A Dozen Teams That Are Off To A Great Start - College Soccer Coast To Coast

These teams are off and running with an impressive start to the 2019 campaign  Time will tell whether or not they will be able to sustain the success they have enjoyed so far as the grind of the season progresses. 

Cal State Fullerton – The Titans are 4-0-0 and off to their best start since the 2000 season with a balanced attack led by junior forward Christian Pinzon and redshirt midfielder Oscar Flores and a defense anchored by veteran senior netminder Paul Andre Guerin that has allowed only two goals to date while securing wins over Hartford, Bryant, Loyola Chicago, and Utah Valley.

Up Next: The Titans host an Air Force team on Friday that has scored only one goal in three contests to date and a Florida Gulf Coast University squad that has an explosive offense that when in gear can score in multiples.

Mercer – The Bears out of the Southern Conference are 4-0-0 with wins over Cincinnati, Presbyterian, UAB and Memphis.  Mercer is led on the offensive side of the ball by sophomore forward Trevor Martineau (3g, 3a), the reigning SoCon Player of the Year, and their defense is very capably anchored by redshirt junior goalkeeper JR DeRose.

Up Next:  Mercer travels to Columbia to face a good South Carolina team on Wednesday in a statement game of sorts for both teams. South Carolina is coming off of overtime wins against Gardner-Webb and USC Upstate after a season opening loss to Clemson. South Carolina is 10-1-0 when facing Mercer.  

FIU – The Panthers are 3-0-1 with a 5-1 win over St. Bonaventure, a signature 3-1 victory over James Madison, a 3-3 tie on the road with Jacksonville in which they scored two goals in the final five minutes of regulation, and a 2-1 win over Seton Hall.  Freshman midfielder Stephen Afrifa (3g, 0a) has added an additional dimension to an FIU attack that has produced a total of thirteen goals to date. This is a good FIU team but consistency of play remains an unanswered question.  

Up Next: FIU begins CUSA play when they travel to Boca Raton on Saturday to face an FAU team that is 2-1-0 with wins over James Madison and Jacksonville.

Bowling Green – The Falcons are coming off of a 1-0 win over Wisconsin and a 3-0 win over Northwestern after opening the season with a 1-1 tie with Duquesne and a 2-0 victory on the road over Robert Morris.  Senior team captain Anthony Mwembia anchors a BGSU defense that has allowed only one goal in four games to date. Senior Chris Brennan (1g, 2a) and junior Chris Sullivan (2g, 2a) are among those who add punch to the Falcon attack. Last year Bowling Green began the season with a 1-5-2 record and then rebounded. This year they are taking care of business in the early going with an impressive start.

Up Next:  Bowling Green under Eric Nichols will seek to build on their 3-0-1 record and top another Big Ten team when they welcome Ohio State to Cochrane Stadium on Friday night.  Ohio State under Brian Maisonneuve comes into the contest with a 3-1-0 record and momentum of their own with wins over UIC, Dayton and EIU after beginning the year with a 4-3 loss to CSUN.  This one should be a great college soccer match with a lot on the line for both teams.  

San Diego – The Toreros out of the West Coast Conference under the guidance of second year head coach Brian Quinn are off to a 4-0-0 record and their best start since the 2009 season.  San Diego has not allowed a goal in their last three contests recording a 3-0 win over Cal Poly, a 1-0 victory over Detroit Mercy and a 3-0 win over Belmont after opening the 2019 season with a 3-2 win over San Diego State out of the Pac-12.  Senior Miguel Berry (4g, 3a) powers the Torero offense while redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Matt Wiher has been at the heart of a very stout San Diego defense.

Up Next: The Toreros host a UC Davis team on Friday that also belongs on the short list of teams off to a good start.  The Aggies boast a solid 3-0-1 record that includes a season opening 2-0 win on the road over a good Wisconsin team, a scoreless tie on the road with Milwaukee, and wins at home over CSU Bakersfield 2-1 and Air Force 2-0. This is a very balanced UC Davis squad with six different players accounting for their six goals to date and a defense led by senior netminder Willis Lapsley that has allowed only one goal. The winner of this one gains momentum and credibility.    

