Some contests went as expected but as usual there were several upsets, unexpected ties, and the margin of victory was different than anticipated in some games during the first day of play as the 2016 College Soccer season got underway across the country on Friday.
Vermont 3 – Cal State Fullerton 2 (0T) – Senior forward Bernard Yeboah scored twice and senior forward Brian Wright added he game-winner with 1:25 remaining in double overtime to give the Catamounts a solid season opening win over visiting Cal State Fullerton. Ronaldo Pineda and Alex Heilmann netted the goals for Cal State Fullerton.
Niagara 4 – Robert Morris 0 – Bill Boyle begins his tenure as the head coach at Niagara with a win as the Purple Eagles take to the road and get the best of Robert Morris. Robert Morris had to play a man down due to the receipt of a red card early in the contest which opened the door for Niagara to score three goals during a nine minute span in the first half of play to put this one on ice. Niagara added another goal in the second stanza to end the scoring. Freshman midfielder Mackenzie Roach scored twice and freshman forward Adsalom Solorio Villalpando, and senior defender Shiquan Lowe each contritubed a single goal.
Siena College 4 – LIU Brooklyn 1 – Siena pulls off the upset and records a nice season opening win to halt LIU Brooklyn's thirteen match unbeaten streak. Milorad Sorbot converted a header to give Siena the early lead. Simen Hestnes then scored for the Blackbirds to tie it at 1-1. However it was all Siena from that point with junior forward Alexander Tejara converting two penalty kicks and Matt Crisafulli contributing the final score with an assist from Tejara.
UMass Lowell 2 – Northeastern 1 – Redshirt junior midfielder Daniel Arvidsson from Sao Paulo, Brazil converted a header from close range aftter receiving a cross from Christian McKenna in the 31st minute of play to give Northeastern the early lead. UMass Lowell responded a little over a minute later compliments of a goal from senior defender Ben Waithe to knot the score at 1-1. Senior Wuilito Fernandes netted the game-winner for the River Hawks in the 69th minute of play from fifteen yards out with redshirt freshman Ivan Abramovic contributing the helper. UMass Lowell will seek to extend their win streak when they travel to face Monmouth on Sunday
UC Santa Barbara 2 – Oakland 1 – UCSB opened the scoring in the fifth minute of play when freshman midfielder Daniel Amo scored at close range after receiving a cross from fellow freshman defender Mateo Restrepo Mejia. Junior forward Austin Ricci came up big for Oakland early in the second stanza when he took advantage of a turnover in the midfield to drive a shot into the net from about eighteen yards out to tie it at 1-1. Senior midfielder Josue Espana gave the Gauchos the edge they needed to prevail when he alertly sent a rebound of his own shot into the back of the net in the 76th minute of play. UCSB then played solid team defense to secure the win. Alex Serwatka had a solid evening in goal for the Gauchos. UCSB will tangle with tournament host Ohio State on Sunday. Oakland with face Virginia Tech.
Saint Louis 1 – Wake Forest 0 – In one of the biggest opening day surprises, the Billikens upset Wake Forest at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem. Sophomore forward Anthony Brown netted the lone goal of the evening in the 14th minute of the game and goalkeeper Sascha Otte had eleven sames in goal to record the shutout for Saint Louis. Wake Forest pressed the attack and had a 28 to 5 advantage in shots but was unable to find the back of the net. Bobby Muuss stated, "Their plan was to sit back and try to counter, and give them credit, they executed their game plan."
Clemson 2 – South Carolina 1 – A crowd of 6,892 fans was on hand at Stone Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina to witness this one. Austin Burnikel scored from five yards out in the 14th minute of the Contest to give Clemson a 1-0 lead. South Carolina forward Kevin Walker evened the contest a little over a minute later when he converted a header from five yards out after receiving a pass from sophomore defender Torgeir Nyboe. Senior defender Aaron Jones netted what proved to be the game-winner for Clemson in the 27th minute when he scored out of free kick from twenty-five yards out. Ximo Miralles had four saves in goal for the Tigers. Maro Velez had a single save between the pipes for the Gamecocks. The teams went into intermission with Clemsom up 2-1. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second half. South Carolina had a 13 to 6 advantage in shots and an 8 to 5 advantage in corners but Clemson prevailed in the one statistic that counts the most.
