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Fourteen Of The Biggest Storylines In The First Week Of The 2019 College Soccer Season

Xavier – The Musketeers needed something to build on after an injury plagued 2018 season derailed their momentum. They got it with a season opening 2-0 win over number three ranked Akron. The new and the old combined to secure it. Freshman Karsen Henderlong and senior Samson Sergi provided the goals while transfer redshirt junior Matthew Rosenberg had six stops in goal to anchor the defense. Xavier has a history of bringing their “A” game when facing ranked opponents which is a plus but the key to a successful season in 2019 will hinge on their ability to consistently maintain the same level of intensity when facing teams that are not ranked. They accomplished that by topping Eastern Illinois on Monday 3-0 with sophomore Felix Boe-Tangen contributing a goal and Sergin again coming up big with two goals.

Xavier’s immediate dance card includes a rivalry match on Friday against Cincinnati and a high-profile contest against a very good Kentucky team on the road the following Wednesday.


Coastal Carolina – The Chanticleers needed a confidence builder after their string of eight consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament came to an end last year. They accomplished that plus more. Coastal Carolina entered the 2019 campaign with the challenge of integrating sixteen newcomers in with returning players and questions regarding who was going to fill the void that existed on the offensive side of the ball due to the graduation of Yazeed Matthews (13g, 3a).  A 3-1 preseason loss to Clemson and a 4-1 preseason loss to Duke didn’t bode well for the Chanticleers season opening road trip to the west coast to face a ranked Oregon State team on Friday and a ranked Portland squad on Sunday.

Oregon State took a 1-0 lead into halftime and looked to be on track to prevail but Coastal Carolina took control in the second half with goals from Cladio Repetto and Tyrone Mondi and a rock-solid defensive effort that contained a potent Oregon State attack to claim a solid 2-1 come from behind victory. The Chanticleers then upset Portland 1-0 with Emile Rzepecki providing a game-winning header in the second half. Goalkeeper Alberto Cirol, who was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after a ten save weekend, anchored a very solid Coastal Carolina defense.

Things don’t get any easier for the Chanticleers.  Coastal Carolina faces another ranked opponent when they travel to face Charlotte at Transamerica Field on Friday.


Florida Gulf Coast University – The Eagles were absent from the NCAA Tournament field the past two seasons. Their 2018 season came to an abrupt and unexpected end when they came out on the short end of a penalty kick shootout with sixth seeded Stetson in the semifinals of the ASUN tournament. The momentum that the program had generated after initially becoming eligible for post season play in 2011 seemed to have stalled. But FGCU emerged as a potential force once again on the national scene with a season opening 4-3 win over Michigan in Ann Arbor via an attack powered by three goals from senior midfielder Ryan Medilah. The Eagles followed that up with a solid 1-1 tie in East Lansing with a highly regarded Michigan State team.

FGCU will seek to build on their early season success when they host Seton Hall on Friday and Georgia Southern on Sunday.


St. John’s – The Johnnies took to the road and topped a good Appalachian State squad 2-0 and a ranked North Carolina State squad 1-0 in overtime to begin the season with a 2-0-0 mark for the first time since the 2008 campaign.  The win over NC State was St. John’s first win over a team out of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2010.  Senior midfielder Matt Forster and sophomore forward Josiah Crawford were responsible for the goals in the win over Appalachian State. Sophomore Tani Oluwaseyi scored the game-winner in overtime in the win over NC State. Sophomore center backs Matt Chandler and Luke Hanson anchored a defense that produced two shutouts.  This is a relatively young St. John’s team that should continue to improve as the season progresses.    

The Johnnies host Manhattan on Friday and welcome Iona to Belson Stadium on Tuesday.


Clemson – The Tigers under Mike Noonan are among the high-profile programs who entered the 2019 season seeking to increase their win total and move upward in conference play after a down year by their own standards last year. The jury is still out but count Clemson among the teams that made a great first impression with a very productive 4-1 win over in-state rival South Carolina and an 8-0 wood shedding of Detroit Mercy.

Clemson hosts UNCG on Friday and USC-Upstate on Monday before things get really serious when they begin ACC play on Friday, September 13 against Notre Dame in South Bend.


Georgia Southern – The Eagles garnered attention when they opened the season with a 4-2 win over UNCW and a 2-0 win over the College of Charleston. It was the first 2-0-0 start for Georgia Southern since the 2001 season. In both contests the Eagles struck early and controlled the pace of the match. Junior midfielder Alhaji Tambadu powered the Georgia Southern offense scoring twice in the win over UNCW and once in the win over the College of Charleston.  

Georgia Southern travels to Fort Myers, Florida to face Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday, September 8.


Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons held serve as the number one team in the College Soccer News Poll with solid season opening wins against UCF 2-1 and Creighton 1-0.  Bruno Lapa and Kyle Holcomb scored in the win over UCF. Freshman Calvin Harris netted the lone goal in the win over the Bluejays.  The Demon Deacons have plenty of offensive firepower.  Improvement on the defensive side of the ball looks to be among the critical success factors for Wake Forest in 2019.  In that regard, backs redshirt junior Michael DeShields, senior Eddie Folds, and freshman Nico Benalcazar and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg looked very good in the first two contests.

Wake Forest hosts Dartmouth out of the Ivy League on Friday. 


Stanford – The Cardinal displayed a ton of composure and offensive balance with wins on the road against Penn State 5-0 and Akron 2-1.  That pretty much sums up a great start to the 2019 season for Stanford.  

Stanford next hosts UC Irvine on Monday, September 9 and Denver on Friday, September 13.


Indiana – The newcomers had to contribute for the Hoosiers and they did. IU came from two goals behind to top Pittsburgh 3-2 in overtime and a goal down to top UCLA 2-1 in overtime. In the contest with Pittsburgh freshman forward Joshua Penn and redshirt junior forward Ian Black scored in regulation and freshman Herbert Endeley netted the game-winner in overtime.  In the win over UCLA, freshman Victor Bezerra scored in regulation and sophomore Jack Maher netted the game-winner in overtime. Both wins were great confidence builders and learning experiences for a young team but the Hoosiers will be courting danger if they continue to put themselves in situations where they have to come from behind.   

