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Division III powers headed for collision

Article Written by Will Parchman
Published: September 18, 2013

As the Division III season rolls on into its third week, the biggest question is whether anyone can catch the Messiah men.

While the defending champion Messiah women tumbled from No. 1 to No. 11 last week on the back of a pair of losses, supplanted by Wheaton (Ill.) at the top, Messiah's men's program is carrying the battle standard high with a 6-0-0 record. That bled into last weekend when the Falcons dropped Catholic University of America 2-1 on Saturday to keep their perfect record and a hammerlock on the top spot in the polls.

Here's a glance at a few of the other interesting yarns from the last week in Division III soccer.

Williams men endure a rollercoaster week

Messiah may have had no issue staying unbeaten, but Williams couldn't follow suit after a wild weekend. The Ephs entered Saturday's contest against Trinity (Conn.) 2-0-0 at No. 2 in the nation, but they didn't escape the encounter unscathed. Williams leapt out to a 1-0 lead on Trinity, but Trinity equalized to send the game into overtime. That set the table for a dramatic double-overtime tally from Shaun McGann off a corner to give Trinity a cinematic 2-1 win. The game had added significance since, as a New England Small College Athletic Conference encounter, it dealt a blow to Williams' conference title aspirations. Trinity, meanwhile, moved its record to 3-0-0 and 2-0-0 in conference with the win.

Williams rebounded, but not without some more sparks. The Ephs stormed out to a 4-0 lead against Babson a day later, only to watch Babson score two goals to make a contest. Luckily for Williams, this time they hung on to salvage something from a crazy weekend.

Norwich pulls back the curtain on its new stadium

Saturday was a big day for DIII Vermont program Norwich. After a 10-month, $6 million renovation period, Norwich unveiled Sabine Field on Saturday with a series of celebrations. The field is open for football, soccer and lacrosse, and the school had a football game and a men's and women's soccer doubleheader to break it in on Saturday. While the football team dropped a 14-3 contest to St. Lawrence and the women's soccer team lost 1-0 to Albertus Magnus, the men's team capped the night with a 1-0 win over that same Albertus Magnus program.

The stadium itself has plenty of bells and whistles, including a refurbished World War II-era Sherman tank (they call it Sabine Sally) standing guard behind the west end of the field. More importantly for the on-field product,  added stadium lights allowed for the first night game in the program's history. Fittingly, that game was the men's victory.

No. 12 Emory women beat down No. 4 Lynchburg 

Then-No. 12 Emory made good use of its first home game of the 2013 season with a 3-1 win over Lynchburg to climb up the rankings after a so-so start. Despite trekking to the NCAA championship game last year, Emory started the season a lackluster 2-2-1, with losses to Ithaca and Lee denting the nonconference portion of the schedule.

So that the Eagles flipped the script with a big win on Sunday was big news. With a goal from Veronica Romero and two from Kelly Costopoulos Emory kept alive its 25-game home match winning streak and cut short what was initially a very good weekend for top-five Lynchburg. The Hornets had beaten Maryville (Tenn.) 3-1 on Saturday to enter their meeting with Emory with momentum. Now all eyes are on Emory to see whether or not the Eagles have righted the ship.

Washington (Mo.) women keep piling on

Just when you think the Bears have to stumble at some point (they do, don't they?), they keep whipping opponents left and right. Washington unraveled Greenville 3-0 on Monday night to keep its shutout steak and run it to six consecutive games. There may not be a more dangerous team in the country right now than Washington, which isn't just unbeaten. They're literally perfect.

The Bears (6-0-0) have racked up accolades like candy. They've now outscored their six opponents 33-0, and they haven't won a game by fewer than three goals. So get ready for this weekend. Top-ranked, unbeaten Wheaton (Ill.) comes to St. Louis on Saturday to face off in the most highly anticipated women's DIII matchup of the season. No. 1 vs. No. 2. 

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