Kentucky 4 – Marquette 0 – This one was close until the closing minutes of the first half when Kentucky midfielder Napo Matsoso took charge. Matsoso's first goal occurred after a nice move off the dribble to create space followed by a blast into the left-side netting from twenty yards out. He made it 2-0 Kentucky af few minutes later when he controlled a failed Marquette corner kick and quickly pushed forward to create the room and angle he needed to drive a shot into the right side of the goal from twenty-two yards out to send Kentucky into intermission with a 2-0 advantage. Senior defender Alex Bumpus scored out of a free kick in the 55th minute and sophomore Xahne Reid found the back of the net from ten yards out in the closing minute of he contest to make the final 4-0. Stuart Ford had two saves in goal to record the shutout for the Wildcats.
Wright State 3 – Portland 1 – Freshman Alec Philippe slotted a shot into the lower left corner from fifteen yards out with a double assist from teammates senior forwards Peguy Ngatcha and Eric Lynch to open the scoring in the 30th minute of the match. Senior midfielder Sam DeRoy sent a drive into the top left of the frame out of a free kick from twenty-four yards out to make it 2-0 Wright State heading into half time. Portland got on the board when sophomore Jackson Jellah converted a penalty kick in the fifty-sixth minute of play. Ngatcha netted the insurance goal for Wright State after receivng a cross from Lynch to conclude the scoring for the evening and give Wright State a very nice 3-1 opening win.
DePaul 1 – Oregon State 1 (OT) – Senior midfielder Erik Rodriguez gave DePaul the early lead when he scored from around ten yards out ten minutes into the contest after receiving a through ball from junior forward Stijn Van Der Slot. Jordan Jones converted a header for Oregon State out of a set piece put in play by teammate Jame Miralles in the twenty-first minute to conclude the scoring for the evening. Junior Quentin Low had four saves in goal for the evening for DePaul.
Maryland 1 – UCLA 1 (OT) – This marquee season opening clash took place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. UCLA got on the board sixty-five seconds into the contest when junior forward Jason Romero skillfully placed a shot into the far corner from close range after receiving a pass from senior midfielder Brian Iloski to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage. Maryland responded to tie the score a little over three minutes later when senior defender Alex Crognale decisively drove a header into the back of the frame with an assist from redshirt graduate student midfielder Cody Albrecht. It looked like this one was going to be a high scoring affair but that didn't prove to be the case as that concluded the scoring for the evening and the contest ended in a 1-1 draw. Redshirt seniors Cody Niedermeier for Maryland and Juan Cervantes for UCLA had impressive performances between the pipes. Maryland mentor Sasho Cirovski stated, "I think tonight was a fair result." He added, "UCLA is a terific possession team and I loved how our team responded after surrendering that early goal." Bruin head coach Jorge Salcedo stated, "I thought that both teams had a lot of good moments and that both teams were maybe a little unlucky not to finish."
Wisconsin 1 – Santa Clara 0 – This one was a defensive struggle during the first half of play as is often the case in season openers as both teams sought to get their rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. The score remained 0-0 at the halftime break. This one had the look and feel of a contest that was going to be decided by a single goal. Tom Barlow scored what proved to be the difference making goal in the 55th minute of play when he sent a shot into the right side of the goal from inside the six yard box off a give and go with teammate Christopher Mueller. Philipp Schilling had two saves in goal for the Badgers. Dakota Havlick had a three save evening for Santa Clara. It was a very good season opening and momentum building win for Wisconsin.
Cal State Northridge 2 – Tulsa 1 – The fans had not even settled into their seats when junior forward Papi Diouf scored just eight seconds into the contest after receiving a long pass from senior midfielder Juan Fernando Samayoa to give the Matadors a 1-0 lead. Cal State Northridge maintained a 1-0 advantage at intermission. Forward Juan Sanchez scored for Tulsa after receiving a through ball from defender Quinton Duncan in the 60th minute to give Tulsa new life and knot the score at 1-1. Sophomore Nicholas Grinde who hails from Oslo,Norway netted what proved to be the game-winner in the 83rd minute for the Matadors when he took advantage of a turnover and drove a shot into the far post.