Indiana travels to South Bend to tangle with Denver on Friday and Seattle on Sunday.


Connecticut – The Huskies entered the season with unanswered questions in regard to offensive productivity due to the departure of Abdou Mbacke Thiam and defensive effectiveness after allowing a total of thirty goals last year.  Transfer forward Jordan Hall scored twice in a 2-0 win over Rider and three times in a 3-1 win over Rhode Island to provide offensive firepower.  The effort on the defensive side of the ball was very promising. 

Connecticut hosts Fairleigh Dickinson University on Friday.


Long Island University – The Sharks, who were predicted to finish fifth in the Northeast Conference Preseason Poll, began the season with two impressive on the road wins. The first was a 2-1 come from behind victory over Old Dominion University. Sophomore Athanasios Coutroumpas converted a header in the eighty-second minute to tie the contest at 1-1 and freshman Papa Ndoye contributed the game-winner with his left foot in the eighty-sixth minute.  Senior Matias Pesallaccia had six saves in goal for LIU.  The Sharks followed their season opening win with a 1-0 victory over VCU at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond with junior Chris Capaldo using his left foot to score the lone goal of the contest out of a corner kick. Pesallaccia and freshman Selcuk Kahveci shared the shutout in goal for LIU.  

LIU will seek to seek to build on an excellent start when they face Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.


Virginia – The Cavaliers under the direction of George Gelnovatch entered the season needing to continue to play well on the defensive side of the ball while improving the playmaking and productivity of their attack.  They did just that in a 2-0 season opening win over Pacific followed by a huge 2-0 win over defending national champion Maryland. Junior midfielder Irakoze Donasiyano scored twice and goalkeeper Colin Shulter anchored a tenacious defense in the win over Pacific. Forwards Nathaniel Crofts Jr. and Daryl Dike provided the goals in the win over the Terps while Shulter anchored a Cavalier defense that limited Maryland to just five shots.     

Virginia will host High Point University on Saturday.


Creighton – The Bluejays seek wins but nonetheless you have to be impressed with the talent and grit Creighton displayed in a 2-2 season opening tie in Chapel Hill with North Carolina and a 1-0 loss to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. It was a positive and very promising start for the Johnny Torres era in Omaha.

Creighton will seek to secure their first win of the 2019 season when they host Akron on Friday.


Rutgers – The Jim McElderry era at Rutgers began with a 2-0-0 record that included a season opening 1-0 win over Temple at the Temple Sports Complex and a 2-1 come from behind win over Drexel in Philadelphia.  Six freshmen were in the starting lineup in the first contest and seven in the second.  Freshman Jorgen Wisth Lie converted a penalty kick in the win over Temple while freshman Oren Asher had two saves in goal to record the shutout.  Jorgen Wisth Lie converted another penalty kick and freshman midfielder Jackson Temple netted the game-winner in the win over Drexel.  

Rutgers travels to face Elon on Saturday.



 

 

 

Season Opening Day - What Happened Coast To Coast

Several upsets took place across the country.  Xavier, FGCU, FAU, Washington and Georgia Southern are among those who secured big season opening wins. Creighton claimed a noteworthy tie with UNC on the road and Cleveland State tied Louisville on the road. Other contests went as expected. In many contests it took a half of play before teams were able to get into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. The key is to learn and grow from early mistakes.   

Wake Forest 2 - UCF 1 - The teams went into halftime scoreless but the action picked up during the second half. Bruno Lapa got the Wake Forest attack in gear when he created a turnover and placed a shot into the far post in the fifty-eighth minute. Kyle Holcomb made it 2-0 Wake Forest when he found the back of the net in the sixty-seventh minute with an assit from Michael DeShields. UCF narrowed the score to 2-1 when Gianluca Arcangeli converted a header after receiving a cross from Jeremy Di Lallo in the last minute of the match.  Andrew Pannenberg had one save in goal for Wake Forest. Yannik Oetti had two saves in goal for UCF.  Wake Forest Assistant Coach Steve Armas stated, "Did we play our best soccer tonight? Probably not, but we learned a little about ourselves and we can hopefully apply that to our plan on Sunday." Wake Forest hosts Creighton on Sunday. 

Kentucky 3 - Albany 2 - Penalty kicks ruled in this one. Kentucky got on the board in minute forty when Mason Visconti was fouled in the box and defender Alme Mabika converted the penalty kick. Albany tied it at 1-1 when Ale Bourgeois scored out of a corner kick in the sixtieth minute. Kentucky was awarded another penalty kick in the seventy-fifth minute whiich Mabika converted for his second goal of the evening. Albany responded to make it 2-2 a minute later when Austin DaSilva converted a penalty kick. Sophomore forward Jason Reyes netted what proved to be the game-winner for Kentucky a minute later from outside the box. Kentucky travels to face Louisville on Tuesday.  Albany travels to face Cincinnati on Monday. 

Xavier 2 - Akron 0 - Karsen Henderlong converted a header in the thirteenth minute of play after receiving a cross from Payton Miller to give Xavier a 1-0 lead. Samson Sergi added the insurance goal in the seventy-eighth minute when he sent a header into the back of the frame. It was a huge season opening momentum building win for the Musketeers who next host Eastern Illinois on Monday. Things don't get any easy for Akron who return home to host highly regarded Stanford on Monday. 

Maryland 1 - USF 0 - Freshman midfielder Malcom Johnston's header out of a corner kick in the seventh minute gave the Terps the edge they needed to top visiting USF in their season opener Thursday night at Ludwig Field in College Park.  Russell Shealy had two saves in goal for Maryland. Harrison Devenish-Meares had two saves between the pipes for USF. Terp head coach Sasho Cirovski stated, "I'm delighted tostart the season with a win. I thought our defensive pressure was outstanding, that was the bright spot tonight." Maryland tangles with Virginia on Monday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. USF is scheduled to face Marquette in Tampa on Friday.

