Division III

Discussion in 'College & Amateur Soccer' started by Rocksteady, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Rocksteady

    Rocksteady New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    I am as interested in D-III as I am D-I.

    What conferences look strong this year and who looks strong in those conferences? Which schools had particularly good recruiting years?

    For example, will Williams lose their grip on the NESCAC during this rebuilding year and, if so, will the crown go to Middlebury, Wesleyan, Tufts...?

    Will University of Puget Sound, now heading to England for pre-season preparation, be the top dog in the Northwest?
  2. thacharger

    thacharger New Member

    May 19, 2002
    Southaven, MS
    In the American Southwest Conference, the University of Ozarks look strong.
  3. ddd001

    ddd001 New Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    Washington, D.C.
    McDaniel College

    Look out for McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in the Centennial Conference. Good squad and they have a ton of solid recruits.
  4. Rocksteady

    Rocksteady New Member

    Jun 3, 2002

    Who else plays in that conference, and does the conference representative tend to perform well in the NCAA D-III tournament?

    What is the level of their recruits and do they have a good nucleus of returning players?
  5. JoBeck

    JoBeck New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Macalester graduated several key players but I still think they will win the MIAC. They went 10-0-0 in the conference last year while second place was 6-3-1.

    The Scots are ranked #16 in the new preseason poll. Maybe that's a little too high, I think the coaches are being kind to the Scots after ranking them too low last year. But they will be good.

    I thought the West and the Midwest were kinda weak last year. I don't know how Luther got up to #9, they had a good run in the tournament and should be the top dog in the IIAC once again but I think Mac is better ;).
  6. Rocksteady

    Rocksteady New Member

    Jun 3, 2002

    I agree that the West and Midwest may have been a bit weak last year, but they still are represented in the preseason rankings. Since there is little public information about the flow of new players to D-III, I wonder how the rankings are determined. Perhaps they just look at who was strong last year and confirm that they haven't lost the whole team to graduation (assuming that the analysis goes that deep). For example, Claremont was good last year, but lost their strike force to graduation.

    Williams is the only ranked NESCAC school. They still have a lot of talent, but they graduated quite a few starters last year. In the same conference, Tufts, Weselyan and Trinty retained most of their squads and Middlebury has more returners than Williams and actually beat Williams during the season. Bowdoin is loading up with good, young talent and could edge the others if they gel.

    I think that St Lawrence may end up the class of the field in the East, and I wouldn't be surprised if they took it all.
  7. Flying Weasel

    Flying Weasel Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  8. wolfsburgh

    wolfsburgh Member

    Aug 6, 2001
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The easy answer to the question posed (what conferences look strong), year in and year out, is the New Jersey state school conference (I think it's called the New Jersey Athletic Conference). Invariably, they have several highly ranked teams and at least one national championship contender. A quick look at the preseason poll shows three NJAC schools in the top 25, including the preseason #1 and another in the top 10, and one other school in the "receiving votes category."
  9. peledre

    peledre Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Luther will have a tough time handling Loras and Simpson this year, Luther graduated a couple of key players and will need to rebuild a bit, but they are likely to be preseason favorites to win the IIAC anyway. I'll talk to some of my old lads at Buena Vista and see what they think about the conference.
  10. Rocksteady

    Rocksteady New Member

    Jun 3, 2002

    Count out Bates, Colby (can't score) and Connecticut College. Trinity will be improved but will not be good enough to win. Wesleyan will be solid but will struggle to score. Bowdoin will play a lot of young players and will look like a champ at times and like a mid-pack team at others (a team for the '02 and '04 seasons, in my view). Williams, Middlebury, Amherst and Turfts will fight for the crown and the spot in the playoffs.
  11. Since I played at Middlebury, I would have to say that they will win it all! Seriously though, Middlebury doesn't recruit like Williams and Amherst, who have of late been getting a lot of foreign talent that probably belongs in Division I. Look at which teams have the most foreign guys and you will have the best team. The term "Academic Scholarship" has achieved new meaning in some D3 schools.

    In 1996, Kenyon college placed second in the nation, and most of their best players were from Africa and Europe. They lost their coach, who was well-known and could recruit, the foreign guys graduated, and their program went to ***************. In two years they went from being a great team to a second-rate team.

