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Are you kidding me, again?!

by on Mar.11, 2013, under Are you kidding me??, baseball, Dome Ball, Insights, MIAC, WIAC

Ok, so umpires are fallible. Now matter how much we like them when the calls go our way they are still fallible.

But the first tilt between No. 25 Wisc.-Stevens Point and Saint John’s was a complete disaster.

First off – the bases were loaded in the 5th (I would use player names here but I was shooting and the box score is not online yet). Two outs. A hot chopper was hit to third, the third baseman for Stevens Point did not have control of the ball and dove in to third to tag the bag to force the third out of the inning… but he either missed or was too late. The Johnnie runner overran third. The runner that was on third to start the at bat crosses home, the runner is then tagged out at third. The umpires disallowed the run. The inning ends in a 5-5 tie. (continue reading…)

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Playoffs?! Playoffs?! …

by on Nov.11, 2010, under basketball, football, Liberty League, MIAC, Rivalry Week, SCIAC, soccer, UMAC, WIAC

Concordia-Moorhead celebrates their victory over Carleton in PKs in the MIAC Women's Soccer Championship game. Photo by Katrina Styx, d3photography.com

Tonight marks the start of the NCAA Division III soccer playoffs. and the first game kicks off with a men’s match at 5 pm Eastern tonight between Transylvania and Lynchburg, and a women’s match at 8 pm ET (5pm Pacific) between Redlands and Chapman.

We’ll have our best soccer playoff coverage to date with six photographers confirmed for matches around the country:

  1. Joe Bergman is covering the SCIAC tournament, starting with the Redlands/Chapman tilt tonight and the winner at Cal Lutheran on Saturday
  2. Jeffrey Levy will be at the TCNJ regional
  3. Daryl Tessmann will be at the UW-Whitewater regional on Saturday
  4. Larry Radloff will be at the UW-Oshkosh regional
  5. Scott Pierson will be covering the Macalester regional victors on Saturday
  6. I will be at UW-Whitewater for the match between the Saturday victors.

We’ll also have some football covered this weekend with Matt Milless at the CORTACA game (Cortland State vs. Ithaca), Joe will be at the Occidental / Cal Lutheran game on Saturday, too, and I will be at the Monon Bell rivalry game between Wabash College and DePauw University – the 117th matchup between these two teams in the oldest football rivalry game in the Midwest.

Basketball, around the corner

Basketball season is right around the corner. November 15 is the earliest day the NCAA allows Division III teams to schedule a regular season game (they can play up to two scrimmages prior – often against teams from other divisions). This will make the number of sports we have coverage for in a news environment to twelve.

  1. Men’s Basketball
  2. Women’s Basketball
  3. Men’s Soccer*
  4. Women’s Soccer*
  5. Football*
  6. Div I Men’s Ice Hockey
  7. Div I Women’s Ice Hockey
  8. Div III Men’s Ice Hockey
  9. Div III Women’s Ice Hockey
  10. Wrestling
  11. Men’s Swimming & Diving
  12. Women’s Swimming & Diving

* denotes fall sports in playoffs

Wow, that’s a lot. And the baseball season starts in February. We will be working the Division III Men’s Frozen Four at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis for USCHO, the Division I Men’s Frozen Four at the XCel Energy Center in April for CollegeHockeyNews.com, the early rounds of the Div III men’s and women’s basketball playoffs for D3hoops.com, the Stagg Bowl for D3football.com and the men’s and women’s soccer championships for D3soccer.com in December. A busy few months ahead for us, including the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championship and a few other conference meets that we’re going to try and finalize the next few months.

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What’s in a rivalry game?

by on Oct.01, 2010, under football, Rivalry Week

The Dutchmen's Shoes - the price of the RPI / Union matchup every year.

What school makes your blood boil? When I was in high school (DeLaSalle in Minneapolis) we played a certain private school (Minnehaha Academy) in everything. And beating them was the most important thing in the world. We could be 0-6 on the season in football, soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, whatever sport and we’d have a 50-50 shot to beat them.

This weekend Saint John’s University faces the University of Saint Thomas in Collegeville, Minnesota. Big game. But just how big is it, exactly?

  • For the first time (that I know of) St. Thomas has a higher ranking than St. John’s.
  • The MIAC attendance record for a football game is 13,107 – set on the day of SJU’s head coach John Gagliardi’s 409th career victory – passing Eddie Robinson on the all-time list – November 8, 2003. Last year’s attendance was announced at 12,903. In an email from SJU the crowd is expected to be approximately 15,000.

A prime example of one of those shirts.

Rivalries bring out the best and the worst in fans. Gene McGivern, the UST SID, wrote about the stats this year, and the shirts in a bit of humor in 2006 and again in 2009:

5) Speaking of T-shirts, do you remember that one for the Tommie-Johnnie football game in 1987 that said… (CENSORED)… or the one from the 2000 game that said (CENSORED)… Last fall’s one was pretty good, too, the one with the picture of (CENSORED) that read (CENSORED).