Stanford 5 - Penn State 0 - The Cardinal displayed plenty of offensive firepower in this one. Midfielder Will Richmond and defender Tanner Beason scored in the first stanza. Forward Charlie Wehan, freshman forward Ousseni Bouda, and freshman forward Gabe Segal contributed goals in the second half of play. Stanford mentor Jeremy Gunn stated, "It was phenomenal performance, a great first outing and one that gets us all excited."  Stanford will seek to keep the momentum alive when they face Akron on the road on Monday.  

Saint Marys 2 - UC Irvine 0 -  Senior forward Anders Engebretsen converted a penalty kick in the thirty-fourth minute after Jake Rudel was fouled in the box. Engebretsen also alertly threaded a rebound of a shot into the right corner of the goal in the forty-first minute of play. Remi Prieur had four saves in goal for the Gaels to notch the shutout. Ford Parker had three saves in goal for UC Irvine.  The Anteaters had two freshmen and four new transfers in their starting lineup.  UC Irvine remains on the road to face California on Sunday in Berkeley.  Saint Mary's will host Omaha on Monday. 

North Carolina 2- Creighton 2 (ot) - Creighton came to play. It was a tale of two halves. The Bluejays jumped out to a 2-0 lead with midfielder Yudai Tashiro scoring out of a free kick from twenty-two yards out and Dominic Briggs scoring after receiving a through ball from Ziyad Fares in the thirty-first minute. North Carolina rallied during the second half with midfielder Mauricio Pineda recovering a loose ball in the box and scoring in the fifty-second minute and junior forward Alex Rose converting a header in the sixty-eighth minute after receiving a cross from senior teammate Jelani Pieters. Neither team was able to break through during overtime. The Tar Heels outshot Creighton sixteen to seven. Paul Krause had seven saves in goal for Creighton. Alec Smir had two stops in goal for UNC. This game could easily have gone either way. All things considered it was an impressive season opener on the road for the Johnny Torres era at Creighton.  The Bluejays remain on the road to face Wake Forest on Sunday. North Carolina will host UCF on Sunday.   

Duke 1 - Furman 0 - Hassan Pinto came off the pine to score the lone goal of the match in the thirty-fifth minute. Pinto scored from six yards out after making a nice run to place himself in scoring position. The goal was set up by passes from Conor Kelly and Aedan Stanley. John Kerr stated, "You have to love Hassan's enery and his enthusiasm and being in the right place at the right time."  He added, "We always promote guys coming from the wide areas to get into dangerous scoring positions and he listened and converted."  Will Pulisic had four saves in goal to record his fourteenth career shutout. Max Fisher had two saves in goal for Furman.  Duke will face CSU Bakersfield on Sunday. Furman remains in Durham to face Elon on Sunday in the John Rennie Invitational. 

Indiana 3 - Pittsburgh 2 (ot) - This one which required extra time to determine a winner was among the more exciting opening round contests. It was a gutsy come from behind win for the Hoosiers and despite the loss a strong showing for a Pitt team that continues to improve. Pitt's Edward Kizza scored twice within a minute in the first half to send a scare into the home crowd at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. In the thirty-sixth minute of the match Kizza found the back of the net with an assist from teammate Sito Sena and scored out of a corner kick served in by Velijko Petkovic. The score remained 2-0 at halftime. Indiana picked up the pace in the second half with freshman forward Joshua Penn scoring in the fiftieth minute and redshirt junior Ian Black in the fifty-seventh minute to knot the score at 2-2 and send the contest into overtime. Freshman forward Herbert Endeley converted the game-winner in overtime for Indiana after receiving a pass from A.J. Palazzolo. I.U. head coach Todd Yeagley summed things up when he stated, "It wa a really good growth game. We learned a lot about a lot of things. We got a really good win against a really good team. That will help us down the line."  Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich stated, "We were proud of our guys' efforts. We came into a place where they haven't lost in three or four years at home and we showed that we were a quality team and more than belonged there." Indiana will face UCLA on Sunday while Pitt will face Northwestern. 

Georgetown 3 - Syracuse 1 - All the scoring in this one took place in the second half. Midfielder Dylan Nealis scored the first goal of the contest with an assist from junior midfielder Paul Rothrock to give Georgetown a 1-0 lead three minutes into the second stanza. Edward Kizza scored twice within a minute to send a shock into the home crowd at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. Kizza found the back of the frame off an assist from teammate Sito Sena in the His first goal The first wo minutes later sophomore midfielder Ryan Raposo converted a penatly kick for Syracuse to even the score at 1-1. Midfielder JB Fisher scored in the 74th minute out of a corner kick served in by midfielder Zach Riviera to give Georgetown a 2-1 advantaage. Two minutes later freshman midfielder Dante Polvara netted the insurance goal for the Hoyas with an assist from midfielder Ethan Lochner. Georgetown will host Temple University on Monday. Syracuse will host Binghamton on Monday.  

Michigan State 0 - SIUE 0 (ot) - Michigan State had a sixteen to three advantage in shots and a twelve to three advantage in corner kicks but the Spartans were unable to find the back of the net. Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing stated, "I thought we could have created a little bit more and been a little more dynamic on the attack, but I think that stuff takes time. We hit the post and missed a penalty and had a couple other chances so probably a little fortune on the penalty call but that's the things we're going to have to work with."  The game was the head coaching debut for SIUE's Cale Wassermann, who served as an assistant coach at Michigan State for four seasons. Junior Noah Heim had eight saves in goal for SIUE including a game-saving stop on a penalty kick in the second overtime period. Michigan State hosts Florida Gulf Coast on Monday. SIUE faces Michigan on Monday.  

FAU 1 - James Madison 0 - Junior forward Ivan Mykhailenko sent a header into the back of the net in the eighty-first minute of play coming out of a corner kick served in by Tom Abrahamsson to Andres Macias who headed it to Mykhailenko who completed the play.  Hagay Jalon had five saves in goal to record the shutout for FAU. James Madison will face FIU on Saturday in a contest that was originally scheduled for Sunday but was moved up a day due to hurricane Dorian.  