Navy – The Midshipmen out of the Patriot League are off to their best start since the 2010 campaign with wins over UNC Ashville 3-1, George Mason 1-0, St. Bonaventure 1-0 and Saint Peter’s 2-0. Navy has been tenacious on the defensive side of the ball posting three consecutive shutouts.  Junior goalkeeper Ian Bramblett has been solid in goal making the key saves that he needs to make to give his team the opportunity to secure wins. Sophomore defender Matt Nocita and sophomore forward Jacob William have two goals apiece to date.  

Up Next: Navy travels to face a Mount St. Mary’s team out of the Northeast Conference on Saturday night that has also started well with a perfect 3-0-0 record that includes wins over Winthrop, Bucknell and Howard.  

NJIT – Redshirt junior forward Rene White (4g, 1a) is among those who provide firepower to an NJIT squad out of the ASUN Conference that is 2-0-1 and undefeated through the first three contests of the year for the fourth consecutive season. The Highlanders have a 7-0 win over Sacred Heart, a 2-2 tie with Fordham, and a 1-0 signature win over VCU to date. 

Up Next: NJIT will seek to add to their win total when host Drexel on Wednesday and travel to face Radford on Saturday.

Villanova – The Wildcat defense anchored by netminder redshirt sophomore Carson Williams has not allowed a goal to date while securing wins over Delaware 5-0, William and Mary 1-0, Temple University 1-0 and Fordham 1-0.  Freshman Lyam Mackinnon (2g, 4a) has added an additional dimension to the Villanova offense. Villanova head coach Tom Carlin stated, “This team believes and we’re very bought in defensively. That’s our backbone right now.”  

Up Next: Villanova will put its 4-0-0 record on the line when it travels to face Penn State on Friday. Penn State is 2-1-1.

Boston College – The Eagles are off to a perfect 4-0-0 record with wins over Quinnipiac 2-0, Boston University 1-0, Rhode Island 2-1, and Holy Cross 3-2. Boston College has displayed a balanced attack to date with seven different players contributing a goal. Amos Shapiro-Thompson (2g, 0a) and Stefan Sigurdarson (1g, 2a) are among several members of the freshman class who have been in the starting lineup and have performed well.  

Up Next:  The Eagles travel to Raleigh on Saturday to face NC State in a contest in which their freshmen will be introduced to the rigors of ACC play.  

Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights are off to their best start since the 1996 campaign with a 4-0-0 record that includes wins over Temple 1-0, Drexel 2-1, Elon 1-0 and Binghamton 3-2.  Forward Jackson Temple and midfielder Jorgen Wisth Lie have played key roles in the attack to date. Freshman Oren Asher has been solid in goal.  Consistency of play and the ability to put together a full ninety minutes of soccer look to be among the factors that will impact Rutgers’ success as the season progresses.

Up Next: The Scarlet Knights will seek to keep the momentum alive when they welcome Manhattan to Yurcak Field on Saturday.

St. John’s – St. John’s has opened the season with four consecutive wins for the first time in eighteen years. The Johnnies shut out Appalachian State 2-0 and NC State 1-0 on the road and then topped Manhattan 3-0 and Iona 3-2 at home.  Seven different players have scored in the four wins to date. The Johnnies streak of 326 minutes without allowing a goal was halted in their win over Iona.

Up Next:  St. John’s hosts Penn on Friday.

Missouri State – Josh Dolling has contributed three straight game-winning goals for the Bears who are 3-0-0 with a 1-0 win over Santa Clara, a 3-0 win on the road against Kansas City, and a 1-0 win at home over Central Arkansas in which Dolling netted the lone goal of the match in the eighty-ninth minute. The Bears' defense anchored by defensive midfielder Jack Denton and goalkeeper Michael Creek among others has been outstanding.

