MINNEAPOLIS — St. Norbert and Elmira could easily be confused for D-III’s version of yin and yang.
The Green Knights (12 first place votes) held the top spot for six weeks before the then-undefeated Soaring Falcons (eight) swooped in to perch atop the rankings. After a split with new-No. 14 Neumann — and a win and tie by St. Norbert — their positions are now, again, reversed. Or back to how it was for more than a month.
With teams three through six each losing at least one game, Plattsburgh — winning 5-2 over Buffalo State before falling to Fredonia, 3-1 — stayed at No. 3. The fourth spot, though, is where things began to change. Norwich, now winners of eight in a row, vaulted up three spots to seventh while St. Thomas also capitalized on teams — Manhattanville, Middlebury, UW-River Falls — losing ahead of them to also move up three spots.
A blast of arctic air froze two of the hottest teams, Manhattanville and Middlebury, who only managed a tie and a win between them in four contests against Utica, Wesleyan, and Trinity. They fell to sixth and seventh, respectively. Up to eighth came Hobart. Now 15-5-0 on the season, the Statesmen have jumped ahead of UW-River Falls who suffered uncharacteristic back-to-back losses to in-state school rivals Stevens Point and Eau Claire.
Winners of 12 straight, Adrian entered the top 10 for the first time this season. Falling to No. 11 was Bowdoin who bested Salem State 7-3 before bowing to then-No. 15 Southern Maine, 4-2. University of Wisconsin-Stout remained at No. 12 after downing UW-Eau Claire 4-1 and skating to a draw with UW-Stevens Point.
Defending national champion Oswego rose a spot to No. 13 while Neumann catapulted into the top 15 by virtue of their split with then-top ranked Elmira. Babson, dropping two spots to No. 15, rounded out this week’s poll of the nation’s best D-III teams, tallying 12 more votes than UW-Stevens Point.
Southern Maine dropped out of the poll.