Virginia 2 - Pacific 0 - Irakoze Donasiyano scored twice in a five minute span during the first half of play to give the Cavaliers the edge they needed to top Pacific. His first score came in the forty-fourth minute when he controlled a deflection and sloted it into the left corner of the goal. His second score came in the firty-eighth minute after receiving a pass from Daryl Dike that he skillfully one-touched into the back of the net from six yards out. Colin Shutler had four saves in goal for Virginia. Ethan Bandre had six saves in goal including a stop of a penalty kick for Pacific. Virginia will face Maryland on Monday. Pacific will host San Jose State on Tuesday for their home opener.  

Louisville 2 - Cleveland State 2 - This one looked like it was going to be all Louisville when the Cardinals went up 1-0 on an own goal in the ninth minute and Cody Cochran secured a loose ball in the box and converted it out of a free kick put in play by teammate Leonard Getz. However Cleveland State responded with goals from Jannis Schmidt from inside the center of the box in the seventy-second minute and a goal from Gabriel Pewu in the eighty-third minute to knot the score at 2-2. Neither team was able to find the back of the net in overtime. Louisville had a thirteen to nine advantage in shots for the contest but shots-on-goal were even at five each. Freshman Omeed Naeemy had four saves in goal for Cleveland State. Louisville hosts Kentucky on Tuesday in the annual Battle of the Bluegrass State. Cleveland State under first year head coach Sinisa Ubiparipovic will host Robert Morris on Wednesday.  

FGCU 4 - Michigan 3 -  Michigan dug themselves into an early hole when they allowed FGCU to go up 2-0 with Ryan Medilah converting a header in the sixth minute of play with an assist from Shak Adams and scoring again in the fourteenth minute out of a free kick from the edge of the box. Michigan then rallied with Mohammed Zakyi scoring in the thirty-first minute and Nebojsa Popovic in the forty-third to tie the contest at 2-2. FGCU again took control in the second stanza with Rhyan Medilah scoring his third goal of the evening in the fifty-seventh minute and Ivan Rosales scoring in the eightieth minute to lead 4 to 2. Joel Harrison pulled Michigan back within a single goal when he scored in the eighty-ninth minute to make it 4-3.  

Washington 2 - Denver 1 - Denver jumped out to a 1-0 advantage before the fans had settled in their seats when junior forward Josh Drack scored twenty-six seconds into the match with Preston Judd providing the assist. Washington's Gio Miglietti responded with a goal in the sixth minute to pull even. The contest looked like it might be headed for overtime until Blake Bodily one-timed a cross from Dylan Teves into the net to give Washington the edge they needed to secure a very good season opening win. Denver will face Seattle on Monday. Washington will host San Francisco on Monday. 

Virginia Tech 2 - LMU 1 - The Hokies travel west and pick up a good season opening win over a game LMU side.  Virginia Tech found the back of the net in the first minute of play when Jakob Bluemier sloted a cross from James Kasak into the back of the frame to go up 1-0. The score remained 1-0 at intermission. LMU got onto the board compliments of a goal from Jack Sauls in the sixty-eighth minute to knot the contest at 1-1. Virginia Tech forward Kristo Strickley scored the game-winner in the eighty-ninth minute with an assist from Nico Quashie. Mathijs Swaneveld had six saves in goal for Virginia Tech.  The Hokies remain in California for a contest with UCSB on Sunday. 

Coastal Carolina 2- Oregon State 1 - The Chanticleers traveled cross country to secure an impressive season opening win over the Beavers. Oregon State got on the board first with a goal from Joel Walker in the thirty-third minute of play. Coastal Carolina kept their compousre and responded with goals from Claudio Repetto in the fifty-fourth minute and Tyrone Mondi in the sixty-eighth minute. Oregon State will seek to get back on track when they host Colgate on Sunday.  Coastal Carolina will seek a west coast sweep when they face Portland on Sunday. Both of these teams have explosive goal scorers who will make an impact as the season progresses.  

Charlotte 3 - Gardner-Webb 0 - The 49ers controlled the pace of this one which took place at Transamerica Field in Charlotte. Redshirt senior forward Maclean Holbrook gave the 49ers the early advantage when he scored from close range in the twenty-fourth minute after receiving a pass from teammate midfielder Joe Brito. Redshirt junior back Patrick Hogan sloted a shot into the lower right corner of the goal out of a corner kick to give Charlotte a 2-0 advantage in the seveny-third minute. Senior midfielder Teddy Chaouche converted a penalty kick in the eighty-third minute for Charlotte to conclude the scoring for the evening.  Charlotte head coach Kevin Langan stated. "In the second half, we lost our way a little bit, so we've got to be a little bit tougher, a little bit more structured, and really compose ourselves in the game. Lots of great lessons for us to learn, it's always nice to learn those lesson when you win." Charlotte with host High Point University on Monday. Gardner-Webb travels to face South Carolina in Columbia on Tuesday.  

SMU 3 - Lipscomb 0 - SMU took control from the get-go with three first half goals to top visiting Liipscomb. NIcky Hernandez converted back-to back goals for SMU in the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth minutes. His first goal was a highlight reel bicycle shot that ended up in the upper right corner of the goal that was set up by a nice run and cross from Eddie Munjoma. DJ Williams Jr. came off the pine to add the third Mustang goal in the forty-third minute. SMU mentor Kevin Hudson stated, It was a good performance. It wasn't the most beautiful, but we were effective and we played the way we wanted to."  SMU hosts Houston Baptist on Monday. Lipscomb remains on the road and will square off with Tulsa on Monday night.    