Up Next: Missouri State will host Tulsa on Saturday.



What Happened At A Glance - Coast To Coast - Friday, September 6

Wake Forest 3 - Dartmouth 1 - Midfielder Justin McMaster gave Wake Forest the early lead when he converted a header after receiving a cross from Eddie Folds. David Alino scored out of a throw in for Dartmouth to tie it at 1-1. Wake Forest took control in the second half with McMaster scoring again from the right side of the box and Alistair Johnson sending a header into the back of the frame out of a corner kick served in by freshman Omar Hernandez.

Kentucky 2- Tulsa 0 - The Wildcats got back in the win column after coming out on the short end of a 3-0 contest on Tuesday with in-state rival Louisville.  Sophomore forward Jason Reyes scored in the fourth minute and sophomore forward Daniel Evans added the insurance goal after receiving a cross from sophomore midfielder Clay Holstad  in the fifty-ninth minute of the game. Enrique Facusse had two saves in goal to record the shutout for Kentucky.  The Wildcats will host Xavier next Wednesday.

UCLA  3 - Maryland 2 - The Terps traveled to Los Angeles to tangle with the Bruins and started strong when junior forward Eric Matzelevich drove the rebound of his own shot into the back of the net in the sixth minute of the match but the momentum switched to the Bruins with forward Milan Iloski scoring in the nineteenth, fifty-first and sixty-second minutes of the match to take a 3-1 lead. Iloski's hat trick was UCLA's first since 2011. Forward Brayan Padilla drew the Terps back within a single goal when he utilized his left foot to score out of a free kick from the top of the box.  UCLA improves to 2-1-0 while Maryland drops to 1-2-0.

Saint Mary's 1 - Grand Canyon 0 - A penalty kick by Anders Engebretsen in the forty-ninth minute of the match gave Saint Mary's the edge they needed to secure the win.  Remi Prieur had two saves in goal to secure the shutout for the Gaels.  George Tasouris had a single stop in goal for the Lopes.  Saint Mary head coach Adam Cooper pretty much summed things up when he stated, "In college soccer you need to be able to grind out 1-0 games and that's what we did today. GCU is a good team. They're strong, experienced and tough to play against. I thought we did well enough to get the result and now we'll focus on the next one."  The Gaels improve to 3-0-0. Grand Canyon is 1-1-0.  

Duke 4- Princeton 0 - Danile Proch lead the Duke attack contributing a goal in each half. Scotty Taylor scored for Duke in the thirty-eighth minute with an assist from Max Moser.  The final Duke score was an own goal.  Will Pulisic had two saves in goal for Duke. Jacob Schachner had five saves between the pipes for Princeton.  Duke head coach John Kerr stated, "At times we played some good soccer.  We were on top of them. We got our passing game going a little bit and to get two pretty good goals helped our confidence a bit."  

Indiana 2 - Denver 1 (ot) - Indiana secures its third consecutive win in overtime with redshirt junior forward Ian Black providing the game-winning goal in the ninety-eighth minute after receiving a pass from Joe Schmidt.  Denver's Liam Johnson scored in the sixth minute of play out of a corner kick put in play by Jacob Stensson. Black converted a penalty kick for Indiana in the twenty-eighth minute to tie the game  at 1-1. Denver played a man down for most of the second half when they were given a red card in the forty-ninth minute. Indiana improves to 3-0-0. Denver drops to 0-2-1.  

Georgetown 1 - UC Irvine 0 - Georgetown traveled cross country to secure a hard fought 1-0 win over the Anteaters. Junior midfieder Jacob Montes skillfully placed a shot just inside the far post in the eighty-sixth minute out of a set piece after receiving a pass from junior defender Sean O'Hearn to give the Hoyas the edge they needed to secure the win. UC Irvine played a man down from the seventy-ninth minute on due to a red card. Georgetown improves to 3-0-0 and remains on the west coast to face UCLA on monday evening. UC Irvine drops to 0-2-1 to date.  

