Can anyone stop the DIII powers that be?
Division III slogged through another week as most conferences are now in the thick of the home stretch. We’ll know by the end of the month which teams have won most of those races. At this point in the season, it’s merely about surviving and advancing beyond the veil of disappointment.
Here’s a look at a few teams that had notable weeks last week.
St. Lawrence’s Bob Durocher hits 300 career wins
There are few hotter teams in Division III men’s soccer than St. Lawrence, and there are few coaches with more outstanding resumes than coach Bob Durocher. Those two threads came together on Saturday in a 3-0 win over Bard in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.
That win gave Durocher his 300th win in his 22nd year at the helm of the St. Lawrence men’s soccer program, which climbed to No. 10 in the nation last week. This year is undoubtedly one of his most impressive works. He’s currently presiding over St. Lawrence’s 13-game unbeaten streak, and the team is in the driver’s seat of the Liberty League with a 6-0-0 record. The job he’s done is doubly impressive considering the team opened the season with a horribly disappointing 4-1 loss to Stevens Tech.
Since that time, the team has a pair of wins over top 15 opponents and it has just three games left in the regular season. With the next two at home, St. Lawrence merely needs to follow Durocher’s lead and the conference title is theirs.
Not much change in the women’s top 10
Credit the powers that be in women’s DIII world, because not many succumbed to upsets last week. At this point in the season, with expectations and pressure ramping up to at times unbearable levels, that’s no mean feat. Notably, No. 2 Washington (Mo.), No. 3 Trinity(w), No. 7 Emory and No. 9 Messiah all kept their programs well-oiled and inside the top 10 as league play gets to the nitty gritty.
That said, the women’s No. 1 had to access some of its reserve to keep from falling to its first loss of the season. Wheaton (Ill.) has been far and away the top team in the country since defending champion Messiah fell from its perch, and that resolve was tested last week. On Oct. 15, Wheaton and Calvin drew 2-2, Calvin getting a late goal to dash Wheaton’s hopes of a 13th win.
The Thunder didn’t have to wait much longer to get it. A 2-0 win over Illinois Wesleyan came along just days later, allowing Wheaton to move to 13-0-2 on the season. With just three games left on the schedule, an undefeated 2013 regular season is within reach.
Down goes the Brockport(m) men
The biggest upset in DIII men’s soccer over the weekend was SUNY Geneseo’s 2-1 win over then-No. 6 Brockport, which had yet to lose a game. On a weekend when men’s No. 1 Ohio Wesleyan beat up on No. 10 DePauw, Brockport couldn’t follow suit by sidestepping the improbable upset.
The game itself was suitable crazy. The teams were knotted at 1-1 when, in the 86th minute, senior forward Craig Schackner poked a goal past keeper Casey Sullivan for the winner. How improbable was the passage? Sullivan entered the game second nationally with a .933 save percentage, and he’d given up just four goals in the previous 11 games. And yet Geneseo managed to pull its record back to .500 against a team that had yet to lose all year.
While the loss dropped Brockport to 8-1-3, the Golden Eagles are still in the driver’s seat for the State University of New York Athletic Conference title at 3-1-1. The win pushed the Knights to 6-6-2 overall and 3-2-0 in the league.
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