UCLA and Notre Dame post big wins, Tyler Riggs scores four in week 10

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Kentucky’s Tyler Riggs

A week after suffering their first loss of the season and losing their position as the top team in the coaches poll, California suffered another setback with a 2-1 loss to UCLA that saw the Bears lose their grip on the top spot in the Pac-12 conference standings.

UCLA avenged their earlier home loss to California with a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon thanks to junior midfielder Leo Stolz pretty strike into the top corner of the net in the 70th minute. The win was the Bruins second of the week after a 2-1 victory at Stanford two nights earlier and extended their string of unbeaten conference games to six.

Unlike Cal, Notre Dame  was able to bounce back from their first loss of the season with arguably their biggest win of the campaign so far. With a 3-1 win, the Irish handed conference rival Wake Forest their first ACC loss of the season in front of a crowd of nearly 4,000 in Winston Salem on Friday night. Hermann Trophy candidate Harrison Shipp set up the game-winner with his 7th assist of the season (to go along with six goals) in the 41st minute. The win put the Irish even at the top of the ACC with Maryland, which has an identical 6-1-3 record going into the final week of ACC play.

In other action from week 10, Louisville clinched the first ever American Athletic regular season title with a 0-0 draw with South Florida on Sunday. The hard fought point for the Cardinals came after a wild rain-soaked Halloween-night non-conference clash Louisville won 3-2 in overtime despite a brace by the Billikens Robbie Kristo, one of a pair of two-goal efforts he had in the week.

Georgetown’s place at the top of the Big East standings took a hit with 1-0 away loss to St. John’s on Saturday that put Marquette in position to secure the first ever regular season title of the new Big East. C. Nortey’s fifth game-winning goal of the season (8th overall and a brilliant one at that) gave Marquette a 2-1 win over Seton Hall and put them in the top spot in the Big East with a 6-1-1 record but Xavier is right behind them at 6-2.

New Mexico took over the top spot in Conference USA with a 3-0 win away to Old Dominion, three nights after outlasting UAB 4-3 in a game they trailed 2-0 on a 90th minute penalty kick by Michael Calderone. The 4-3 scoreline was unkind to UAB again on Sunday when they dropped their second game to South Carolina, setting up a two-team race for the regular season title going into the final week between the Lobos and Old Dominion.

UC Santa Barbara extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 1-1 draw with UC Davis to run their record to 11-4-2. UMBC knocked off UMass Lowell 2-0 to run their Division 1-best record to 13-1-2. A couple of teams had 11-game unbeaten streaks snapped this week as Virginia’s ended with a 1-0 loss to North Carolina and Coastal Carolina losing twice after winning 11 straight to Elon and UNC Asheville. Penn State had a letdown a week after clinching the regular season Big Ten title with a 1-0 loss to Ohio State.

As individual accolades go, senior Tyler Riggs drew a lot of attention for his four-goal week that included a hat trick for Kentucky on senior day in a 6-1 trouncing of Florida Atlantic and a game-winning goal to beat Marshall mid-week. Gardner-Webb’s Denzel Clarke extended his lead on top of the Division 1 scoring table with his 16th goal of the season in a loss while Patrick Mullins had a game-winner to equal the second highest goal total with 13.

Mullins, Maryland’s defending player of the year, is even with Cal Poly’s Mackenzie Pridham, Robert Morris’ Neco Brett and Delaware freshman Guillermo Delgado. Louisville’s Ricardo Velazco had a big game in the win over St. Louis with a penalty kick and two assists, including a setup on Jimmy Ockford’s overtime game-winner. Iona College’s senior midfielder Franklin Castellanos also had a noteworthy week with three goals to give him 8 goals and 12 assists on the year and Akron’s Robbie Derschang had a brace in the Zips 2-1 win over Michigan in Ann Arbor to run their record to 12-3-1.

Looking ahead to the final week of the regular season, some matches to look out for include Penn State taking on Akron on Wednesday, the Army-Navy game at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on Friday, Michigan vs. Michigan State and UC Santa Barbara vs. Cal Poly on Saturday and Cal vs. Washington on Sunday.

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