Gene’s a funny guy.

But I don’t want this to be all about the Johnnie/Tommie game this weekend. I’ve been doing some research and there are some fairly important, big rivalries around Division III (on Wikipedia there are 45 listed):

  • The Dutchmen’s Shoes (RPI / Union) – October 30
  • Monon Bell (DePauw / Wabash) – November 13
  • Biggest Little Game in America (Amherst / Williams) – November 13
  • Cortaca Jug (Ithaca / Cortland) – November 13
  • Cereal Bowl (Carleton / St. Olaf) – October 16
  • And many others.

The amazing piece is if you sort the list on Wikipedia, 11 of the 45 rivalries have been going on since the 19th century: The Amherst/Williams rivalry being the oldest in Div III, starting in 1884 (bested by Harvard/Yale and Lafayette/Lehigh in Division I).

The Battle for the Shoes – Occidental / Whittier – October 2

From Occidental College’s website:
Since 1946 the Poets and Tigers have played for a pair of bronzed cleats, worn by 1940 Whittier graduate Myron Claxton, in a rivalry game that has grown to be called the “Battle for the Shoes”.

On the Thursday evening prior to the scheduled meeting of the teams in 1939, members of the Occidental football team stole the All-American running backs shoes from the locker room, forcing Claxton to play in his work boots. Even so, Claxton led the Poets to a 36-0 victory as they went on to win the SCIAC title that year.

Following the game Claxton, who was the final draft pick of the Giants in the 1940 NFL draft, went over to the Oxy sideline and retrieved his shoes, “bringing them home”. Seven years later members of the Franklin Society, which Claxton was a member, had the shoes bronzed and the teams have played for the coveted “Shoes” trophy ever since.

Occidental and Whittier have faced each other an impressive 102 times, and since the introduction of the trophy they are knotted up at 33-33. Oxy holds the advantage historically 52-48-2.

The Drum – Occidental / Pomona-Pitzer – October 30
The third-oldest rivalry on the west coast, this dates back to 1895. They have played for The Drum since 1941, after the alumni associations of each school came up with the idea. Oxy holds this advantage 60-48-3.

Monon Bell – DePauw / Wabash – November 13
The third-oldest rivalry in the Midwest, this one dates back to 1890. I cannot do this game justice. Because it is held on the final day of the season it hasn’t been one I’ve been able to get to in years past. It’s only 10 hours from Minneapolis, maybe this is the year I go. Who wants to come with? Wabash leads 54-53-9

Carleton walks with the Goat after defeating St. Olaf in 2008. Photo by Pat Coleman, D3football.com

Cereal Bowl – the Battle for the goat – Carleton / St. Olaf – October 16
I won’t try to rephrase anything that Pat Coleman wrote in 2008 about this cross-town battle between liberal arts colleges in Northfield, Minn. This year the game is scheduled to be held in Laird Stadium, which only in the last few days has begun to be relieved of water from the flooding Cannon River. Will it be moved to St. Olaf or played at Northfield H.S. (as Carleton’s homecoming will be played this weekend)? Time will tell.
This match-up is stranger than it looks, too, as they played the only NCAA-sanctioned football game in metric in 1977 (the Oles won that game 43-0). St. Olaf leads the series 46-42-1.

Coe vs Cornell – November 13
While they don’t play for a trophy, or a big-title game, this match-up is the oldest west of the Mississippi River, dating back to 1891. There’s some debate over who won their 1902 game, so it’s either Coe’s lead at 65-59-4 or 64-60-4 65-50-4 or 64-51-4. Read more in a 1999 D3football.com Around the Nation column.

What are your rivalries all about? We know there are more, I can only write so much before I cannot keep my notes straight so I ask that you include your own rivalries, or simply expand on mine.

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Way to use your head!

by on Sep.27, 2010, under football, How it's done, IIAC, Insights, MIAC, soccer, sports, UMAC

Around the gridiron the phrase using your head is often associated with a direct helmet-to-helmet hit. Something that is neither a good thing to do or witness, and may send chills down the backs of the spectators, coaches, officials and sports medicine staff.

I was witness to a Monmouth (Ill.) player who took such a hard hit against St. John’s (Minn.) in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs that play was stopped for at least a half hour after being knocked unconscious and he had a seizure on the field. He was taken by stretcher to an ambulance off the side of the stadium where he was kept until after the game, when he had regained feeling in his toes, and spent a few days in a St. Cloud hospital.

Click thumbnail to see full shot

This past weekend I witnessed a potentially similar scenario play out as a Central Dutch linebacker made a delayed hit on the just out-of-bounds on Coe receiver Andrew Squires. While it appeared that Squires was not injured on the apparent helmet-on-helmet hit, the linebacker was spoken to by an official and Coe head coach Steve Stalker shared his dislike for the contact with the official. Nothing came of the play in the rulings on the field, however.

