NCAA Division III

Division III men’s soccer roundup: Postseason play brings penalty kicks, upsets, and more

Photo: Courtesy of York College Athletics

Author note: According to NCAA rules, if a game is decided in penalty kicks, the result is recorded as a tie with the winning team advancing on penalty kicks

Conference post-season play continued this week, and it did not disappoint. Some teams’ NCAA hopes were crushed, while others survived for another day.

Just a reminder, from this point forward, the only teams mentioned will be those who made post-season play. However, once both conference and NCAA post-season play ends, a year-end recap of each conference will be published.

The NCAA selection show is on Monday, Nov. 11 at 1 pm. The all important automatic qualifiers (AQs) are up for grab this week. As per the pre-championship manual, 61 men’s soccer teams make the 2013 NCAA Tournament with three earning first-round byes.

As always, let us know your thoughts, predictions, or suggestions below.

Capital Athletic Conference

Complete conference standingsConference Tournament Bracket 

CAC Semifinal matches took place Wednesday.

No. 3 seed Christopher Newport vs. N0. 2 York College
This match’s scoring would wait until the second-half, but it came often. CNU took a two-goal lead with goals by Caleb Lewis in the 51st and Jalon Brown in the 63rd minute, respectively. In addition to being down 2-0, York was down to 10 men with 20 minutes remaining after Charlie Versen received two yellow cards in four minutes. However, York responded by scoring two goals in 39 seconds less than a minute later with Brendan Saberton’s diving header cutting the deficit in half before Peter Lundgaard tied the game at 2-2. After 110 minutes of play, both teams headed into penalty kicks. In the end, York won the PK shoot-out 3-1 and now have a chanced to win their fifth straight CAC tournament.

No. 5 Frostburg St. vs. No. 1 Salisbury
No.5 Frostburg State put up a good fight against Salisbury, but a late-game goal gave Salisbury a 1-0 victory. With under 10 minutes to play, Salisbury earned a dangerous free-kick right outside the 18-yard box. Tanner East took the honors and found fellow classmate junior captain Stephen Poorman, who blasted a shot past goalkeeper Hassan Mostafa.

With the win, Salisbury will host York on Saturday. Earlier this season in October, the Seagulls defeated the Spartans 3-1. According to a release on the CAC website, “the winner of the match will tie Mary Washington for the most men’s soccer championships in CAC history.”

Centennial Conference

Complete conference standingsConference championship information

Only one match occurred mid-week in the Centennial Conference post-season. The semifinals and finals are being hosted by Haverford College this weekend. In order of seed, the following teams made the conference championship: Haverford, Swarthmore, Franklin and Marshall, Dickinson, Johns Hopkins.

No. 4 Dickinson vs. No. 5 Johns Hopkins
The Red Devils scored just 77 seconds into the game. However, Johns Hopkins responded with a goal of their own. In the 37th minute, Drew Carneal scored the eventual game-winning goal and Dickinson held on for the 2-1 win. Dickinson advances to face Haverford on Saturday at 1:30 pm.

No. 2 Swarthmore vs. No. 3 Franklin & Marshall
Only six days after F&M defeated Swarthmore 2-1 in regular season play on Nov. 3 in a game that featured two penalty kicks, Swarthmore and F&M will face-off again in the Centennial Conference playoffs semifinal on Saturday at 11 am.

No. 1 Haverford vs. Dickinson
Earlier in the regular season, Haverford lost to Dickinson 3-1. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 pm.

Sunday, November 10 at Haverford, Pa.
Final – The semifinal winners will face-off at 1 pm.

Commonwealth Conference

Complete conference standingsChampionship information

No. 1 Messiah vs. No. 4 Lycoming
After having to switch venues in their 1-0 over-time thrilling win against LVC, Lycoming readied for a match with Division III soccer powerhouse Messiah. And Warriors first-year head coach Nate Gibboney got the result of a lifetime. After 110 minutes of effectively playing with a “bend but not break” game-plan, Lycoming defeated six-time defending Commonwealth Conference Champions Messiah after seven rounds of penalty kicks. Lycoming advanced 5-4 with the other two shots being saved by Messiah keeper Brandon West. For Messiah, their three misses that either went high or wide didn’t test the keeper. In a situation like this, it is imperative to keep the ball on frame and challenge the opposing keeper.

