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Reverse Survivor: A Champion is Crowned

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Manhattan beat NJIT in Riverdale leaving the VMI as the only eligible winless team in Division I.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2015 wasn't the earliest that a Reverse Survivor champion was crowned (that honor goes to Mount St. Mary's last season -- the Mountaineers earned the title on March 12, 2014 after Hobart beat Canisius in overtime), but the current season did not even meander into its third month before Reverse Survivor was jettisoned into the atmosphere. On the back of a 7-5 victory against NJIT, Manhattan left VMI as the only winless Division I team eligible for the belt.1

  • NJIT 5, Manhattan 7: A five-goal first period from the Jaspers -- an output that matched or exceeded full-game offensive production for Manhattan in six of the team's first 10 games of the year -- portended good things for the Jaspers against the Highlanders. Manhattan got markers from four players in its opening offering with with Andrew Gresham pitching in two goals and an assist in the Jaspers' decisive quarter. NJIT made a push from the tail-end of the first period -- Tyler Baggett bucketed a tally with one second left in the initial quarter -- through the midway point of the second 15 minutes of action, depositing three straight goals to draw within 5-4 of Manhattan, but the Jaspers would pivot from the rush and bang home the game's next two goals while holding the Highlanders scoreless for a 33:58 stretch to lock up the win. The victory snaps an 11-game losing streak that reached back to 2014 for Manhattan and officially marks the Jaspers as a concern worthy of attending a cocktail party with fancy cucumber sandwiches.
Attention now turns exclusively to VMI. The Keydets are in the midst of a brutal season -- VMI has been outscored 46-153 against a schedule that LaxPower ranks 32nd nationally -- but that does not erode the hope that VMI can win a game -- any game against real humans! -- at some point in 2015. No team deserves a winless campaign, and pulling for the Keydets to drop someone at some point its just common decency. For VMI to sit on the featured float at a victory parade, though, the Keydets are either going to have to yank an upset or wait until its season finale to collar a win.

VMI: 2015 REMAINING SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT OPPONENT RECORD MASSEY WIN %* MASSEY MEAN SCORE*
April 4 Mercer 3-5 24% 8.57-11.84
April 11 at Furman 2-7 11% 6.11-11.78
April 17 High Point 5-5 5% 6.37-14.10
April 19 Canisius 2-7 21% 7.42-11.12
April 25 v. Massachusetts-Lowell 1-8 57% 10.41-9.59

* Based on games played through March 29, 2015.

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1 NJIT is winless on the season with an 0-9 record, but new programs aren't eligible for Reverse Survivor. To include new programs in this competition misses the point as they're still learning how to get on and off the bus.