With less than a month left in the soccer season, the races at the top and bottom of the table in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference are getting hot and a photo finish is eminent.
There are only three points separating the top four teams. There is also only a three-point difference between the fifth place and last place teams.
At the top, the current leader is Northwestern Ohio, riding a seven game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 31-3 in those games. The dominating play has landed the Racers in the 19 spot of the NAIA top 25 rankings.
Northwestern Ohio is alone atop the table because of perhaps the most surprising outcome in the WHAC this season.
Less than a day after being named the number one team in the NAIA top 25, Davenport was upset 1-0 by cross-town rival Aquinas.
Davenport was riding high on a six game win streak. Midfielder, Dzenan Catic was named WHAC offensive player of the week for the fourth time this season after scoring a school record five goals in a 6-0 win over Indiana Tech.
But despite outshooting Aquinas 20-8, nine saves kept the Panthers off the scoreboard for the first time all season. The loss makes the Oct. 29 contest between Davenport and Northwestern Ohio a possible regular season championship game.
The upset also makes the race to the finish interesting with Marygrove and Madonna giving chase.
Marygrove bounced back from a loss to Davenport with three straight wins. With games left against Madonna and Northwestern Ohio, the Mustangs still have a realistic shot at winning the regular season championship.
Madonna is going to need some things to fall into place, but there is still a possibility of the Crusaders stealing the season. Two conference losses have made Madonna a longshot, but with games left against Davenport and Marygrove, there could be a shakeup in the standings.
Two time defensive player of the week, Goalkeeper, Marcel Shmid has seven shutouts so far this season and has kept his team in the race.
For the rest of the conference it’s time to start jockeying for postseason position.
With the top eight teams making the WHAC tournament, every team is still alive. Even the bottom two teams UM-Dearborn and Sienna Heights have hope, each picking up a first win on the season this month.
UM-Dearborn won 2-1 against Indiana Tech, and Sienna Heights beat Lawrence Tech 1-0. Both teams are just two points out of tournament position.
For the rest of the cluster, the final games will be crucial. One game could be the difference between competing in the WHAC tournament and finishing in last place.