Portland 0 - Colgate 0 (ot) - Defense ruled in this scoreless season opener. Portland had the home field advantatge, a twenty-one to ten shot advantage, and a six to two advantage in corner kicks and for the most part got the best of the run of play.  Jacob Harris had three saves in goal for Colgate. Nico Campuzano had three saves in goal for Portland. Colgate head coach Erik Ronning stated, I am very proud of our your men. They earned a great result on the road against an exceptional Portland team. The effort put forth and commitment to each other was phenomenal."  Portland will host Coastal Carolina on Sunday. Colgate remains on the west coast to face Oregon State on Sunday.  

North Carolina State 2 - Loyola Maryland 1 - The contest was scoreless in the first stanza despite a ten to one shot advantage for the Wolfpack. NC State got on the board in the fifty-eighth minute when Jamie Smith drove a header just inside the far post after receiving a well played pass from David Loera. Forward Kuda Muskwe made it 2-0 Wolfpack in the sixty-eighth minute when he created a turnover and sloted a shot inside the near post. Loyola avoided the shutout in the eighty-fifth minute when Josh Fowale controlled a loose ball inside the box and sent it into the back of the frame. Chase Vosvick had four saves in goal for Loyola. Leon Krapf and Vinnie Durand split time in goal for the Wolfpack with Durand called upon to make a single save. N.C. State remains at home and will host St. John's on Sunday.  Loyola Maryland heads to Boone, North Carolina were they will tangle with Appalachian State on Sunday. 

West Virginia 1 - Monmouth 0 - This one took place at Hesse Field on the Great Lawn in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Senior forward Ethan Shim scored the lone goal of the contest in the fifty-first minute of play. The play began when junior defender Kevin Morris sent a long ball into the box which Shim received. Steven Tekesky has three saves in goal for West Virginia. Sean Murray had seven saves in goal for Monmouth. West Virginia head coach Marlon LeBlanc stated, "There are some things we want to clean up, and we think we can get better from, but I thought the guys were excellent tonight."  It was a good on the road season opening win for West Virginia who now travel to Newark to face the University of Delware Blue Hens on Monday.  Monmouth will seek to get in the win column when it hosts Penn next Friday.  

Villanova 5 - Delaware 0 - This one was all Villanova.  Conor Bradley and Evan Vare scored in the first half. Lyam Mackinnon Anthony Dragisics, and Jack Gilliam foundf the back of the net in the second half. Villanova head coach Tom Carlin stated, "To be able to create the kinds of chances, to score and to get the clean sheet was a nice start. It's a good first win."  Carson William had one save in goal to record the shutout for Villanova. Villanova travels to Williamsburg, Virginia to face William and Mary on Tuesday.

Georgia Southern 4 - UNCW 2 - The Georgia Southern Eagles secured an impressive season opening win over UNCW in the Under Armour Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Aldair Cortes converted a penalty kick to give Georgia Southern a 1-0 lead a mere twenty-nine seconds into the contest. UNCW's Gabriel Cabral sent a free kick inside the left post to knot the score at 1-1 in the fifth minute of play. The contest remained 1-1 when the teams went into intermission. Georgia Southern regained the lead with a Alhaji Tambadu goal just twenty-three seconds into the second half. Sophomore Joshua Deane scored in the sixty-third minute with an assist from Cristian Medina to give Georgia Southern a 3-1 advantage. UNCW pulled back a goal when Parker Norris sent the rebound of Cannon Tootle's shot into the back of the frame to make it 3-2. Georgia Southern's Tambadu netted his second goal of the evening in the eighty-fifth minute when he controlled and sent the rebound of teammate Jarvian Wigfall's shot into the net to make it 4-2. UNCW had a twenty-one to eight advantage in shots. Jokull Blaengsson had six saves in goal for Georgia Southern. Jonathan Gomes had one save between the pipes for UNCW.  Georgia Southen head coach John Murphy stated, "It's a great result, off the back of a real gritty performance against a good team."  He added, "I thought we bent an awful lot, but we never broke."

Connecticut 2 - Rider 1 - Ray Reid earned his 300th victory at UConn. Senior transfer Jordan Hall added the punch to the Connecticut attack that it was hoped he would scoring in the nineteenth minute with a double assist from Moussa Wade and Dayonn Harris and again ten minutes into the second half when he drove a header into the back of the frame with Harris and Felix Metzler assisting. Gianluca Catalano had three saves in goal for UConn. Pablo Gatinois had three saves in goal for Rider. Rider outshot UConn twelve to nine for the evening and had a six to two advantage in corner kicks but they were unable to finish any of their opportunities. Connecticut travels to face Rhode Island on Monday. Rider hosts Central Connecticut State on Wednesday.  

VCU 1 - ETSU - 0 - This one took pace at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Virginia.  VCU Forward Maverick McGann made a nice move down the left side of the field off the dribble before cutting back to his right to create the space he needed to send a shot into the back of the net from ten yards out with three minutes left to play in the first half. McGann's goal gave VCU the edge they needed to prevail in a very close contest.  VCU had a fourteen to nine advantage in shots for the evening. Josh Perryman had five saves in goal for ETSU whole Mario Sequeira had two stops between the pipes for the Rams. ETSU travels to Norfolk to face Old Dominion on Monday.  VCU will host LIU on Monday.

Clemson 4 - South Carolina 1 - Grayson Barber scored twice in the first half of play for Clemson and Kimarni Smith assisted by Charlie Asensio once. Quinn McNeill added the fourth Tiger goal with an assist from Adrian Nunez in the seventy-eighth minute of the contest. Logan Frost scored South Carolina's lone goal in the twelth minute of the game with an assist from Buenyamin Yusufoglu. Clemson head coach Mike Noonan stated, "I knew we could play better after our first half performance, and after the match I know we can certainly play better for a full match. I told our team that we need to keep the Clemson standard." South Carolina will seek to rebound when they host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday. Clemson will seek to continue the momentum when they host Detroit Mercy on Monday. 

UCLA 1 - Northwestern 0 (ot) - Junior forward Milan Iloski came up big for the Bruins when a numbers advantage helped to created the space he needed to thread a shot into the back of the net in overtime from close range. The goal was set up by a by a combination of passes from midfielders Marcony Pimentel, Luke Bone and Riley Ferch. Northwestern had a seventeen to fourteen advantage in shots but was unable to penetrate the Bruin defense. UCLA faces Indiana on Sunday. Northwestern will tangle with Pitt on Sunday.  

