Dayton’s unbeaten run ends, Furman streak continues in week 8
After winning 10 straight to open the season and adding a pair of draws to open Atlantic 10 play, the Dayton Flyers had a chance to prove that their name alongside California, Notre Dame and Washington as the only remaining unbeaten teams wasn’t a fluke with a visit to Robert Hermann Stadium in St. Louis on Saturday. An 88th minute consolation goal was all they could muster though as the Billikens overwhelmed the Flyers with a 3-1 defeat that shrunk the list of remaining unbeatens to three.
Captain Steve Birnbaum made sure Cal stayed put at the top of the coaches poll when he fired home on a rebound off a missed penalty for his 8th goal of the season to beat Stanford while the college soccer world continues to look first to the west to Berkeley for a College Cup favorite. A wild draw in Seattle on Monday night that saw Washington stay unbeaten with two own goals by UCLA kept the Dawgs a close second in the Pac-12 race. The 2-2 draw capped an interesting run of games for Washington that saw them beat Oregon State on a Cristian Roldan headed goal assisted by a Michael Harris flip throw and then outduel San Diego State 5-3.
Notre Dame stayed unbeaten despite a disappointing draw at home to Northwestern last Tuesday thanks to a nifty run by Northwestern’s Cole Missimo, who weaved his way through three Irish defenders and delivered a bullet in between two other defenders on the line of an open goal. The Irish were down a goal to NC State on Saturday evening in Raleigh but rallied in the second half to extend their unbeaten record in league play to 5-0-3 and overall record to 8-0-5.
Furman had a week to remember with wins over in-state rival Clemson and Southern Conference rival Elon to extend their overall record to 10-1-2. The Paladins haven’t lost since the second game of the season and are even with Missouri State and Army for fewest goals conceded on the year (6). Coastal Carolina continued their good form with a pair of wins to extend their win streak to 10 and put the Chanticleers in the national picture with an 11-2 mark.
Penn State continued their dominance in Big 10 play with a 2-1 overtime win over Michigan State on Sunday. The Nittany Lions, unranked going into the year, are 4-0 in Big 10 play and 9-3-1 overall. Louisville appeared to be heading to a similar result in a key home game against conference rival Connecticut on Saturday night, but freshman Cyle Larin ensured the Huskies a share of the spoils with an 81st minute equalizer. The Cardinals remain in control in the American Athletic at 4-0-1 and extended their overall record to 9-2-2 with a 3-0 win over reeling Indiana earlier in the week. The hole the defending champs have dug got even deeper with a 1-0 loss to VCU that put the Hoosiers at 4-9-1 on the year.
Wake Forest kept pace with Notre Dame at the top of the ACC standings with a thrilling 4-3 over Maryland that overshadowed a 1-0 road loss to Akron earlier in the week. North Carolina picked up their second straight conference win – after starting the season 0-1-5 – with a 1-0 win at home over Syracuse on Friday while Virginia’s draw with Virginia Tech was the fifth of the season for the Hokies and the third straight for their in-state rivals.
Marquette stayed perfect in Big East play with a 1-0 win over Providence. The Golden Eagles are 5-0 in conference and 9-3-1 overall. Creighton followed their road loss to Marquette with a stunning defeat at home to Villanova. The win, delivered by a golden goal from senior Dylan Renna with 32 seconds left in the first overtime, was the third straight shutout win for a team that opened the season with a 7-2 beat down by New Mexico and has steadily improved ever since.
UAB got back on track in Conference USA with wins over Florida Atlantic and Tulsa while La Salle is surprisingly at the top of the standings in Atlantic 10 play with a 3-0 mark after a 2-0 win over cross-town rival St. Joseph’s.
In smaller conference play, UMBC continued to show that they are more than just a one-man team as Pete Caringi III failed to score for another week but the Retrievers pushed their record to 12-1-1 with a pair of conference wins over Vermont and New Hampshire. Junior midfielder Madamou Kansaye stepped up to deliver the assist with 12 seconds remaining for the win over Vermont and scoring the lone goal in the win over New Hampshire. Army and Navy both improved to 5-0 in Patriot League play, making the Army Navy Cup at PPL Park more intriguing by the week.
As individual performances go, Steve Neumann had a brace and added an assist to help Georgetown top Butler 4-1. The senior now has 8 goals and 4 assists on the season. Portland freshman forward Eddie Sanchez had a hat trick in the Pilots’ win over Santa Clara and Wake Forest midfielder Luca Gimenez scored two goals and assisted on a third goal in Wake Forest’s win over Maryland to help put the game out of reach even for defending player of the year Patrick Mullins. Mullins continued his streak of not only getting to the penalty stripe but not missing. Mullins is 8 for 8 on PKs this season and is tied with Gardner-Webb’s Denzel Clarke and Seattle’s Miguel Gonzalez for the most goals in Division 1 with 12.
Washington’s Cristian Roldan, the Gatorade Player of the Year last year in high school, had an impressive week scoring the aforementioned game-winner to beat Oregon State (you can see highlights of the flip-throw headed goal here) and factoring into four of the five goals scored against San Diego State with a brace and two assists.
Cincinnati’s Ben Keane had an impressive last-ditch winner off a corner with under 10 seconds left to play and the pink jersey was a perfect fit for Furman’s Bobby Edet, who looked every bit the part of the star he’s been this year scoring the winner against Elon.
Games to keep an eye on in week 9 include a Wisconsin vs Milwaukee and Michigan State vs Akron match-up tonight, UC Santa Barbara vs Cal Poly and Wake Forest vs Duke (NSCAA TV) on Friday, Notre Dame vs Virginia (Watch ND), Georgetown vs Marquette and Northwestern vs Penn State on Saturday and the Washington and UCLA rematch on Sunday (Pac 12 Network).
For more updates on college soccer, follow me on Twitter at @mattralphrc.