    In NESCAC, Williams will always have a good team, as will Middlebury, Amherst and Tufts. Bowdoin also sometimes is strong. Elsewhere, the College of NJ is always good, as is Wheaton in IL, Macalester in MN and Oshkosh in WI.
  12. Rocksteady

    Rocksteady New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    D-III Recruiting

    I understand your point about D-III recruiting. The high academic standards that apply to most NESCAC applicants, particularly those who wish to attend Williams and Amherst, seem to be decidedly relaxed for certain athletes. I don't know how they solve the financial issue though, because both schools are largely need-based for financial aid.

    Williams has benefitted from a Jamaican pipeline for the past four years, and the pipeline seems to be self-loading. Amherst seems a bit lighter on foreign recruits lately, but the other teams expect Amhersy to be tough this fall despite graduating five seniors.

    The relatively new coach at Bowdoin is known to be an active and effective recruiter. This year's freshman class includes several blue chippers and up to three freshmen could start. He mostly looked in New England but also has a player from the Seattle area who turned down Middlebury.

    Saward at Middlebury is a good guy and a good coach. A number of this year's freshmen say that he was not active in responding to contacts from potential recruits. Whether that means that he had his class covered, or that he dropped the ball, only time will tell. However, I don't think he was hurt by graduation.

    Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin and a few others say they will reduce the number of students admitted for academic reasons, but whether Amherst and Williams really do it--particularly in the sports about which they care the most--remains to be seen.
  13. JoBeck

    JoBeck New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Macalester, whose student body is over 15% international students, usually gets at least one good international player per class--which has no doubt helped the team rise from perennial MIAC bottom-feeders in the 80s to conference powerhouse in the 90s and '00s.
  14. metrosarenumberone

    metrosarenumberone New Member

    Jul 27, 2002
    Landing, NJ
  15. Flying Weasel

    Flying Weasel Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Messiah College

    I'll report on MESSIAH COLLEGE, my local D-III school and alma mater.

    Recruiting Class - looks strong, includes:
    D Andy Rosamilia (Central Mtn. HS, Lock Haven) - PA All-State
    M David McClellan (Middleburg) - PA All-State
    F Bryan Mohney (Clearfield) - PA All-State (PA's 3rd leading goal-scorer ever)
    D Sean Cochran (Mechanicsburg) - All-Conference
    M Chris Claassen (Valley Center) - Kansas All-State

    Returning Players - deep with lots of experience. The seniors have been National Champions, quarterfinalists, and semifinalists in their 3 years, many being 3-year starters or primary substitutes in Messiah's rotation system. Previous starters include:
    M Haydon Woodworth (Sr.) - '01 injuried 1/2 season, '00 2nd Team All-American & Conf. MVP, '99 1st Team All-Conf.
    F Troy Sauer (Sr.) - '01 1st Team All-Regional, '00 1st Team All-Conf.
    D Matthew Snavely (Sr.) - '01 1st Team All-Conf.
    D/F Aaron Faro (Sr.) - '01 3rd Team All-American & Conf. MVP
    F Mark Ackley (Sr.)
    F Greg Giordano (Sr.)
    F Matt Bills (Jr.) - '01 1st Team All-Conf.
    M Sam Kasey (Jr.) - '01 3rd Team All-Regional

    Goalkeeping is a big question mark after losing 4-yr. starter and 1st Team All-American Chris Boyles to graduation. With a lot of good, versatile players and some touted freshman, it will be interesting to see who plays where. For instance, will Aaron Faro be a forward where he led the team in scoring as a freshman or a sweeper where he anchored their Nat'l Championship squad as a sophomore? They will certainly hope for a full injury-free season from Haydon Woodworth, their most skilled player and midfield general.

    MAC Favorites?
    I know Elizabethtown College is certainly looking to overtake Messiah in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), but Messiah would still have to be the favorites with so many returning players from successful runs in the NCAA's the past few years.
  16. zfunkhamilton

    zfunkhamilton New Member

    Apr 2, 2001
    Milford, PA
    I don't think st. lawrence deserves that #4 ranking. They lost 7 starters and their goalkeeping is questionable. Look for Hamilton to win the UCAA. They were 12-2 last year and lost only 2 starters.
  17. JoBeck

    JoBeck New Member

    Jul 24, 2000
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm pretty sure the rankings are just the same as last year's final rankings.

