MIAC Men’s Soccer Notebook - October 28, 2021

Charlie Hall scored his first three goals of the season in heroic fashion, putting together a hat trick in the Knights' come-from-behind victory at St. Scholastica last week.
Charlie Hall scored his first three goals of the season in heroic fashion, putting together a hat trick in the Knights' come-from-behind victory at St. Scholastica last week.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Despite five of six playoff seeds being clinched and just one game remaining in the 2021 regular season for Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) men's soccer teams, plenty remains yet to be determined ahead of next week's conference tournament.


STAT PACK
The latest MIAC men's soccer Stat Pack as of Thursday, October 28, 2021 can be viewed here.


PLAYOFF PICTURE
One item no longer up for grabs is the regular season MIAC championship, as St. Olaf locked up the program's seventh conference title - and first since 2014 - on Tuesday. The nation's No. 10-ranked team will also enter the MIAC Playoffs with the top-seed in the field and a bye straight to next Wednesday's semifinal round.

Carleton, Gustavus, Augsburg, and Macalester have all clinched playoff spots, but won't know which seeds they hold until the dust settles on Saturday. The Knights have the most direct path to favorable positioning, as a Carleton win or a Gustavus loss will secure the No. 2 seed for Carleton. If the Gusties win and the Knights lose or tie, Gustavus will take the No. 2 spot and the Knights will be either the No. 3 seed if Augsburg loses or ties, or the No. 4 seed if Augsburg wins. In most scenarios, the Auggies appear likely to be the four-seed, but could slide up to No. 3 if they end up in a head-to-head tie in the standings with Carleton, or down to No. 5 with an Augsburg loss and a Macalester victory. Macalester's only path to the No. 4 seed is with a win and an Augsburg loss. Any other outcome would result in the Scots locking up the No. 5 seed.

Saint John's, Bethel, and St. Scholastica all remain in the hunt for the sixth and final playoff spot. The Johnnies are in with a win or help from the Royals and Saints - or rather, their opponents. Bethel would clinch with a win and an SJU loss, while St. Scholastica will need a victory and losses by both Bethel and Saint John's to secure a playoff berth.


POLL TALK
Three MIAC men's soccer teams are back in the national spotlight this week, with St. Olaf holding steady at No. 10 in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll, followed by Gustavus at No. 19 and Carleton receiving votes.

The Oles are No. 18 in the D3soccer.com Top 25, while the Gusties and Knights each received votes in the balloting.

The NCAA also released its latest regional rankings this week. St. Olaf holds the top spot in Region IX, followed by Gustavus at No. 2, Carleton at No. 3, and Saint John's at No. 7. Regional rankings take into account win-loss percentage against NCAA Division III opponents, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, results versus common and ranked opponents, and win-loss percentage over the last 25 percent of the season. Regional ranks come into play after conferences have determined their automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament, as all remaining teams are considered for at-large spots based on regional rankings.


NATIONAL NOTABLES
Concordia junior midfielder Telvin Vah totaled seven shots-on-goal against Saint Mary's on 10/2, tied for the ninth-most in any NCAA Division III game this season.

Gustavus first-year midfielder Owen Johnson is tied for 10th in NCAA Division III with 10 total assists this fall.


AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg sophomore midfielder Alex Ruiz scored a pair of goals last week, one in each of the Auggies' two non-conference matchups. Ruiz scored the fourth and final goal in a 4-0 win over Martin Luther on 10/19, then netted the lone goal for the Auggies in a 3-1 loss at UW-Whitewater on 10/22. The goals marked the first of his collegiate career.

Bethel senior forward Ben Richburg scored one goal and assisted on another in the Royals' 3-1 victory over Concordia on 10/26. Richburg has registered five points in the team's last two games.