Michigan State 2 – SMU 1 – Down go the Mustangs in one of the season opening upsets. Junior forward Mauro Cichero converted a penalty kick for SMU in the second minute of the game and it felt like the SMU attack was going to be up and running for the evening but Michigan State decided otherwise. The contest remained 1-0 at halftime but during the second stanza the Spartans took control beginning with a Giuseppe Barone tap in out of a corner kick in the 61st minute of play to tie it up and give Michigan State new life. Sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski did what all good finishers do when he collected the rebound of his own shot in the 74th minute of play and drove it back into the net from seven yards out to give Michigan State the edge they needed to secure a very good on the road win over a very good SMU team. Mustang second year head coach Kevin Hudson stated, "I think we can recover here. Tactically we'll make some changes. We will reorganize." He added, I don't think we can massively change the group, but I think we'll change the effort."
Cleveland State 3 – Dayton 0 – In another season opening surprise, Cleveland State took it to the Flyers before a home crowd at Krenzier Field. Senior Sergion Manesio got things going for Cleveland State when he converted a penalty kick in the third minute of play after teammate Gabe Pewu was taken down in the box. Highly regarded freshman forward Lawrence Karpeh put the icing on the cake for the Vikings when he scored in the 83rd minute on a goal that was set up by a nice move at speed to push the ball forward and a well played and timed pass from junior midfielder Hesham Hammouda. Cleveland State scored again in the 85th minute of play after sophomore Noah Pio took advantade of a turnover that led to a shot from Pewu that produced a rebound that Karpeh alertly sent back into the goal to give the Vikings a solid 3-0 victory.
North Carolina 3 – Cal Poly 0 – The Tar Heels looked good in their season opener at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill. Junior forward Alan Winn got the Tar Heels on the board in the ninth minute of play after receiving a pass from redshirt senior midfieder Nico Melo. Redshirt senior forward Tucker Hume resumed where he left off last year with a goal in the 38th minute of action off an assist from freshman midfielder Jeremy Kelly. Junior midfielder David October converted a penalty kick in the second half to conclude the scoring for the evening. Redshirt sophomore James Pyle from Charlotte had one save in goal for UNC. Simon Boehme had three saves for a visiting Cal Poly squad that will likely win a lot of games before the season is over. North Carolina will host a counter attacking Saint Louis team on Sunday that upset fellow ACC member Wake Forest in their season opener Friday night.
Pacific 3 – Drake 1 – Another unexpected result. Pacific secures an impressive season opening win over an experienced Drake team. Drake drew first blood in the 20th minute when redshirt senior midfielder Ben LeMay skillfully chipped a shot over the head of Pacific keeper Curtis Goldsmith but Pacific responded with goals from Camden Riley in the 26th minute, Anthony Orendain in the 28th minute, and John Rico-Contreres in the 36th minute from thirty-five yards out to to wrap this one up. Pacific ended the evening with a huge 14 to 2 advantage in shots. The Tigers hope to add to their win total when they travel to face San Jose State on Sunday. This was an excellent start and momentum builder for a Pacific squad that was 1-15-1 overall last year. Drake will seek to regroup and get in the win column when they face CSU Bakersfield on Sunday.
Northern Illinois 1 – SIUE 1 (OT) – Sophomore Max Voss scored in the 17th minute to give Northern Illinois a 1-0 advantage. Voss sent a blast into the upper corner of the goal after receiving a pass from teammate Christian Molina. SIUE tied it up in the second half when senior Austin Ledbetter converted a penalty kick in the 57th minute of the contest after NIU was called for a hand ball in the box. SIUE head coach Mario Sanchez stated, "From the last ten minutes of the first half through the whole second half we finally showed who we were and created good chances."
Bradley 1 – Gonzaga 1 (OT) – Neither team scored in the first half of play. Jakob Granlund scored in the opening minutes of the second half with an assist from Colton Cavey to give Gonaga a 1-0 lead. Junior defender Buseese Lwanga came off the bench to send a header into the back of the frame and net his first ever goal for Bradley after receiving a pass from teammate Jacob Taylor in the 61st minute to knot the score at 1-1. Senior Logan Ketterer had eight saves in goal for Bradley including a save on a penalty kick in the first half of play. Ben Willis had one save in goal for Gonzaga.
Indiana 1 – New Mexico 0 – This one once again proved the old adage that it is not over till its over. Indiana netted the difference maker when midfielder Tanner Thompson converted a penalty kick with a mere thirty ticks remaining in regularion to secure the victory. This one was scoreless for 89 minutes before Thompson's goal. Senior Colin Webb had four saves in goal for the Hoosiers. Jason Beaulieu had a single save between the pipes for the Lobos. Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley stated, "I thought New Mexico was a very excellent and mature team." He added, "Our rhythm and attacking wasn't great today, but I thought we battled and adjusted."