Creighton 1 - Akron 0 - This one took place before a crowd of 4,818 at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. Ziyad Fares scored from six yards out when he alertly sent a rebound back into the net. Dominic Briggs added what would prove to be the game-winner for Creighton in the thirty-seventh minute when he placed a shot into the back of the frame from fifteen yards out.  Christian Lue Young scored for Akron in the fortieth minute from inside the box after receiving a cross from Federico Serra.  Paul Krause had four saves between the pipes for the Bluejays.  Tor Saunders had a six save evening for Akron. Creighton is now 1-1-1. Akron is 0-3-0.  

North Carolina 6 - Harvard 0 - The Tar Heel attack was in full gear in this one. UNC had a thirty-five to four advantage in shots for the evening. The Tar Heels wasted no time in getting on the board with Alex Rose directing a header into the back of the net in the first minute of the game after receiving a well played cross from Jelani Pieters.  Jack Skahan scored from twenty yards out in the eleventh minute and the teams went into halftime with the Heels up 2-0. Santiago Herrera, Antonio Lopez, Skahan, and Cameron Fisher scored for North Carolina in the second stanza.  North Carolina is now 1-1-1 while Harvard is 0-1-0.

Washington 1 - Michigan State 0 - Lucas Meek scored the lone goal of the evening for Washington in the forty-fourth minute of play from close range with teammates Dylan Teves and Imanol Rosales credited with a double assist. Bryce Logan had three saves in goal for Washington. Hunter Morse had a seven save game in a losing cause for Michigan State.  Washington is off to an impressive 3-0-0 start while Michigan State is 0-1-2 to date with only one goal in three contests.

Virginia Tech 2 - Loyola Maryland 1 - The Hokies took a 1-0 lead in the second minute of play when Daniel Perieira sent a drive into the back of the frame from twenty-five yards out with an assist from Kristo Strickler. The contest remained 1-0 at half time. Bary Sharifi gave Loyola new life in the forty-first minute when he converted a header header after receiving a cross from Brian Sharifi.  James Kasak netted the game-winner for Virginia Tech in the seventy-sixth minute when he made a nice move to create the space he needed to send a shot just inside the far post. Mathijs Swaneveld had one save in goal for the Hokies. Chase Vosvick had four stops in goal for Loyola. Virginia Tech is 3-0-0 while Loyola is winless at 0-3-0.

Notre Dame 4- Seattle 2 - The Irish displayed a potent and balanced attack with a goal from Jack Lynn out of a throw-in during the first half and Felicien Dumas, Mohamed Omar, Aiden McFadden in the second stanza.  Noe Meza and Hal Uderitz scored in the second half for Seattle but it was not enough to close the gap. Seattle had a seventeen to ten advantage in shots for the evening.  Notre Dame is now 2-0-0. Seattle is 1-1-1.

Louisville 3 - FAU 0 - This one was played in Boca Raton, Florida. The contests was scoreless at the conclusion of the first forty-five minutes of play.  The floodgates opened on the offensive side of the ball for the Cardinals when Louka Masset nailed a penalty kick in the fifty-third minute. Cherif Dieye placed a rebound in the back of the net in the sixty-second minute to make it 2-0 and Izaiah Jennings sent a shot into the back of the net from twenty-five yards out to make it 3-0 to conclude the scoring for the evening.  Jake Gelnovatch had three saves in goal for the Cardinals. Jalon Hagay had four saves in goal for FAU.  Louisville is 2-0-1. FAU stands at 1-1-0.  

Charlotte 2 - Coastal Carolina 1 - Teddy Chaouche scored the game winner for Charlotte in overtime in one of the marquee matches of the weekend. Danny Cabrera scored in the closing minutes of the first half to give Coastal Carolina a 1-0 lead heading into intermission.  It looked like that goal might prove to be the difference in the match until Preston Popp scored in the eighty-six minute to give the 49ers new life and pave the way for Chaouche's heroics in overtime. Charlotte had a fifteen to eight advantage in shots and a six to three advantage in shots on goal. Charlotte is now 3-0-0. A talented Coastal Carolina team drops to 2-1-0.

