Top-ranked teams struggle in Week 2
Going into the fall college season, the attention was mostly on powerhouse programs who finished the 2012 season strong. On nearly every preseason poll, Indiana or Maryland were No. 1 or No. 2 and schools like UCLA and Georgetown weren’t far behind.
All four schools demonstrated just how futile those polls are in predicting outcomes of games over the weekend while making a case for how parity isn’t just a feature of American soccer at the highest level.
Maryland (1-2-1) started the weekend on a high after managing only a draw and a loss on a California trip, scoring three unanswered goals to top archrivals Duke (1-1-1) in front of a record crowd of 8,379 at Ludwig Field, but couldn’t hold onto a two goal lead with 15 minutes remaining against VCU two nights later for their second loss of the season.
Indiana (1-3-0), favorites by many to repeat their College Cup-winning run a year ago, found themselves on the wrong side of an overtime stunner for the second weekend in a row when UAB scored on a penalty kick with 46 seconds left in regulation and buried a rebound with 17 seconds left in the first overtime period to the delight of a record 3,205 fans in Alabama. UAB (3-0-0) came into the weekend flying high with nine goals in their first two games and are the top scoring offense in Division 1 in the early going. Two days later, Indiana lost in overtime 5-4 to West Virginia in a wild one that saw the Hoosiers battle back from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits to send it to overtime at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Sunday.
UCLA (1-1-1) had the weekend off after being embarrassed in their home opener by Cal Poly (2-2-0) by a 3-0 and Georgetown (2-2-0) had the unenviable task of taking on a poised New Mexico (2-0-1) team that came into Shaw Field on Sunday and stole a 1-0 victory in double overtime. Akron (3-1-0) also slipped up for the first time with a 2-1 overtime loss to St. John’s on Friday night and Louisville (2-1-0) dropped their first game to Butler at home on Saturday evening.
Top-ranked North Carolina (2-0-1) appeared to be heading to another victory on Sunday in South Bend before Irish forward Leon Brown delivered an equalizer in Notre Dame’s first ACC match of the season in what was the first goal conceded by the Tar Heel defense. Both teams traded a host of chances in a lively game that deserved to end in a draw, the second of the season for Notre Dame (1-0-2).
As individual performances go, UMBC senior forward Peter Caringi III continued to command attention with two more braces in wins over Central Connecticut State and St. Francis N.Y. Caringi has an incredible tally of eight goals through four games and the Retrievers are a perfect 4-0-0. Temple forward Jared Martinelli single-handedly dispatched of Wofford in a Friday afternoon game in Ambler, scoring all three goals in the game for the undefeated Owls.
Wisconsin midfielder Tomislav Zadro was at the center of one of the most exhilarating finishes in week two. With the PA announcer counting down the final 10 seconds of the game, Zadro cooly delivered the ball into the back of the net to send the Badgers to overtime, where he assisted Jacob Brindle’s game-winning goal to defeat DePaul. Check out the call HERE.
Tulsa forward Christian Mata showed why he’s on the Hermann Trophy watchlist with a goal and assist in a 4-1 win over Ohio State and another goal against SIUE in a 2-0 win en route to being named MVP of the Golden Hurricane Classic.
After struggling against Milwaukee area teams in the first week, Marquette (2-1-1) got their season back on track with 3-0 and 4-1 victories over Bowling Green and Drake in part thanks to the outstanding play of sophomore defender Axel Sjoberg.