So that’s the harrowing side of the use of one’s head in a game. We’d like to highlight to fun, exciting and remarkable side of the subject: Having the wherewithal in the game to make an outstanding decision at a key moment that seals the victory or turns the tables, or is just simply remarkable.

Their head is in the game and the pivotal play comes to, well, “mind”.

A sequence set of Mellick's forced fumble-turned-touchback on Saturday.

Coe’s Dillon Mellick did just that a few minutes earlier in the game. Central’s Mike Furlong had caught a pass inside the Coe red zone and he had Mellick beat by a step. But he stepped up, forcing the ball out of Furlong’s hands which bounced out on the five yard line and bounced into the back of the endzone for a Cohawk touchback.

As Mellick told the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I got burned on it,” the senior from Waukon said. “But I could see he was holding the ball wide, so I just went for it all and got it.”

That heads-up decision, with the score 30-28 in Coe’s favor, helped seal the victory. They padded it later with a touchdown and timely interception with less than two minutes remaining. No. 9 Coe held on to defeat No. 7 Central 37-28.

There is more to it than just making a great play

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

In soccer, using your head has a different connotation: using your head to make a header. That’s where this blog came to on Thursday afternoon while covering the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica men’s soccer match. As Matt Milless wrote last week in “Did you get that?” finding that stop-action photo that makes you look at it in wonder and amazement, such as the header, is very difficult to capture consistently, if at all, for periods of time.

We, as photographers, may make it look easy, that we get those photos a lot if you look at our best works; but at d3photography.com we strive on the quality of the work we publish, not the quantity of the photos we take at an event. I don’t mean to generalize wire photographers here, but there are many who will fire off many thousands of photos in a quarter of football, half of soccer or basketball or a period of a hockey game just to have that “perfect” shot for the game. They may take 1,000-2,500 photos in a given window of a game and run one, two, 10 or 20 photos in a gallery online, a couple of pictures in the next publication – if space allows.

Our photographers work to include all the relevant photos from a game for news purposes, but also for the purposes of the fans to see, and have a memory of the game.

In the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica match from last week, out of the 193 photos published in our photo gallery I had 19 photos of attempted headers. Most of them were spot on (by the players) and the looks on their faces and the displacement of the air in the ball is apparent.

As you will see on the right, a “perfect header photo” (just like a perfect slapshot, baseball liner, basketball jumpshot) is right when the ball shows no displacement of air.

But who really wants to see a perfectly shaped ball, anyway?

Go inside to more photos from our photographers

(continue reading…)

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Carleton’s stadium underwater

by on Sep.26, 2010, under basketball, football, MIAC, soccer, volleyball

This was originally published on D3football.com on Sunday, September 26, 2010.

By Ryan Coleman
d3photography.com

Laird Stadium underwater
Laird Stadium stood under feet of water on Saturday evening, casting the location of this upcoming Saturday’s home game against Augsburg into doubt.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

As the sun rose over Carleton’s picturesque campus in Northfield, Minn., Friday morning Laird Stadium was dry. But as the hours progressed, the rising water of the Cannon River spun the tables on the school’s 7,500-seat football stadium.

At 7 a.m. Carleton officials would have told you that they could host a football game, if scheduled to, on Saturday afternoon. But by 9 a.m. an email went out to players on the football team to come down and empty out the locker room. An hour later there was a foot-and-a-half of water on the field, and it was rising fast.

Southern Minnesota was hit with a monsoon of storms, many local meteorologists likened its arrival as to many winter storms that often hit the state. But this occurred during the warm month of September, not December or January as they often do. If this storm had struck the region in the winter months it could have packed a crippling amount of snow ranging from 30 inches in the Twin Cities to over 100 inches in Amboy, Minn., midway between Mankato (home to Bethany Lutheran and nearby to Gustavus Adolphus and Martin Luther) and Interstate 90.

But the 73-year old Laird Stadium isn’t the only victim to Carleton athletics. Next to the field is the West Gym, home to basketball, volleyball and swimming. By 4 p.m. Saturday the basement had “about 3.5 feet of water,” said Sports Information Director Dave Pape. “I didn’t have hip-waders on, so that’s just an estimate.”

The sump pumps were shut off as they just were unable to keep up with the amount of water coming in through the foundation. The basement, a full level below the gymnasium floor, has been used primarily for storage of equipment and is the home to the filter and pumps for the natatorium. Pape added that there may have been some loss of historical archives, but he was not sure to what extent.

Student-athletes had been helping take as much out as they could that was not already lost to the rising water. He is confident that the water will not rise high enough to reach the gymnasium floor — a situation, should it occur, could very well be devastating to Carleton hosting any more home events in volleyball or basketball.