UC Santa Barbara 2 - UNLV 1 - This one was scoreless at the conclusion of the first half of play but the action picked up during the second stanza. UNLV drew first blood in the eighty-eighth minute when freshman Bryan Martinez-Serrano decisively headed a long cross from Hayden Prasad into the goal to take a 1-0 lead. It looked like that might give UNLV the edge they needed to secure the win but UCSB responded in the eighty-ninth minute of play when forward Ignacio Tellechea half-volleyed a shot into the net from twelve yards out with a double assist from midfielder Sahid Conteh and Thibault Candia.  Will Banyham scored the game-winner for the Gauchos in overtime out of a corner kick served in by Candia.  Enrique Adame had five saves in goal for UNLV including a stop of a penalty kick in the first overtime period. Ben Roach had two saves in goal for UCSB. The Gauchos host Virginia Tech on Sunday. UNLV will host San Diego State on Monday.  

Winthrop 2 - VMI 0 - A goal from Daniel Vicaria Baker out of a free kick put in play by Jordan Walshaw in the twenty-ninth minute and a Walshaw score with an assist from Cameron Thayer iin the thirty-eight minute gave Winthrop the edge they needed to prevail. Chandler Gaunce had a single save in goal to record the shutout for Winthrop. Broden Schull had three saves in a losing cause for VMI. WMI under the direction of first year head coach Charlie Hubbard will seek to regroup and get in the win column when they travel to face UNC-Asheville on Wednesday. Winthrop will seek to secure another win when they travel to face Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Maryland on Monday.

Butler 2 - Western Michigan 1 - Western Michigan drew first blood when midfielder Sam Biek scored out of a free kick from twenty yards out in the twenty-fifth minute of play. The contest remained 1-0 at intermission. Butler responded in the second half with a Brandon Guhl goal from the right side of the box with an assist from Jack Haywood. Freshman forward Wilmer Cabreara, Jr. netted what proved to be the game-winning goal in the eighty-fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick after being fouled in the box. No prisioners were taken in this rather physical contest that included forty-three fouls and four yellow cards. Gabriel Gjergji had five saves in goal for Butler. Lukas Von Lienen had two saves between the pipes for Western Michigan.  Butler will welcome Evansville to the Sellick Bowl on Monday while Western Michigan hosts Niagara on Monday.   

Loyola Chicago 2 - Vermont 1 - This one took place before a full house at Loyola Soccer Park. Loyola Chicago went up 1-0 when Andrew Mitchell took advantage of a defensive miscue out of a free kick to place a ball into an open net from close range in the thirtieth minute of the contest. Vermon defeder Adrian Gahabka sent a header into the net in the sixty-second minute from the edge of the six yard box with a double assist from Alex Nagy and Hans Oeftger to knot the score at 1-1 and give the Catamounts new life. Sophomore midfielder Ethan Stoneman scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for Loyola Chicago from six yards out in the sixty-eighth minute after receiving a cross from Fabian Becerra. Loyola Chicago plays Northern Illinois on Sunday. Vermont will tangle with DePaul.

Stetson 1 - College of Charleston 0 - Frank Kouentchi scored from inside the box in the eighth minute of play to give Stetson the edge they needed to top the College of Charleston in the opening game of the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Classic. Charleston netminder Isaac Alstrom had five saves in goal while Stetson's Lute Lillo-Portero had two to record the shutout. Stetson faces UNCW on Sunday.  The College of Charleston will play Georgia Southern. 

Saint John's 2 - Appalachian State 0 - Max Forster drove a left-footed shot into the back of the net out of a free kick from thirty yards out in the twentieth minute of play and sophomore forward Josiah Crawford drove a rebound of his own shot back into the frame in the seventieth minute to give the Red Storm the edge they needed to top the Mountaineers on the road. Appalachian State returns to the field on Sunday when they host Loyola Maryland. Saint Johns will face NC State in Raleigh on Sunday evening.  

Liberty 2 - Radford 1 - Liberty came from a goal down to top Radford in Kelly Findley's first contest as the Liberty head coach. Amadou Macky Diop scored to give Radford the early lead in the sixteen minute of play but Liberty responded with a penalty kick goal from midfielder Jordan Barbara in the thirtieth minute an a goal from midfielder Sebastian Valdez in the forty-third minute to secure the win. Brogan Engbers had fives saves in goal for Liberty. Findley stated, "I was most pleased with our resilience. We do down a goal on the road and then came back to score two goal. We defended really well and Brogan Engbers was tremendous. 



 

A Look At Some Very Challenging Early Season Contests

It is time to take care of business. The 2019 college soccer season will get underway this weekend with several NCAA Tournament caliber matchups slated from coast to coast.  

#1 Wake Forest hosts #18 UCF on Friday, August 30.  Plenty of offensive firepower will be on display in this one. The Demon Deacons, ranked in the number one spot in College Soccer News’ Preseason Poll, have a tough season opener. Their defense anchored by senior netminder Andreu Cases Mundet will be tested by a UCF attack powered by Cal Jennings (20g, 5a).  Wake Forest has an impressive contingent of goal scorers of their own led by Bruno Lapa (10g, 9a) which should give the Deacons the edge as the game progresses but Wake Forest could be in trouble if they are unable to contain UCF’s offense.

#2 Kentucky travels to face #15 Louisville on Tuesday September 3. No prisioners will be taken in this one. Kentucky, ranked number two in the College Soccer News Preseason Poll, made their presence known last year when they dominated Louisville 3-0 in an early season contest. This in-state rivalry is a tough matchup for both teams. The winner will gain bragging rights and a resume building win. It will be interesting to see how Kentucky fares without the punch that JJ Williams brought to the attack last year and how Louisville fares without Ken Lolla at the helm of the program.  

