Blogs and Commentary

posted 02.20.2014 at 9.33 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Morning Jac: Small College Round-up

We're still a week away from my Monday Making Sense column and divisional notebooks, so here are some thoughts about the action that took place this past weekend.

Division III

- Carthage's quest to start the season with a doubleheader sweep on Friday night was thwarted by Albion. Carthage bounced Calvin in the morning opener, 23-1, but the Redmen couldn't keep up with Britons. Sophomore Kevin O'Grady had three goals and a dime as Albion used a big third quarter to post a 15-12 triumph. Both Carthage and Albion will only access the tourney through their respective conferences, so it's not a monumental outcome, but the Britons have to feel good about themselves. Albion still has to face Kenyon and Aurora before the month is over, however.

- Rhodes appears to have taken a step forward after last year's 5-10 campaign. Last spring, the Lynx lost to Huntingdon, 12-8, but on Saturday they knocked off the Hawks, 8-6. Sophomore Jason Lee (3-2-5) and rookie MG Jadick (3-1-4) paced Rhodes while sophomore Braxton Carr made a dozen saves. With the schedule Dave Zazzaro has put together, it's not unreasonable to think the Lynx will start the season 5-2.

- Salisbury posted a tidy, 14-3 victory over Greensboro on Sunday afternoon and the result is about what was expected. Are there some areas that might be trouble spots down the road against better opponents? I don't want to be Chicken Little, but there were a couple of eyebrow-raising stats.

The first was at faceoffs, where the Gulls held a narrow, 11-of-21 advantage over the Pride. For comparison, Salisbury went 18-for-24 last spring in a 17-3 victory. Chris Biank was solid at 11-for-18, but none of his two back-ups won a draw. The second area was special teams, where Salisbury went 1-for-9 on the man-up, but allowed Greensboro to go 2-for-3.

On the bright side, Salisbury held a 61-30 advantage in ground balls and kept the Pride's clearing game to 67 percent while Alex Taylor looked sharp in net (11 saves). Next up is a home showdown with Lynchburg this Saturday.

Division II

- Action started on Friday afternoon when Pfeiffer used goals from 10 different players to breeze to a 15-9 win over Florida Southern. It was the first win for first-year head man Jason Lange and a contest that reestablished senior Hayden Kirk's bonafides as one of the top goalies in the country. Kirk turned away 16 shots, including six in the second quarter when the Mocs outshot the Falcons, 16-8. Junior Tucker Hammock led a balanced Pfeiffer approach with four goals and two assists. The Falcons next test is on Saturday on the road against Mars Hill.

- Postseason hopeful Tampa passed its first test, comfortably dispatching Queens, 15-11. Sophomore Hofstra transfer Jake Rooney paced the Spartan offense with five goals and an assist while rookie Conor Whipple – the scion of UT head man Rory Whipple – posted a hat trick. Junior Nick Ferreiro quietly put together an all-around game with three assists, 21-of-22 faceoffs and 13 ground balls for Tampa. The Spartans will play Ferreiro's old team, NYIT, on Friday.

- Lenoir-Rhyne hung around with Limestone for three quarters – tied after one, down two at halftime, and separated by four at the end of the three – but the Bears watched the Saints explode for seven goals (including six straight) in the final frame for an 18-9 Limestone victory. Sophomore High Point transfer Mike Messenger was the man of the match with four goals and an assist while senior Todd Nakasuji (3-2-5) aided the cause. Patrick Sheridan got the nod in net for the Saints, making 12 saves in 55 minutes.

One of the questions heading into the season for Limestone was who was going to attempt to replicate All-American Jake Ternosky's performance at the dot. It appears it will be John Laronga, who was the Deep South Conference first team all-conference faceoff man at Saint Leo last spring. Laronga went 14-for-21 against Lenoir-Rhyne and the Saints combined to go 17-for-29 against the Bears. Limestone plays Queens on Tuesday.

- Coker senior Andy Campos tied the single-game record for points (11) and assists (5) in the Cobras' 22-15 triumph over Shorter...Tusculum got the program's first victory in the season-opener by edging Ohio Valley, 12-10. Congrats to head coach Richard Carrington, who used freshman Kellen Asmundson (5-0-5) and junior Jack Timerson (3-3-6) to lead the way...Senior Dan Shields had five goals and two assists in Mount Olive's 18-4 rout of Young Harris...Brevard posted its first program victory on Sunday when it tamed Lees-McRae, 11-4. The win gave Kevin Anderson his first triumph as a head coach...the loss to Brevard pushed Lees-McRae's losing streak to 24 games.