Weekend College Games: Division III Season Opener

by Paige Powell, USA Field Hockey’s College Content Intern

USA Field Hockey's weekly feature of highlighting some of the top college games in Division I, II and III is back for the 2022 season. This week we are highlighting the start of the Division II and III seasons, lastly Division III.

DIII: No. 7 Babson vs. No. 9 Kean | 4:00 p.m. ET | Live Stats

No. 7 Babson and No. 9 Kean face off for the first time this Thursday in a neutral-site game at Quinnipiac University.

The Beavers, with barely a blemish on their record last season, went 21-2 and racked up 100 goals in their 23 games. After winning the New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), they handily defeated Messiah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 6-1. 


The Cougars also had a dominant season in 2021, going 19-3 but falling to Rowan in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Final. Trinity downed Kean in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 2-0, then did the same to Babson in the quarterfinals.

DIII: No. 17 SUNY New Paltz vs. Ramapo | 4:00 p.m. ET | New Paltz Portal

No. 17 SUNY New Paltz hosts Ramapo in their season opener on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

New Paltz was picked first in the State University New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Preseason Poll after winning the conference trophy for the sixth time in the past ten seasons. 

The last time this pair met was in 2013, when New Paltz cruised past Ramapo, 11-1, and broke their team record for largest margin of victory (10). 

The Roadrunners have come a long way since then, notching their first winning record this past season since 2011(15-7) in a historic season. Not only was this their best record in program history, but Ramapo also made their first appearance in the NJAC postseason tournament and won their first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship. Ramapo was selected as the “dark horse” pick in the NJAC Preseason Poll this year.

The Warriors and Wildcats meet again in their 2022 season opener on Thursday.

Last fall, Johnson and WaLes (JWC) clinched their first ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Title in program history by defeating the reigning champions, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. The Wildcats finished out their season 17-4 overall and were voted as favorites to repeat in this year’s preseason poll.


The Warriors, meanwhile, were tabbed second in the Little East Conference (LEC) Preseason Poll after their 14-6 season which included a conference trophy. Their victory earned them a spot in the NCAA Tournament, where their season was ended by Bowdoin in a 9-0 defeat.


When the pair competed last season, JWU stepped away with a 5-2 victory over the Warriors. This was the first win for the Wildcats out of four total meetings.


DIII: No. 13 Ursinus vs. No. 3 Rowan | 7:00 p.m. ET | CC Digital Network

No. 13 Ursinus opens their season by hosting No. 3 Rowan on Thursday evening.

Despite being downed in the Centennial Conference Semifinals last season, the Bears were handed a bid to the NCAA Tournament after a 13-6 season. In a midseason hot streak, Ursinus defeated a trio of top-10 teams in a row: No. 6 TCNJ, No. 8 Franklin & Marshall and No. 5 Messiah.


Rowan has been gaining momentum recently, with three straight postseason tournament appearances. Most recently, the Profs blazed their way to the NCAA Semifinals where they were defeated by Middlebury, 4-1. The loss saw their record end at 18-3, with the only other losses being to No. 3 Johns Hopkins and Haverford.

Rowan has steadily been improving their record against Ursinus – winning the past three matchups – while the Bears still hold twice as many wins. The history between these two opponents is long, with their first recorded contest in 1982.

Two Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) rivals face off as Wilson hosts Sweet Briar on Thursday night

Wilson is coming off of a historic season, going undefeated in the regular season for the first time in program history and winning the CSAC Championship. The Phoenix' perfect streak ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against SUNY New Paltz. 


Sweet Briar also made progress in the 2021 season, seeing as it was the Vixens’ winningest season since 2000 (13-8). 

The Phoenix and Vixens met last in the CSAC Semifinals, where Wilson was able to extend their eight-game win streak with a narrow 1-0 victory.

DIII: Rhodes vs. Kenyon | 7:00 p.m. ET | Live Lynx Network

Rhodes battles Kenyon this Friday at a neutral site in Springfield, Ohio. The two last met in 2019, when the Ladies defeated the Lynx, 2-0. 

Kenyon was picked to finish third in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Preseason Poll behind Denison and Ohio Wesleyan, who were tied for first. Despite winning both matchups in the 2021 regular season, the Ladies were bested by Ohio Wesleyan in the NCAC Semifinals by a score of 1-0. Kenyon finished the season 13-5.

Despite a rocky 9-6 season last fall, the Lynx were able to register a conference championship, beating Centre in overtime. In the Southern Atlantic Association (SAA) Preseason Poll, Rhodes and Centre were tied for the first place spot.


DIII: No. 8 Messiah vs. No. 2 Johns Hopkins | 1:00 p.m. ET | MACTV

After opening their season with Washington and Lee on Thursday, No. 2 Johns Hopkins will take on another high-level opponent when the Blue Jays clash with No. 8 Messiah on Saturday.

In their 2021 campaign, the Blue Jays were on a 22-game win streak until they finally fell to Middlebury in the NCAA Title match. After that dominating performance, Hopkins was unanimously voted first in the Centennial Conference Preseason Poll. 

The Falcons have also been strong recently, making an appearance in the NCAA Championship game as a runner-up in 2017 and winning in 2016. Last season they were 17-3 with a dominating 8-0 record in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Commonwealth.

The Blue Jays and Falcons have clashed three times, most recently in 2019, and with Hopkins winning each time.

DIII: No. 19 Vassar vs. Stevens | 11:00 a.m. ET | Boxcast

No. 19 Vassar will host Stevens as part of the Betty Richey Tournament this weekend. The Brewers have won the tournament for seven straight seasons.

The Liberty League champions of 2021, Vassar’s season came to a sudden stop when the Brewers fell to Endicott in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Stevens saw a similar finish to their season - falling to Messiah, 3-0 - in the first round after taking the MAC Freedom Title.

The pair has faced off twice before, in 2021 and 2019, with the Brewers winning against the Ducks both times.

Division II rankings based off of the Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll Week 1 (posted August 30, 2022)

Photo Credit: New Paltz Athletics/Russell Stack, Rowan Athletics/Sideline Photos, Rhodes Athletics, Vassar Athletics/Carlisle Stockton