#3 Akron travels to Cincinnati to face Xavier on Friday, August 30 then returns home to host #5 Stanford at First Energy Stadium on Monday, September 2.  Xavier under Andy Fleming tends to rise to the occasion in contests like this so put the Akron vs. Xavier contest on the upset alert list. The big question is whether or not Xavier's defense can contain Akron's attack.  Stanford returns a veteran group that should be very solid on both sides of the ball but questions remain in regard to offensive productivity. Akron has started slowly in the past and tends to be vulnerable in the early going.  A slow start in 2019 could equate to two losses for the Zips.

#4 Maryland faces #13 Virginia on Monday, September 2, at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. in a rivalry match that goes back to when both teams were members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Defense could rule in this one as both teams could have trouble settling into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Virginia played solid team defense last year but their productivity on the offensive side of the ball was problematic. Sophomore forwards Daryl Dike (5g, 1a) and Cabrel Happi Kamseu (5g, 1a) could prove to be difference makers in the Cavalier attack in 2019. Maryland has some big shoes to fill due to departures and the recent injury incurred by senior forward Paul Bin was a blow to the Terp offense. Sophomore forward William James Herve looks to be the key to Maryland’s offensive productivity and could give the Terps the edge they need to prevail but Maryland could be in trouble if Virginia gets on the board first and is able to control the tempo of the contest. These two teams battled to a 0-0 tie when they faced each other last year.  The 2019 contest could be decided by a single goal.

#5 Stanford travels to University Park to tangle with Penn State on Friday, August 30 before traveling to #3 Akron to tangle with the Zips on Monday, September 2.  It is tough to open on the road and Stanford is among those teams that tends to start slowly and improve as the season progresses. If they look past Penn State an upset is possible. Last year the Cardinal began the season with a 0-0 tie at home with San Jose State followed by a 0-0 tie with Maryland and a 1-1 tie with Georgetown on the road. It is a big plus that Stanford heads into the 2019 campaign with an experienced group that includes nine starters so chances are pretty good that they will not experience the learning curve on the offensive side of the ball that they did last year. Stanford forward Ousseni Bouda is among several highly regarded members of the recruiting class who could immediately add an additional dimension to the offense.

#6 Saint Mary’s College hosts #27 UC Irvine on Friday, August 30. Will there be an encore? The Gaels will not sneak up on anyone in 2019 after a program best 18-0-2 season last year. In fact, they will enter the 2019 campaign with a big target on their chests. With just about everyone back, it will be interesting to see how well Saint Mary's performs in 2019. UC Irvine under Yossi Raz begins the season with a lot of momentum but also with several big voids to fill due to departures. Saint Mary’s looks to be tough on both sides of the ball with an explosive attack powered by forwards Jake Rudel and Anders Engebretsen and a rock-solid defense anchored by netminder Remi Prieur. Midfielder Jose Ortiz (8g, 3a) will be at the heart of UC Irvine’s offense. Saint Mary’s experience should enable them to prevail over a UC Irvine team that will improve as the system progresses and they gel as a team. A UC Irvine win would be a huge momentum builder and statement for the Anteaters. A Saint Mary’s loss would be a huge disappointment for the Gaels.  

#7 North Carolina hosts Creighton on Friday, August 30. The Tar Heels will play their first regular season contest at newly renovated Fetzer Field after playing their home games elsewhere for the past two seasons.  Creighton will play their first game under head coach Johnny Torres. The Tar Heels look to be in good shape on the offensive side of the ball with Giovanni Montesdeoca (8g, 4a), Jalani Pieters and Mauricio Pineda among those providing offensive firepower. However, UNC does have some reloading to do on the defensive side.  Offensive productivity is a potential area of concern for the Blue Jays whose big play ability was suspect at times last year. Creighton took a hit on the defensive side of the ball when back Julius Fohs, a three-year starter, sustained an injury that will sideline him for the 2019 season.  Creighton’s sophomore netminder Paul Kruse will likely be a busy man in this contest. UNC should prevail unless they experience growing pains on the defensive side of the ball.  Creighton opens the season with contests on the road against UNC and Wake Forest and a match at home with #3 Akron.  The Torres era could easy begin with three consecutive losses.

#8 Duke hosts Furman on Friday, August 30. This could be the strongest Duke team from top to bottom, other than the ones he played on back in the day, that John Kerr has been associated with. The talent is there on both sides of the ball with seniors Daniel Proch and Brandon Williamson and junior netminder Will Pulisic among the keys to Duke's success in 2019. The unanswered question in Durham pertains to Duke's ability to consistently come up with the big plays needed to prevail as the season progresses. Furman led by senior midfielder Emery May who tallied nine goals last year and redshirt junior netminder Ben Hale who was the 2018 Southern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year will be a good season opening test for Duke.    

#9 Indiana entertains Pittsburgh out of the ACC on Friday, August 30 and UCLA on Sunday, September 1. The Hoosiers will have a lot of new faces in he starting lineup in 2019. Indiana's ceiling in 2019 will be determined by the ability of the returning players to assume greater roles and the ability of several members of a highly regarded recruiting class to make an immediate contribution.  Pitt has steadily improved under head coach Jay Vidovich and should not be taken lightly. Junior forward Edward Kizza, a 2018 All-ACC First Team selection who found the back of the net fifteen times last year, is a very dangerous finisher. UCLA, once considered the flagship team of the west coast, has experienced a lot of controversy over the past few months. The Bruins under the direction of new head coach Ryan Jorden will rebound but when and how high remains to be seen. UCLA looks to be in rebuilding mode in 2019 with a lot of unanswered questions on both sides of the ball.   

#10 Michigan State hosts SIUE on Friday, August 30. The Spartans return a good nucleus from the 2018 team that secured a program best fourteen wins and advanced to the College Cup.  Senior midfielder Giuseppe Barone (3g, 10a) is the catalyst on the offensive side of the ball while redshirt junior back Patrick Nielsen anchors the defense. Questions remain in regard to who will fill the huge void that exists in the Spartan attack due to the departure of Ryan Sierakowski and DeJuan Jones. SIUE out of the Mid-American Conference is under the direction of new head Cale Wassermann who served as an assistant coach at Michigan State for the past four seasons.  SIUE will be competitive but chances are pretty good that Michigan State will spoil Wasserman's homecoming.  

