)

The Hornets have made some moves in the USC regional rankings. Their next test is against No. 11 Hope to open conference play in two weeks.

13 Sep

Midwest News & Round up wk 2

Midwest News & Roundup – Week 2

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.

NORTH REGION

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 (3-2-0)

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 (3-1-0)

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 (3-2-0)

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 (3-1-0)

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.

Franklin (1-1-1)

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 (2-0-0)

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.

Mount St. Joseph 3-0-1 and looks towards a big game on September 16. They host Centre College 4-0-0 in a good test with ranking implications.

CENTRAL REGION

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.

Hope (3-0-0)

Hope took care of business and has a major clash with regional and national implications on September 12 against at Chicago at 5pm. Definitely, a game to watch this week.

21 Jul

Lutheran All American Association presents All American Awards & Team Ethics & Sportsmanship Awards

The Lutheran All American Association presents the following awards for the 2017-18 high school season. Nominations were due via nomination form by May 30, 2018. Information and nomination forms can be found on www.LutheranAllAmerican.org.

The Lutheran High School Girl’s Soccer All-American Award is a unified Lutheran Girl’s Soccer All-American program that brings together the student-athletes from all Lutheran denominations in the USA and Canada (LCMS, WELS, ELCA, and NALC) in an attempt to foster sisterhood forged through the fires of competition. The program promotes physical strength and health as well as an active pursuit of Christian ideals in high school student’s personal lives and education.

This honor will be awarded annually to recognize the best players at their respective positions from their high school season.

All Lutheran high schools in the USA and Canada will be contacted during the girl’s soccer season. At the end of the season Coaches and Athletic Directors will be asked to nominate student athletes with high athletic, academic, and spiritual integrity.

Selections will be made for:

  • A 1st Team All-American roster
  • A 2nd Team All-American roster
  • Freshman All-American roster
  • An Honorable Mention roster

The Lutheran High School Girl’s Soccer Team Ethics & Sportsmanship Award is an honor that will be awarded annually to recognize each team based on activity during their high school season.

All Lutheran high schools in the USA and Canada will be contacted during the girl’s soccer season. At the end of the season Coaches and Athletic Directors will be asked to nominate teams that have shown Ethics & Sportsmanship.

A team may not have received any (0) Red Cards at any time during the season. The “season” includes all regular season and play-off contests.

Gold Award ……………………………0 Yellow Cards, 0 Red Cards

Silver Award…………………………..1-5 Yellow Cards, 0 Red Cards

Bronze Award…………………………6-10 Yellow Cards, 0 Red Cards

16 May

Is the NWSL doing its Job?

The NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) is the latest iteration or professional women”s soccer in the USA. It has been 5 years and  they are still in business, which is good. There is some expansion and only one contraction. The contraction was of a poorly managed or mismanaged Boston Breakers team and understandable. On the other hand the Portland team drew more fans than 7 MLS teams in the 2017 season. They only drew 4,000 fans a game less than USL attendance leader FC Cincinnati who would have been 6th from the top in attendance if they were allowed into the MLS, but that is another story.

Streaming games on youtube has been an interesting play to make them available in real time and accessible across devices. I am not sure how well marketed that effort is/was. Anecdotally, as club, high school, and college coach of girls and womens’ soccer teams I would think that I am in their target market and/or a gatekeeper for their target market. However, I have not received any marketing or even heard about their efforts to make games available live without at major TV contract. I only found out because I personally knew a NWSL player who told me. Seems there are missed opportunities for marketing. This was also the first time I knew that youtube had live streaming and not just videos.

Another curious issue is the lack of a Commissioner for the past year. This has seemed to cost the NWSL a place in an all-women’s sports broadcast partner and cross marketing supporters (TV channel?) SheIs. Since soccer is a primary youth sport for girls before they can play many of the other sports it seems that soccer would be a great help to providing interest in the channel. The WNBA, NWHL, USTA, CWHL, fast pitch softball league, and even the WWE among the 8 organizations participating. The NWSL is not part of the group and the lack of a Commissioner seems to player a role. Who wants to be involved with an organization that can’t even hire a boss in a timely fashion or Can’t even figure out their mission so they can agree on hiring a boss or … something? By the way, in searching for SheIs I did not find a website or other social media readily availible. I did find announcements about SheIs on other media.

NWSL players have a max salary of ~$40k and low end is ~$18k (special deals available for popular national team members – who also get paid for national team camp and game appearances). Players play because they want to play their sport and are willing to sacrifice holding a full time salaried job to do it. Part of the that sacrifice is to build the league for future generations of player – to give back. The NWSL does not seem to be raising the profile of the game of soccer or participating in increasing the profile of women’s athletics.

No, is the answer to the question. Merely, existing is not enough. Like US Soccer the NWSL is bereft of leadership and it shows.