Bowling Green 4 – IUPUI 0 – The Falcons put on an offensive show in the first half of play that featured goals by sophomore mildfielder Vincent Giannini, senior forward Joe Sullivan, and freshman forward Chris Brennan. Sophomore defender Moe Mustafa converted a header in the second half for the Falcons to conclude the scoring to make it a 4-0 evening for coach Eric Nichols' Bowling Green team. Jacob Roth and Robert Miller each contributed two helpers. Anthony Mwembia had four saves in goal for the Falcons to record the shutout.
Butler 0 – Louisville 0 (OT) – This one ended the way it began with a scoreless draw at the conclusion of regulation and two overtime periods. Redshirt junior Eric Dick had ten saves in goal for Butler. Stefan Cleveland had three saves in goal for Louisville. It was a hard fought season opener for both teams.
Albany 2 – Marist 2 (OT) – It was all defense in the first half with neither team able to find the back of the net but both teams got their offense in gear in the second half. Junior forward Alfonso Pinheiro scored in the 48th minute out of a breakaway to give Albany a 1-0 lead but Marist showed a lot of grit with a Kevin Kappock goal off an assit from Simo Lund Jorgensen eleven minutes later to knot the score at 1-1. Defender Lund Jorgensen then drove a rebound into the back of the net out of a corner kick to give Marist a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute. Defender Luke Palmateer came up big for Albany in the 84th minute with a goal off an assist from Pedro Espindola to tie the contest. Mark Rajovic had seven saves in goal for Marist and Danny Vitiello had five saves in goal for Albany in this season opener between in-state rivals.
Boston College 2 – Quinnipiac 0 – Senior midfielder Maximilian Schulze-Geishovel who transferred to BC after three seasons at St.Leo scored in the 39th minute with an assist from fellow senior Isaac Normesinu to make it 1-0 Boston College. Sophomore forward Raphael Salama converted a header to add the insurance goal in the 50th minute out of a corner kick put in play by junior defender Mohammed Moro. Sophomore Cedric Saladin from Switzerland recorded the shutout in goal for the Eagles. Boston College will play Boston University on Sunday in what is always a battle.
Connecticut 3 – Iona 1 – Connecticut's outstanding sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam netted the first goal of this one to the delight of the majority of the 3,314 fans present at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium less than a minute into the match from eight yards out after receiving a pass from senior playmaker midfielder Kwame Awuah. Iona responded and silenced the crowd two minutes later when Daniel Huertas sent a shot into the top left corner of the goal off an assist from Matias Correa to tie it at 1-1. Alex Sanchez scored a momentum type goal with just a few ticks left in the first half to send the Huskies into intermission with a 2-1 advantage. Redshirt-freshman defender Nkoski Burgess put the contest on ice for UConn when he scored in the 80th minute with a helper from Jake Nerwinski. Scott Levene had four saves to record the shutout in goal for Connecticut.
Creighton 2 – Rutgers 0 – No prisioneers were taken in this rather physical contest. The Bluejays traveled to Piscataway, New Jersey and took care of business to pick up a solid season opening victory over Rutgers out of the Big Ten. There was no scoring in the first stanza in part due to solid play goal by Scarlet Knight netminder David Greczek. Creighton broke through in the second half when a foul in the box gave the Bluejays a penalty kick that junior defender Lucas Stauffer confidently placed into the bottom right corner of the net to give Creighton what proved to be the game-winning goal. Rutgers played a man short due to a double yellow card for the final thirty minutes of the contest. Senior forward Riggs Lennon who transferred to Creighton from Virginia scored from thirty yards in the 65th minute of play to seal the deal for the Bluejays. Creighton had a 22-4 advantage in shots for the evening.
California 2 – Saint Mary's 2 (OT) – This was not the season opening result the Golden Bears were looking for but then again it was not a loss. Saint Mary's got on the scoreboard first with Alex Braman netting the goal in the 31st minute of play. Forward Christian Thierjung responded a little over a minute later with a goal of his own for Californa to tie it at 1-1. SMC responded with a Rafael Sanchez penalty kick to take a 2-1 lead. To their credit California responded with a Jose Carerra-Garcia goal to tie it at 2-2.