UCF 2 - Penn State 2 (ot) - Cal Jennings scored twice in the first half for UCF and Aaron Molloy converted a penalty kick for Penn State to send the teams into intermission with UCF up by a goal. Penn State's Christian Sload scored the lone goal of the second half and the contest ended in a 2-2 tie with neither team finding the back of the net in overtime.  UCF head coach Scott Calabrese stated, "I thought we started the game well and played that first twenty minutes or so in their half, got a goal early. Kind of from that point on, we maybe weren't as sharp after that goal. We conceded some space to them and kind of ended up playing in our half."

Michigan 3- Cornell 0 - Michigan played well on both sides of the ball. Mohammed Zakyi  scored in the first half with a double assist from Jack Hallahan and Nebojsa Popovic  while Jackson Ragen and Popovic contributed a goal each in the second half.  Andrew Verdi had a single save in goal for the Wolverines. Brady McSwain had four saves between the pipes for Cornell.  

SMU 2 - Saint Louis 0 - Junior defender Eddie Munjoma scored out of a set piece just outside the box in the third minute of play and added the insurance goal in the fifty-first minute at close range to give SMU a good 2-0 win over visiting Saint Louis. SMU ups their record to 3-0-0 while Saint Louis now stands at 0-2-0.

Oregon State - Redshirt sophomore Kolade Salaudeen and sophomore Adrian Crespo scored in the second half of play to give Oregon State the edge they needed to top visiting Davidson.  Oregon State improves to 2-1-0. Davidson drops to 1-1-0.

Fairleigh Dickinson 2 - Connecticut 1 - FDU picks up a good on the road come from behind win. Jordan Hall scored in the nineteenth minute to give UConn a 1-0 advantage but FDU responded with a goal from midfielder Adrian Barajas in the twenty-seventh minute and forward Diego Arribas in the thirty-first minute to stun Connecticut.  FDU improves to 2-1-0 with wins over Bucknell and UConn.  Connecticut drops to 2-1-0 after opening the season with two wins.

Xavier 2 - Cincinnati 0 - Freshman Karsen Henderlong gave Xavier a 1-0 lead with an assist from Ryan Bellavance a little more than a minute into the contest.  Samson Sergi added a second Xavier goal in the thirty-third minute. Cincinnati pulled within one when Kyle Healy scored in the sixty-fourth minute. Xavier improves to 3-0-0. Cincinnati is now 1-2-0.

Clemson 2 - UNCG  1- All the scoring in this one took place in the first half. Grayson Barber gave Clemson a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of play. Albert Pedra converted a header for UNCG to tie it at 1-1 after receiving a cross from Micah Albert in the thirty-third minute of play.  Phillip Mayaka responded for Clemson when he scored what proved to be the game-winner from twenty-five yards in the thirty-ninth minute of the match.  Clemson improves to 3-0-0 while UNCG is now 1-2-0.  Clemson has scored a total of fourteen goals in three contests while allowing only two.

New Hampshire 0 - Colgate 0 (ot) - This one was all defense as neither team was able to break through.  UNH had an eleven to eight advantage in shots and a four to two edge in shots on goal. New Hampshire is 2-0-1. Colgate is 0-1-2.    

Florida Gulf Coast University 1 - Seton Hall 0 - This one could easily have gone either way. FGCU's Max Edwards produced the game-winner with only fifteen ticks remaining in regulation when he drove the rebound of teammate Miguel Perez's  shot into the back of net.  Andreas Nota had a six save evening in goal for Seton Hall. Gustavo Vasconcelos had three saves in goal for FGCU.   