    Mac started the season with a 1-0 loss to Muhlenberg in Rochester, NY. All I know is that Mac gave up a penalty and had a defender sent off in the 75th minute.
  18. Flying Weasel

    Flying Weasel Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sept. 2 D-III Rankings

    NSCAA/adidas Rankings
    Division III Men's Soccer
    September 2, 2002

    Rank School W-L-T Prev.
    1 University of Redlands (Calif.) 0-0-0 --
    2 Messiah College (Pa.) 1-0-0 --
    3 Greensboro College (N.C.) 2-0-0 --
    4 St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) 0-0-0 --
    5 Wheaton College (Mass.) 1-0-0 --
    6 Rowan University (N.J.) 1-0-0 --
    7 Ohio Wesleyan University 2-0-0 --
    8 University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh 1-0-0 --
    9 Richard Stockton College (N.J.) 1-1-0 --
    10 Williams College (Mass.) 0-0-0 --
    11 Mary Washington College (Va.) 1-0-0 --
    12 Luther College (Iowa) 0-0-0 --
    13 Arcadia University (Pa.) 1-0-0 --
    14 Trinity University (Texas) 1-0-0 --
    15 SUNY-Cortland 2-0-0 --
    16 Otterbein College (Ohio) 2-0-0 --
    17 Kean University (N.J.) 2-0-0 --
    18 Salisbury University (Md.) 1-0-0 --
    19 Drew University (N.J.) 2-0-0 --
    20 Whitworth College (Wash.) 2-0-0 --
    20 Keene State College (N.H.) 1-0-0 --
    22 Rhodes College (Tenn.) 2-0-0 --
    23 Hope College (Mich.) 2-0-0 --
    24 Plattsburgh State University (N.Y.) 1-0-0 --
    25 John's Hopkins University (Md.) 2-0-0 --

    Also receiving votes: Nebraska Wesleyan, Washington University (Mo.), Middlebury (Vt..), DePauw (Ind.), New Jersey City University
  19. tronco15

    tronco15 New Member

    Nov 12, 2001
    American Southwest Conference

    A sleeper team could be UT-Dallas. They had a very solid team the last couple of years but were still making the transition to D3 and were inelgible for any post season play. Rumor has it that they got 6 DI transfers this year and they held SMU scoreless through the first half before losing 3-0.
    There is no way Ozarks is going to win anything. From what I understand they graduated a couple of their studs and I know that they got hammered in the last two conference tourneys.
  20. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Columbus Crew
    Otterbein? How are they any better than ONU?
  21. Sweeper

    Sweeper New Member

    Feb 11, 1999
    NJCU will be mediocre without Gomez and Stocktom will struggle without Moore. Rowan could be a good side and Drew could make a run to the DIII finals.
  22. trobinson

    trobinson New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Man..everyone has slept on Ohio Welseyan. Not only did they win it in 98. They were ranked #1 all year in 2001 (lost in 4 overtimes in quarters..i was there..they definately should've one), and they lost in PK's in the semi's last eyar to Stockton which stomped the REdlands.

    I know they lost a lot of starters, but they a good senior class and very good freshmen this year. I think they'll contend like the do almost every year for the championship.

    By the way, Otterbein sucks...their only dangerous player left last year and he was only dangerous because he could throw the ball 60 yards on a rope. He had the world record.
  23. jmsdoc

    jmsdoc Member

    Jun 25, 2000
    The Valley
    Looking foward to seeing what Messiah has, as EMU comes up to PA. tomorrow. Just hoping we can keep it close. Women at 4pm and men at &pm.

  24. Flying Weasel

    Flying Weasel Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So far Messiah has looked OK but not great in their first two games (wins over Misericordia and York College). As each of those games wore on, they dominated possession more and more, but in somewhat unspectacular fashion. Some of that is due to it still being early in the season. Non-starters from last year and many of the freshmen are getting lots of playing time, so maybe the coach is using these games to see how the new guys do in a real game and what combinations work. Messiah's work rate is high as usual, but their passing game isn't running on all cylinders yet. That's probably to be expected with all the new and different players out there still learning each others tendencies and learning to read each others runs at this point in the season. The talent is there to be among the best in the nation, but it will come down to how the on-field chemistry develops and how well they execute.

    EMU should be another win for the Falcons, with the trip to Richard Stockton next weekend being the first big test that should give us the best sense of where Messiah is this year. With a non-conf. schedule which includes Richard Stockton (A), Bethany (A), Christopher Newport (A), Wheaton, Ill. (H), and Gettysburg (H) in addition to conference nemesis Elizabethtown (H), the Falcons will have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves and see how they stack up.
  25. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Member+

    Apr 25, 2000
    SE Mass

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