Stanford 0 – Penn State 0 (OT) – Another season opening surprise. The Cardinal had a seventeen to eight advantage in shots over the Nittany Lions including a six to one advantage in shots on goal but were unable to come up with the big goal needed to secure the win. Evan Finney had six saves in goal for Penn State while Andrew Epstein had a single save in goal for Stanford. Cardinal head coach Jeremy Gunn accurately summed the evening up when he stated, "We were really solid defensively. I don't recall Andy (Epstein) having to make saves at all. We had massive percentages of the possession, the best chances and were on the top side the whole game through," He added, "We were just missing the goal."
Akron 1 – Georgetown 0 – Senior back Brad Ruhaak controlled a deflection of a shot by teammate Ezana Kahsay and sent it back into the corner of the net to give Akron a huge season opening win over visiting Georgetown. What on paper appeared to be a offensive oriented contest proved to be a defensive dominated contest as is often the case. Akron had a twenty to six advantage in shots including a nine to two advantage in shots on goal but a stellar and gritty bend but don't break performance on the defensive side of the ball by the Hoyas led by sophomore goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski who had eight saves caused this one to go down to the wire. Sophomore Ben Lundt had two saves in goal for Akron. Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese stated, "Looking at the field, there were so many new faces be it freshmen or guys getting their first real minutes in there, and you have to remember that we went through this same thing not too long ago with the group that just graduated." Wiese added, "We played well enough to get a result so that was encouraging, but we have a lot of work left to do."
Seattle 2 – West Virginia 0 – The Redhawks netted two goals in the first half to obtain the edge they needed to secure a good seaon opening win on the road over West Virginia. Junior Alex Roldan scored in the fifteenth minute with an assist from teammate Jeff Rose and senior Joseph Harris added the second goal in the 44th minute with an assist from sophomore midfielder Julio Rubio. Sophomore RJ Noll had four saves in his first career start for Seattle to notch the shutout in goal. Redhawk head coach Pete Fewing stated, "We scored two terrific goals and I was very pleased to get the shutout." He added, "I'm very happy for the guys and we're excited about game number two against Akron on Sunday."
Xavier 3 – Evansville 1 – In a contest that was delayed by lightning, the Musketeers survived an early Purple Aces goal to secure a come from behind win to begin the season on the right foot with a win at home over Evansville. Evansville put a scare into the home crowd when Jared Robinson scored out of a free kick just over a minute into the match with an assist from Zac Blaydes. Xavier then settled into a rhythm and reeled off goals from senior stalwart Jalen Brown out of a penalty kick followed by a goal from freshman midfielder Derrick Otim with a helper from Brown to go into intermission with a 2-1 advantage. Redshirt freshman Curtis Hansford one-timed the final goal of the game during the 53rd minute after receiving a pass from defender Josh Grant to seal the win for the Musketeers.
Syracuse 3 – Massachusetts 0 – A crowd of 1,709 was on hand in the SU Soccer Stadium for this contest. The Orange was solid on both sides of the ball in their season opener. All the scoring in this one took place in the second half. Senior forward Chris Nanco got things rolling for Syracuse three minutes into the second half after a nice move off the dribble to create the space he needed to surgically place a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal after receiving a pass from senior defender Louis Cross to make it 1-0 Cuse. Midfielder Liam Callahan scored to make it 2-0 in the 58th minute of play with a nice assist from freshman forward Johannes Pieles. Redshirt junior Kenny Lassiter added the third goal in the 80th minute with senior midfielder Sergio Camargo contributing the helper. Sophomore Hendrik Hilpert recorded the shutout in goal for Syracuse.
Denver 1 – Monmouth 1 (OT) – Monmouth scored in the 37th minute when midfielder Colin Stripling converted a penalty kick after Brandon McCarthy was taken down in the box. It looked like the Hawks might secure the win and the upset but Denver's Graham Smith netted the equalizer for the Pioneers in the final minute of regulation from twelve yards out with a double assist from teammates Andre Shinyashiki and and Ryan Schaefer to send the contest into extra time. Neither team was able to score during two overtime periods. Monmouth head coach Robert McCourt stated, "We had to sit in a little bit in the second half. But we really created some exciting chances."