Carleton senior midfielder Charlie Hall scored his first three goals of the season in heroic fashion, putting together a hat trick in the Knights' come-from-behind victory at St. Scholastica on 10/23. After trailing 3-1, Hall scored three consecutive goals in the 70th, 75th, and 86th minute to push the Knights to a 4-3 win.

Concordia junior midfielder Telvin Vah totaled three points in the Cobbers' 5-2 loss against Gustavus on 10/20, scoring a goal and tacking on an assist in the game. On 10/23, Vah added another goal to his resume in Concordia's 6-2 loss against St. Olaf.

Gustavus senior forward Matthew Gibbons became the program's all-time assists leader on 10/26. Gibbons recorded the 39th helper of his career in the 4-1 win against Hamline, breaking the previous record of 38 held by Larry Shelhamer (1972-75).

Hamline sophomore goalkeeper Luke Rimington saved seven of eight shots that were sent his way in the Pipers' double overtime 1-1 tie against Saint Mary's on 10/23. Rimington has tallied at least six saves in each of the last five games.

Macalester senior midfielder Ben Wagner scored the game's only goal in the 83rd minute of Macalester's 1-0 victory over Saint John's on 10/23 to put the Scots back in the MIAC Playoffs. Wagner now has four goals on the season and two in the last four games.

Saint John's senior forward Tommy Picka has factored into the Johnnies' scoring in three of the last four games, including pitching in an assist in a 2-1 loss to St. Scholastica on 10/26.

Saint Mary's sophomore midfielder Aidan Adamek produced the equalizing goal in the 69th minute against Hamline on 10/23. There have only been four ties in MIAC men's soccer games this season and the Cardinals have played in the last two of them, battling Hamline and Macalester each to 1-1 draws.

St. Olaf sophomore forward Hakeem Morgan had two goals and two assists in the Oles' 6-2 victory over Concordia on 10/23. The sophomore assisted on the Oles' first two goals of the game, then knocked in the game-winner during the 21st minute. Morgan scored his second goal of the game in the 62nd minute. 

St. Scholastica senior midfielder Nolan Friday scored a goal in each of the Saints' two games last week. Friday netted the lone goal for the Saints in a 3-1 loss against UW-Superior on 10/20, then put in his sixth goal of the season in a 4-3 loss to Carleton on 10/23.


UP NEXT
Friday, October 29 | MIAC App | MIAC Scoreboard | MIAC Live
7:30 PM | Bethel at Augsburg*

Saturday, October 30 | MIAC App | MIAC Scoreboard | MIAC Live
12:30 PM | Hamline at Concordia*
12:30 PM | Macalester at Gustavus*
12:30 PM | UW-Eau Claire at Saint Mary's
2:00 PM | St. Olaf at St. Scholastica*
3:30 PM | Carleton at St. John's*

Monday, November 1 | MIAC App | MIAC Scoreboard | MIAC Live
2:00 PM | No. 6 at No. 3 (MIAC Quarterfinals)
2:00 PM | No. 5 at No. 4 (MIAC Quarterfinals)

Wednesday, November 3 | MIAC App | MIAC Scoreboard | MIAC Live
2:00 PM | TBD at No. 1 St. Olaf (MIAC Semifinals)
2:00 PM | TBD at No. 2 (MIAC Semifinals)

Saturday, November 6 | MIAC App | MIAC Scoreboard | MIAC Live
1:00 PM | Highest remaining seed hosts MIAC Playoff Championship

*MIAC game


LEAGUE LEADERS

2021 MIAC Statistical Leaders
Overall MIAC
Goals Telvin Vah, Concordia 14 Telvin Vah, Concordia 8
Assists Owen Johnson, Gustavus 11 Owen Johnson, Gustavus 6
Points Telvin Vah, Concordia 33 Telvin Vah, Concordia 19
Save % Daniel Sessler, Saint Mary's 0.802 Daniel Sessler, Saint Mary's 0.824
GAA Egan Bedwell, Gustavus 0.57 Cade Fink, Macalester 0.86