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Messiah seeks 10th national championship
December 6th, 2013 5:35AM

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[NCAA DIVISION III MEN: Preview] Defending champion Messiah (20-1-1) goes up against unranked Williams (15-6-0) Friday in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Tournament in San Antonio, Texas. Rutgers-Camden (22-0-2) and Loras (19-1-3) play in the other semifinal. All but Rutgers-Camden were in last year's final four.

MESSIAH. Messiah has won nine NCAA Division III championships since 2000, including four of the last five. It's led by Joshua Wood (21 goals, 5 assists), Jeremy Payne (15 goals, 9 assists), and Jack Thompson (5 goals, 17 assists). But the Falcons can score for anywhere. The last seven goals for Messiah have been scored by seven different players, and 10 different players have already scored in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
 
WILLIAMS. Williams, national champion in 1995, has gotten hot in the postseason. Five different players have totaled double-digit points for the Ephs, with Matt Muralles (7 goals, 3 assists) and Mohammad Rashid (5 goals, 5 assists) leading the way.

LORAS. The Duhawks are back this year after winning the IIAC championship. Tom Fluegel has almost doubled his point total from last year to lead the Duhawks this year in goals (8) and points (20). Other scoring threats include Tim van den Bergh and Erik Berkowitz with six goals apiece, Richard Lenke with five and Johnny Rummelhart with four. Kevin Cavers has only two goals but was the Duhawks' leading scorer last season.

RUTGERS-CAMDEN. Rutgers, the only undefeated team remaining in Division III, has the best record in program history. The Raptors are led by Mike Ryan with 21 goals and four assists. His nine game-winners also lead the team. Mitch Grotti, Connor Huff and Keegan Balle have combined for 22 goals.


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