April 28, 2014 by Jesse Moskowitz in News, Recap with 28 comments
Here’s a deeper look at the DIII Men’s Regionals action from this weekend.
Metro East: SUNY-Geneseo earned their first ever trip to Nationals with a fantastic weekend. Justin Ilowite came up big for Snail all weekend, drawing the matchups with Greg Wakeman of Fredonia and Marques Brownlee of Stevens Tech. Ilowite played great in both games and set the tone for the Geneseo D-line. Still, Snail’s offense was unguardable this weekend, only getting broken three times all tournament. In the finals, Geneseo took half on Stevens 8-4 and never looked back, winning 13-7.
New England: While Pool A was the Bentley Show, Pool B was much more interesting. At the end of pool play, all five teams in Pool B found themselves sitting at 2-2. The five-way point differential saw Bryant and Brandeis into the semi-finals. Bryant came out with their standard zone and Bowdoin uncharacteristically faltered. Bryant’s top four to five players came up big on offense to earn them a bid to the show.
A well-conditioned Brandeis team outworked Middlebury and Bowdoin in the backdoor bracket to earn their second trip to Nationals in as many seasons.
Amherst, a favorite going into the tournament, didn’t look like themselves from the get-go, playing close games and not earning the breaks they’d worked for at conferences.
Atlantic Coast: Richmond finally got the best of Elon. Tied at 12’s in the championship game, Richmond held on offense and rattled off two breaks to win 15-12. Elon would fend off a really good Davidson squad to take the second bid.
Wake Forest underperformed, falling to Davidson and Asheville and finally being dethroned from their Atlantic Coast helm. They failed to even make the final four teams. This paved the way for the Richmond and Elon, the two best teams in the region, to grab their bids.
South Central: John Brown took down Harding and Truman State took down Rice to set up what many believed would be the championship game. The game featured perhaps the two best players in the region — Tim Fergus (TSU) and Andrew Goode (JBU).
With a strong crosswind forcing both teams to play some zone, the finals featured a ton of hammers, scoobers, and other over-the-tops. Fergus controlled the game for Truman State, commanding the disc on offense and racking up tons of blocks on D; Fergus had seven or eight D’s in the finals alone.
However it was Goode’s Ironfist that surged to a 6-0 second half run to overcome JuJiTSU’s 13-9 lead and win the region. JBU’s offense got sloppy in the second half, throwing questionable throws into the wind and leading to TSU breaks. With the pressure on, the John Brown defense clamped down and executed with the disc to mount the big comeback.
1. John Brown
North Central: And down goes one of the giants. St. Olaf failed to qualify for Nationals despite their fantastic season. On the other side of the coin, St. John’s BAM*, who had a very subpar season, reestablished themselves as a real national contender with their play this weekend.
BAM* cruised to a regional title relatively unchallenged. After taking down GoP in pool play, they would beat them in the finals- neither game being especially close. GoP would fight off St. Olaf, who severely underperformed on Saturday, for the second bid.
There was no question that St. John’s was better than their regular season results displayed. However, few would have expected them to roll through Regionals in such a dominating manner.
1. St. John’s
Ohio Valley: Deep regions lead to fun regionals. Lehigh took first place without too much of a problem. They handled Cedarville in pool-play and then again in the finals.
Cedaville made the championship bracket by a single pool-play point and made the most of it, beating a surprise Franciscan team in a game to go. Even without key O-line players Cedarville looked good throughout the weekend. The rest of the country should be on notice at Nationals.
Franciscan and Oberlin would fall in the third place semis despite strong weekends to leave Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan squared up in a game-to-go. Down 11-13, Kenyon’s D-line rattled off three straight breaks to stun OWU and win 14-13. Max Dugan, Alex Piper, and Corey Barber-Bockelman played big roles in the SERF comeback.
Great Lakes: So much for a three-horse race. With Knox and North Park falling in quarters, the door was left open for the rest of the field. Coming off of a hard-fought game against the Lost Boys, Indiana Wesleyan was no match for Olivet Nazarene in the semis. Wheaton, who beat Knox, took down Calvin and found themselves in a game-to-go. The more experienced Olivet (a regional contender every year) took it to Wheaton in the finals to earn their bid.
Olivet’s play was surprising given their losses to Wheaton, North Park, Calvin, and Bradley at Conferences.
1. Olivet Nazarene