The 0-0 tie (5-4 PKs) result puts Lycoming in their first Commonwealth Final since 2008 when they lost 7-0 to Messiah. This result has big implications for the national scene. Instead of Messiah winning an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, they will be the first team in Pool C (at-large teams). Sorry bubble teams, Lycoming busted a few of your chances with their upset-result.

This is only the second-time since 2000 that Messiah will not play in the Commonwealth final.

No. 2 Elizabethtown vs. No. 3 Alvernia
Just as Messiah-Lycoming went to PKs, E-Town and Alvernia did the same. The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the 27th minute when a streaking Anderw Sandridge found a ball from Zach Hollinger and took the touch toward the net. However, Alvernia found a second-half equalizer off a corner kick when Tyler Arnold found a lose ball and put the ball in. The game remained tied at 1-1 and headed to penalty kicks where E-town swiftly advanced 3-0 in three rounds.

The final between E-Town and Lycoming will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. Lycoming goes for their first championship, while E-Town last won the Commonwealth championship in 2004 against Messiah in a game that ended 1-0 (OT).

Freedom Conference

Complete conference standingsChampionship information

No. 1 Eastern vs. No. 4 FDU-Florham
Just like in the Commonwealth, the No. 1 seed fell in the Freedom Conference. when FDU-Florham pulled off the upset-victory and defeated the Eagles 1-0. Ryan Hurdes poked home the game-winner in the 54th minute.

No. 2 Misericordia vs. No. 3 King’s
The Cougars of Misericordia and King’s College battled for 110 minutes of scoreless soccer. Just like the two Commonwealth Semifinals, this game was decided in PKs. In the end, Kings advanced with the 4-3 PK advantage.

King’s will host FDU in the Freedom Championship Saturday at 7 pm.

Landmark Conference

Complete conference standingsConference Championship Information

No. 1 Catholic vs. No. 4 Juniata
Juniata scored early and often in their 3-1 upset-victory over Catholic. The Eagles scored 5:28 into the game off a Nick Weit header. Then Nick Stone-Weiss put home a cross with less than two minutes before the half. A minute after the intermission, Robby Higgins scored Juniata’s third goal on the day. Catholic’s Ian Smith scored their lone goal, but it was too late.

No. 2 Susquehanna vs. No. 3 USMMA
USMMA’s sprint of season concluded with their 3-0 loss to Susquehanna. The scoring got under way 20 minutes in when Joe DeLuca redirected a corner kick into the net. The Crusaders added two late second-half goals from Joe DeLuca and Andrew Murphy en route to the victory and held USMMA without a shot on goal. With the win, Susquehanna makes their second consecutive Landmark Conference final, where they will host Juniata at 6 pm on Saturday.

New Jersey Athletic Conference

Complete conference standingsConference championship bracket

No. 1 Rutgers Camden vs. The College of New Jersey
Rutgers continued their undefeated season and coasted to a 4-1 win over TCNJ. Keegan Balle started the scoring in the 26th minute, while Mike Ryan’s 19th goal of the season capped off Rutgers’s scoring. TCNJ’s Kevin McCartney scored their lone goal in the 88th minute.

No. 2 Montclair State vs. Rutgers Newark
Just like Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark defeated their opponent 4-1. Montclair State went up early 1-0 off a volleyed left-sided shot from Brian Cullen. However, Rutgers dug in and scored four unanswered goals to advance to Saturday’s conference final at Rutgers-Camden on Saturday at 1 pm.

Saturday’s game will not only be the first time that these two teams have met in a NJAC conference soccer, but in any NJAC-sponsored sport. Rutgers-Newark’s sports information department has a great piece looking into this historic matchup. Additionally, this is Rutgers-Newark’s first trip to the NJAC final, while Rutgers-Camden are two-time defending champions. A win for Scarlet Raiders of Newark would clinch their first trip the NCAA playoffs. Even if Rutgers-Camden loses Saturday, they are a strong lock to gain an at-large bid, but that won’t stopping them from going for the win.

One Comment

  1. wow; quite some upsets!! It’s a funny game…

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