CSUN 2 - Utah Valley 2 - Utah Valley got on the board first with Alex Felix driving a header into the net after receiving a pass from Mark Brown.  Daniel Trejo scored for CSUN in the twenty-fifth minute to knot the contest at 1-1 with a double helper from Johnny Rodriguez and Giovanni Aguilar. Utah Valley jumped back on top 2-1 with a goal from Zach Maas in the fifty-third minute.  Rodriguez scored from close range out of a set piece after receiving a pass from Ehi Isibor in the sixty-first minute to make it 2-2.  Utah Valley played a man down when they were shown a red card with two minutes remaining in the first half.

Syracuse 1 - Yale 1 (ot)  - Simon Triantafillou scored in the thirty-fifth minute to give Syracuse a one goal advantage. Miguel Yuste scored in the fifty-fifth minute to tie it at 1-1 and conclude the scoring for the evening.  Ian McIntyre stated, "Yale started the game better than us and ultimately they did what they needed to do. They made the game choppy in the second half. And we lacked a little quality in the final third tonight."

Cal State Fullerton 2 - Loyola Chicago 1 - Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early lead when Christian Pinzon converted a header with an assist from Tyler Marquez in the thirteenth minute and Sebastian Cruz scored from six yards out after receiving a pass from Oscar Flores in the seventeenth minute. Loyola Chicago got on track in the second half but they were unable to close the two goal gap. They did pick one up when Justin Sukow scored in the eighty-eighth minute from nine yards out after receiving a pass from Marius Kullmann.  Cal State Fullerton improves to 3-0-0 while Loyola Chicago drops to 2-1-0.    

Portland 3 - George Washington 0 - Portland dominated this one in the friendly confines of Merlo Field. Luke Hendel scored out of a free kick put in play by Rey Ortiz in the fourteenth minute. Gio Magana-Rivera made it 2-0 Pilots when he sent a shot just inside the left post in the twentieth minute with Ortiz again providing the assist. Freshman Ben Ortiz netted the final goal of the contest for Portland with six minutes remaining in regulation after receiving a through ball from Yusuf Cueceoglu.  Nico Campuzano had four saves in goal to record the shutout for the Pilots who improve to 1-1-1. George Washington drops to 0-2-1.

Bowling Green 1 - Wisconsin 0 - Defense ruled in this one. Freshman defender Michael Montemurri scored out of a corner kick in the eighty-first minute for Bowling Green. Senior Anthony Mwembia had two saves in goal for Bowling Green.  Dean Cowdroy had a three save evening for the Badgers. The win was Bowling Green's first over a Big Ten opponent since September 2016.  BGSU head coach Eric Nichols stated, I am really pleased with the performance and even happier for the guys. They were doing all the right things in terms of soccer, and they could have gotten frustrated by not getting a goal, but they stay dialed in and kept the pressure on." The Falcons improve  to 2-0-1. Wisconsin is 1-2-0.

SIUE 4 - Evansville 3 - The scoring came in bunches in this one. SIUE took a 3-0 lead with Lachan McLean, Jorge Gonzalez, Jacob Bilyeu all scoring within the first eight minutes of the match.  Vincent Jackson then made it 4-0 when he scored in the thirtieth minute of the contest.  It was then Evansville's turn with Ryan Harris finding the back of the net in the thirty-six minute to make it 4-1 at intermission. Nkosi Graham and Filip Johansson scored in the second half for Evansville to narrow the final margin to a single goal.

UIC 5 - Valparaiso 1 - The folks at Flames Field were treated to plenty of action early on in this one.  Sophomore forward Bar Hazut scored in the first minute of the match and completed a hat trick within the first twenty-eight minutes of the contest.  Senior midfielder Jesus Perez also scored in the twenty-eighth and seventy-six minutes  for the Flames. Mason Marcey scored the lone goal for Valpo with a double assist from Ryan Madondo and Jonas Engler in the sixty-second minute of the contest.   UIC improves to 2-1-0. Valpo is 1-1-1.  



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.