Monday Notebook: NCAA Division III
The 14-7 shellacking that Randolph-Macon took at the hands of York on Saturday was surprising, especially considering the confidence head coach J.B. Sheridan had entering the game, and it will likely leave a mark for a couple of days. The Jackets can use this loss as it ramps up for the ODAC schedule, however. With RMC's slim odds of getting an at-large even slimmer now, Macon needs to be primed for April, not February. April will determine how this season plays out, as Hampden-Sydney, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Washington & Lee are the only four contests in that month.
"We're really trying to build up our February and March to make sure we're prepared and we can fine-tune the little things for those teams," said Sheridan last week. "If you're not ready for every single game in the ODAC, they'll exploit the mistakes you make. Early on, we play some teams that are going to be really good tests. York is going to be a very good test for us. Goucher is going to be a game early on and they are very similar to us. They are going to be a good test to see where we are and what we need to improve on as we start ODAC play."
Sheridan should find plenty of trouble spots when he watches the game tape against York. After spotting the Jackets a 4-2 lead, the Spartans dominated the rest of the way, finishing with a 56-30 advantage in shots and utilizing a 9-0 run at one point. Randolph-Macon should right itself in the next two games against Hood and Lebanon Valley before traveling to Goucher on March 3.
- On the flip side, this is a promising start for York. Although the Spartans rarely have the ability to dance with the big boys in the CAC, the potential is there for a 5-0 record heading into back-to-back games against Stevenson and Salisbury in mid-March. While third place in the CAC isn't going to be worth much on Selection Sunday, it's a great jumping off point for Brandon Chillds (who was formerly at Eastern) in his first year.
- Division III's slow wind up to the season continues this week. There are games on Monday (Shorter at Guilford), Tuesday (Ferrum at W&L) and Friday (Albion at Thiel) and a modest slate of 17 contests next Saturday, highlighted by the Lynchburg-Salisbury clash. There are three games on Sunday. The following week is when things really start to pick up.
- Not sure if it's possible to take anything away from Salisbury's win over Greensboro. It was interesting that the two teams were tied after 11 minutes...Lynchburg managed to salvage a little bit of pride for the ODAC on Sunday after Randolph-Macon and Virginia Wesleyan stumbled on Saturday. The Hornets waxed Birmingham Southern, 21-4...Six of the 37 players on the York roster share the first name Tyler. That's the kind of insight you crave...Keep an eye out on Thursday for the first installment of the Coyne v. Censer pick 'em contest.