And past the gym, a little further upstream is the football and men’s soccer practice field. In the middle of that field sits a regulation soccer goal, with all but the last foot of the eight-foot tall frame underwater. (Soccer is played on a field across campus, on higher ground.)

Carleton's practice field
Carleton’s practice field is on the other side of the gymnasium, on lower ground.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Three bridges that directly connect the campus to the western part of town, where fellow Division III school St. Olaf sits on much higher ground, have been closed by the National Guard. The city has declared a state of emergency and Division Street (which runs along the side of Laird Stadium, the West Gym and the practice field) is open only to campus traffic and is closed beyond the library parking lot. Laird also has 22 dorm rooms nearby, with 30 students living in them. They have been evacuated, although their living arrangements were unclear.

Former athletic director Leon Lunder, a Northfield resident since 1950, told Pape that he has never seen water reach Laird Stadium before.

But what does this leave Carleton with? They have their homecoming scheduled next Saturday against Augsburg at 1 p.m.. School president Steven Poskanzer is insistent that Laird Stadium will host homecoming on time but athletic director Gerald Young told WCCO-TV on Saturday that may not happen.

“I think it’s a long shot. That’s why at the beginning of the week we are going to look at what some of the other options of what we have to do. We would love to get out here for homecoming, but I think it’s a real long shot.”

They have a few options, although nothing is confirmed and may not be for many days: They could play at Laird, except it will take days for the water to subside, the field to dry and the facility to be approved for use after it has dried out. St. Olaf is hosting Bethel and does not have lights.

Northfield High School’s field has lights and, according to an email from Carleton, does not have any events scheduled for it on Sept. 25.

Contributing: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

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Week 4 – September 22 – September 28

by on Sep.21, 2010, under Are you kidding me??, conferences, football, IIAC, Liberty League, MIAA, NWC, SCIAC, soccer, sports, WIAC

We’ve got a fairly well packed week ahead of us.

But before I go there, you should go here and vote for Thiel: http://www.post-gazette.com/polls/default.asp?pollID=3829. Thiel vs. a High School football team – who will win? I’m going to file this under the “Are you kidding me??” header.

Football
No. 4 St. Thomas vs. Concordia-Moorhead (Scott Pierson) [gallery]
No. 9 Coe vs. No. 7 Central (Ryan Coleman) [gallery]
Augsburg vs. No. 19 St. John’s (Caleb Williams and Tim Ward) [gallery]
(RV) Wisc.-Stevens Point vs. Albion (Larry Radloff) [gallery] – the first Pink football game in college football history
Union vs. Rochester (Matt Milless) [gallery]

Soccer
St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica (Ryan Coleman) [gallery] – Sept 21
Hamline vs. Cornell (Ia.) (Ryan Coleman) [gallery] – Sept 21
Methodist vs. Shenandoah (Bruce Lee) [gallery] – Sept 25

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And we’re off!

by on Sep.02, 2010, under football, IIAC, Liberty League, MIAC, MWC, NAC, OAC, Skyline, soccer, sports, UMAC, volleyball, WIAC

Jay Priest collected 47 yards on three receptions for No. 11 Ohio Northern in the kickoff game of the 2010 Div III football season. Photo by David Rich, d3photography.com

Our first event is in the books: Ohio Northern defeated Wisc.-River Falls 35-21 to kickoff the 2010 NCAA Division III football season. David Rich was there, submitted a few photos with more to come later on tonight. Check back here over the weekend for select photos from each of the games we are covering.

Events on the schedule:

Football

No. 1 Wisc.-Whitewater hosts Adrian (Mich.) [gallery]
St. Norbert hosts No. 5 St. Thomas (Minn.) [gallery]
No. 7 Central hosts Wisc.-Oshkosh [gallery]
No. 8 Wittenberg vs. Olivet [gallery]
No. 9 St. John’s (Minn.) hosts Northwestern (Minn.)
No. 11 Ohio Northern hosts Wisc.-River Falls [gallery]
Wartburg hosts No. 17 Monmouth (Ill.) [gallery]
Augsburg hosts Concordia (Wisc.) [gallery]
Crown hosts Carleton [gallery]

Soccer

Mens – Macalester hosts Northwestern (Minn.) [gallery]
Mens – Hamline hosts Wartburg [gallery]
Mens – Macalester hosts Loras [gallery]
Womens – Macalester hosts Loras [gallery]

Volleyball

Union hosts Sage [gallery]
Skidmore vs. Sage [gallery]

A reminder: We have digital downloads for sale – email that photo without the watermarks, take it to your own lab and print it for less and do it in less time. And we are offering 50% off all shipping (that’s right, all shipping) in the month of September. But on October 1st it will be full rate again.

Photo gallery inside. (continue reading…)

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