#11 James Madison travels (weather permitting) to face FAU in Boca Raton on Friday, August 30 and FIU in Miami on Sunday, September 1. Can JMU build on the success they enjoyed last year? James Madison seemed to play their best last year when they were the underdog.  That will not be the case against FAU and FIU. The Dukes are now the hunted and not the hunter. On paper, James Madison led by senior midfielder Manuel Ferriol (9g, 5a) and junior goalkeeper TJ Bush should top both FAU and FIU but opening on the road could hamper their ability to get into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. If they play to their potential, James Madison should leave south Florida with two wins. If not, they are vulnerable particularly against an FIU team on Sunday that is very hungry to get back on track after a disappointing 2018 campaign in which they underachieved.  

#12 Georgetown hosts Syracuse on Friday,  August 30.  This one will likely hinge on the ability of the Syracuse defense led by backs junior Sondre Norheim and senior John-Austin Ricks among others to contain what looks to be a very explosive Georgetown offense powered by senior Achara and junior Derek Dodson.  Senior forwards Massimo Ferrin and Severin Soerlie and sophomore midfielder Ryan Raposo are among the key ingredients in Syracuse's offense. Georgetown should hit the ground running while Syracuse may need a few games under their belt in order to fully jell as a team.   

#13 Virginia will welcome Pacific out of the West Coast Conference to Klockner Stadium on Friday, August 30 before facing Maryland on Monday, September 2 at Audi Field in Washington.  Offensive productivity is the key unanswered question at Virginia.  Look for the degree of the bump in the level of play of the current sophomores to be the key in regard to improvement on the offensive side of the ball.  Adam Reeves takes over the reins of the program at Pacific for Ryan Jordan who left to accept the head coaching job at UCLA. Pacific has made great strides forward since reinstating the men's soccer program in 2014. Senior Jonathan Jimenez (8g, 5a) looks to be the main man in Pacific's attack in 2019. Defense will rule in this one. 

#14 Notre Dame travels to Hermann Stadium to tangle with Saint Louis on Saturday, August 31. Questions exist in regard to who will power the Irish attack in 2019. Finding the right balance between the level of play on the defensive side of the ball and the level of play on the offensive side of the ball looks to be a critical success factor in Notre Dame's ability to increase their win total in 2019. The Irish traveled to England for a ten day foreign tour over the spring break. Such trips almost always generate momentum heading into the regular season.  Saint Louis was 6-4-7 in 2018 in Kevin Kalish's first year at the helm of the program.  Sophomore transfer forward Simon Becher and sophomore midfielder John Klein are among the Billikens who will seek to break down the Irish defense.  Whoever scores first will have a big advantage in this one. The potential for an upset exists in this one if Saint Louis can breakdown the Irish defense.   

#15 Louisville hosts Cleveland State on Friday, August 30 before hosting #2 Kentucky on Tuesday, September 3. The Cardinal had an impressive spring season which is a positive sign as they embark on the John Michael Hayden era. The Louisville defense anchored by netminder Jake Gelnovatch looks to be very good. The key voids that need to be addressed due to graduation are on the offensive side of the ball. Transfer forward Emil Elveroth could prove to be just what the doctor ordered. The Cleveland State match should prove to be a good tune up for the battle with Kentucky.  

#16 Michigan hosts FGCU on Friday, August 30. Both teams have accomplished goal scorers. Michigan's offense powered by senior Jack Hallahan, juniors Umar Farouk Osman and Mohammed Zakyi and transfer Nebojsa Popovic has the potential to be very prolific. Senior forward  Shak Adams (8g, 8a) and sophomore O'Vonte Mullings give FGCU a lot of firepower.  This one is going to come down to which team is able to settle into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball and avoid costly letdowns on the defensive end.  

#17 Denver travels to face #28 Washington on Friday, August 30 and Seattle on Monday, September 2. Their gauntlet of tough competition continues after that with games on the road against #9 Indiana, #14 Notre Dame, #5 Stanford and California.  The ability of transfers Preston Judd, Danny Barlow, and Josh Drack to help fill the void that exists due to the graduation of forward Andre Shinyashiki (28g, 4a) looks to be among the factors that will determine Denver's ceiling in 2019. Keep an eye on Denver as the season progresses.  

#18 UCF travels to face #1 Wake Forest on Friday, August 30 and then squares off with #7 North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Sunday, September 1. The Knights are talented but their margin for error in both of these games will be small. Look for the ability of midfielders Louis Perez (3g, 5a and Yoni Sorokin (4g, 5a) and forward Hattabiou Barry (3g, 4a) to supplement the attack to be a critical success factor.  Both Wake Forest and UNC will test UCF's backline and goalkeeper Yannik Oetti. 

#19 Virginia Tech ventures to the west coast to tangle with Loyola Marymount on Friday, August 30 and UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, September 1. The Hokies return a solid contingent from the 2018 team that won eleven games. Forward Kristo Strickler (10g, 4a) looks to be the key to Virginia Tech's attack while goalkeeper Mathijs Swaneveld will anchor the defense.  The experience of traveling cross country to play usually helps prepare a team for the rigors they may face later in the year but it could prove to be hazardous to Virginia Tech's win-loss record in the early going.  UCSB led by Rodney Michael and Noah Billingsley will be a very difficult opponent if they are able to get into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball.

#20 West Virginia travels to face Monmouth on Friday, August 30 and Delaware on Monday, September 3. The Mountaineers will seek to build on the success they had last year but they will have to do it without the playmaking ability of All-American midfielder Joey Piatczyc who was the catalyst last year.  The good news is that a lot of experienced talent returns on both sides of the ball supplemented by a recruiting class that has several players who should contribute immediatey.  However, West Virginia can't afford to look past anyone.