Monday Notebook: NCAA Division III
- Just when you think you've gotten rid of Gettysburg, the Bullets always seem to claw their way back. This past week was a perfect example. Entering with a 3-3 record, Gettysburg barely beat No. 15 Cabrini in double overtime, 9-8, to push above the .500 level and then turned around and handled No. 7 Haverford relatively easily on Saturday in a 10-4 victory. Now the only thing standing between Hank Janczyk and a 12-3 regular season record -- and an almost assured bid the NCAA tournament -- is a home date with No. 6 Dickinson on April 6.
- Although it had to be content with just the AQ to the tournament the last couple of years, the Empire 8 has always been an entertaining league to follow. It should be even moreso this year. There were four ranked E8 teams last week -- No. 8 RIT, No. 11 Stevens, No. 16 Nazareth and No. 17 St. John Fisher -- while Ithaca will always be a threat to make the four-team conference tourney. What's a little different this year is the traditional also-rans are showing some life.
Alfred is off to a 6-0 start to the season and will be 7-0 when it faces Naz in 10 days. In addition, Elmira is 2-1 and Hartwick is 4-2. None of these teams are realistic threats to crash the party this year, but they are improving to a point where the E8 bourgeoisie must take them seriously. The only team struggling is Utica (1-3), but as a league, the overall record is 34-9.
- Is that it for Geneseo? Are they out of the at-large hunt already after the overtime loss to Keene State on Wednesday? The Knights are awfully close, but if they run the table now, which would include wins over No. 17 St. John Fisher, No. 8 RIT and No. 4 Cortland, and then lost in the SUNYAC finals, they'd be 12-3. It's tough to say at this point -- no one would have predicted a 14-2 Ithaca team would have been left out in '09 -- because there are so many variables, but Genny would be wise to play its best ball from here on out.
- Look for a story on Wesleyan's upset of Middlebury later on today. I spoke with John Raba on Sunday evening to get his thoughts on the overtime victory.
- In Sunday's edition of The Morning Jac, I wrote a diary of the Roanoke's epic fourth-quarter run that broke Lynchburg's heart...Hamilton is off to a quiet 3-0 start to the season after beating Drew. The Continentals could be 6-0 heading into the RPI game. Hamilton would be wise to make the most of their last year in the Liberty -- it joins the NESCAC next year...could Trinity be the 2011 version of Conn. College?...Carthage lost to Division I Mercer, 17-13. Not a bad showing. The Red Men are now 7-1 as they head into their Midwest Lacrosse Conference slate of eight games. Would 17-1 record, which Carthage would have if they won out and won the MLC tourney, be enough for a Pool B bid?...I would advise the rest of the Liberty League not to discount St. Lawrence despite the 0-3 start...as painful as Lynchburg's loss to Roanoke was, No. 13 Hampden-Sydney's setback to W&L was almost as bad. The Tigers were in control of that game but let W&L hang around far too long, and the Generals came back to post the 9-8 win.