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Power rankings debut for DII, DIII soccer

Article Written by Will Parchman
Published: September 16, 2014

Welcome to the inaugural TopDrawerSoccer.com Division II and Division III power rankings.

TDS’ expansive college coverage is extending into the DII and DIII ranks this year in the form of a weekly finger on the pulse of the nation’s hottest men’s and women’s teams. That takes the form of four distinct power rankings each week, which will take into account the nation’s best teams and performances over the previous week of action. College soccer is a constantly evolving menagerie of intrigue, and these power rankings will encapsulate and reward the victors.

In our first rankings of the fresh 2014 season, two of the four national champs retain their top spots, with the DIII and DII women shaken up after an early setback proved Grand Valley State’s repeat bid may be vulnerable since losing decorated head coach Dave Dilanni to Iowa in the offseason. Dilanni was 221-18-18 with the Lakers, who are off to a 3-1 start.

On the men’s side, Southern New Hampshire’s raft of returning contributors and 3-0 start helps the Penmen to an initial No. 1 ranking in DII, while perennial favorite and No. 1 Messiah is in the same boat in DIII with a 6-0 record. On the women’s side, an early draw won’t keep defending DIII champs Trinity (TX) from the top spot, while Cal State Stanislaus leaps into pole position in DII to hold off some heady competition.

Here's a look at this season's initial men's and women's rankings through Sept. 14.

Men's

Division II

RANK PREV TEAM RECORD COMMENTS
1 - Southern New Hampshire 3-0-0 The defending national champs return a ton of talent off a team that has had little trouble so far.
2 - Young Harris College 3-0-1 Young Harris is among the fastest risers this season, and in-form striker Ilija Illic looks as good as ever.
3 - Lynn 4-0-0 Starts don't get any hotter. A 1-0 win over a very good Lee team cemented its impressiveness. 
4 - Quincy 4-0-0 Nobody's yet finished within two goals of Quincy this season, including returning lead DII scorer James Pucci's Davis & Elkins side.
5 - Charleston 4-0-0 As if a 4-1 win over No. 7 Mercyhurst isn't enough, Charleston laid a 13-0 beating on Shepherd over the weekend.
6 - Saint Leo 1-0-1 How's a 2-0 win over No. 10 Carson-Newman sound? Saint Leo's been impressive so far this season, though it's been short.
7 - Mercyhurst 4-1-0 The one loss on the ledger is hardly embarassing all things considered. Otherwise, a good start for one of the nation's best.
8 - West Texas A&M University 3-1-0 Aside from a 2-1 loss to West Texas Int'l, A&M's enjoyed a great start, including an impressive 1-0 win over the Colo. School of Mines.
9 - Flagler 3-0-1 Flagler didn't pull any punches with early season scheduling. Wins over Rollins and Embry-Riddle prove this side is for real.
10 - Carson-Newman 0-2-0 Yes, last year's national runners-up are winless so far, but the season's early, and we'll give a tough schedule some leeway this week.


Division III

RANK PREV TEAM RECORD COMMENTS
1 - Messiah 6-0-0 Any surprise here? Messiah's won 10 titles since 2000, and this season is off to a similarly fast start.
2 - Middlebury 2-0-1 A tough schedule's already yielded two quality wins in Norwich and Conn. College and a 1-1 draw against No. 3 Amherst.
3 - Amherst 2-0-1 The real test for Amherst comes later this month with consecutive games against No. 7 Williams and No. 4 Tufts.
4 - Tufts 4-0-0 No speed bumps yet, though to be fair the Jumbos don't play anyone great until facing No. 8 Wesleyan later this week.
5 - Loras 6-1-0 The Duhawks have already gotten five goals in 246 minutes from Jorge Simon. Bad news for competitors.
6 - Emory 6-0-1 A recent sweet at the Warrior Classic puts the Eagles in fine fettle. The rest of the schedule opens up like a book.
7 - Williams 3-1-0 Williams was cruising until a bruising 1-0 loss to Babson. A Sept. 20 date at No. 3 Amherst could provide healing.
8 - Wesleyan (Conn.) 2-0-2 Consecutive scoreless draws might alarm some. The attack needs to get rolling, but the defense is among country's best.
9 - Franklin and Marshall 5-0-0 Three 1-0 wins over quality opponents shows F&M knows how to grind out wins when it needs them.
10 - SUNY Oneonta 5-0-0 The Red Dragons' perfect start is no accident. They've outscored opponents a combined 17-1. 


Women's 

Division II

RANK PREV TEAM RECORD COMMENTS
1 - Cal State Stanislaus(w) 5-0-0 No. 1? Believe it. Stanislaus already has seven goals from Jade Poon, and Karli Nestler's been a tremendous creator.
2 - Barry 3-0-0 Wins over Flagler, Lee and North Georgia have Barry off to a fine start to 2014. 
3 - Western Washington 3-0-0 Western has yet to give up a goal this season. The GNAC has been warned.
4 - University of Tampa 4-0-1 The Spartans' attack has been at it again. They've scored more than five goals twice already.
5 - Saint Rose 4-0-0 Starting the season with a pair of 6-0 blowouts? That'll get you on track pretty quick.
6 - Minnesota State-Mankato 4-0-0 The Mavericks topped Grand Valley State 1-0 on Sept. 14 to become the first team in two years to beat the Lakers.
7 - Grand Valley State 4-1-0 The defending national champs lost their head coach to Iowa and now their first game since 2012. How will they respond?
8 - Columbus State 3-0-0 After a 15-win 2013, the new campaign is off to a rollicking start, including a 1-0 win over No. 9 Rollins. 
9 - Rollins 3-1-0 The win over fast-falling West Florida was great, and a loss to No. 8 Columbus State is hardly embarassing.
10 - California (PA) 2-1-1 California has Erin Hogan, one of the nation's best midfielders, but a loss already holds them back.


Division III

RANK PREV TEAM RECORD COMMENTS
1 - Trinity (Texas) 4-0-1 Trinity brings back oodles of talent and have yet to falter in 2014. One of the nation's best is rolling.
2 - Washington (Mo.) 5-0-0 The win over Loras remains Washington's best of the season, though a recent 8-0 blasting of Benedictine was impressive.
3 - Wheaton (Ill.) 6-0-0 Blowouts galore, and three players on the roster have already reached six goals for the season.
4 - Messiah 5-0-0 That 2-1 win over Johns Hopkins on Sept. 3 was a mighty impressive early season feather.
5 - Carnegie Mellon 6-0-0 Clear your calendars now. Carnegie Mellon meets No. 2 Washington on Oct. 11.
6 - Williams 4-0-0 A 3-2 overtime win over MIT on Sept. 14 proved this team has nails when it counts.
7 - Johns Hopkins 5-2-0 Reigning national player of the year Hannah Kronick hasn't been able to stop two losses, but foolish to count this team out.
8 - Emory 2-0-2 Emory accounted for a 1-1 draw against No. 1 Trinity earlier this year. Lot of talent here.
9 - Amherst 2-1-0 A loss against Bowdoin dropped Amherst a bit this week, but No 6 Williams looms on Sept. 20.
10 - William Smith 3-2-0 William Smith's two losses were to No. 5 Carnegie Mellon and No. 4 Messiah. No shame in that game for the defending national champs.
 
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