Friday Night Lights - What Happened At A Glance - September 20

Stay up to date on all of the action coast to coast. Northwestern upsets Maryland and Indiana tops Wisconsin in Big Ten play. Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina and Louisville are among ACC teams who secure impressive wins. St. John's continues to take care of business with a good come from behind win over Xavier in Big East action. Creighton, Portland and Pittsburth among teams who secure good wins and gain momentum.  

Stanford 2 – California 1 – Freshmen provided the goals for the Cardinal who had to come from a goal down to secure the win.  Forward Jonathan Estrada gave the Golden Bears a 1-0 advantage when he scored in the eighth minute of play after receiving a cross from midfielder Francisco Perez. Freshman forward Arda Bulut scored for Stanford in the fortieth minute to tie it at 1-1. Freshman forward Gabe Segal found the back of the net from twenty yards out to net what proved to be the game-winner for the Cardinal in the seventieth minute.  Stanford begins the season with six consecutive wins for the first time since 2002.  Jeremy Gunn stated, “I was really proud of our response after halftime.”  

Virginia 2- NC State 0 – Virginia continues to roll. Sophomore forward Daryl Dike scored in the closing minutes of the first half after receiving a cross from senior defender and team captain Robin Afamefuna to give Virginia a 1-0 lead.  Junior midfielder Joe Bell added the insurance goal for the Cavaliers when he successfully converted a penalty kick in the final minute of regulation.  Colin Shutler recorded his thirteenth career shutout in goal for Virginia. The Cavaliers are 6-0-0 for the first time since the 2008 season. 

Indiana 3 – Wisconsin 1 – Freshman forward Victor Bezerra decisively converted a penalty kick in the tenth minute to give the Hoosiers an early lead.  The contest remained 1-0 at intermission.  Wisconsin got new life in the seventy-seventh minute with sophomore forward Matthew Comiskey sending a header into the back of the frame to knot the contest at 1-1. Indiana responded two minutes later when defender Daniel Munie utilized his left foot to score out of a corner kick.  Freshman forward Maouloune Goumballe scored out of a breakaway in the final minute of the contest to give the Hoosiers a 3-1 win in Big Ten play.  Indiana improves to 4-0-2.

Georgetown 3 – Butler 0 – Junior Jacob Montes scored in the first half with an assist from Dylan Nealis and in the second half with a double assist from Derek Dodson and Paul Rothrock.  Sophomore Zach Riviere added a goal in the second stanza out of a free kick to give the Hoyas an impressive win in Big East Conference play. Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese stated, “We played with more urgency and pace in the second half, I thought there was much more ball movement.” The Hoyas are now 6-0-0 while Butler is 3-3-0.

Clemson 3 – Duke 1 – Hold that Tiger. Clemson topped the visiting Blue Devils in a physical contest with sophomore forward James Brighton scoring in the twenty-fifth minute, sophomore forward Grayson Barber in the sixty-third minute, and junior forward Kimarni Smith in the final minute of regulation.  Midfielder Daniele Proch scored Duke’s lone goal of the evening in the eighty-sixth minute from close range with a double assist from Stephen O’Connell and Matthias Frick. Will Pulicic had ten saves in goal in a losing cause for Duke. George Marks had a single save in goal for Clemson.  The Tigers improve to 7-0-0 while Duke losses its third straight match to drop to 4-3-0.

North Carolina 2 - Notre Dame 0 – The Tar Heel defense came to play holding the Irish to only one shot on goal. Jelani Pieters got UNC on the board when he alertly controlled a loose ball in the box and sent it back into the frame. Blake Malone scored the insurance goal for the Tar Heels out of a corner kick served in by Jack Skahan in the sixty-eighth minute of the match.  Alec Smir had a single save to record the shutout in goal for UNC. Turnbull Duncan had four saves between the pipes for Notre Dame.  North Carolina is now 4-1-2 with two wins in ACC play. The Irish are 3-2-1.

Louisville 2 – Virginia Tech 1 – This ACC contest took place at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium in Louisville. Virginia Tech drew first blood when Kristo Strickler scored in the thirty-sixth minute of the game from twenty-five yards out after receiving a pass from Jon Ingason.  Louisville double downed on the pressure in the second stanza and broke through in the eighty-second and eighty-fifth minutes with Cherif Dieye contributing both goals.  The Cardinal outshot the Hokies ten to three in the second half. Louisville improves to 3-1-2 while Virginia Tech drops to 5-2-0. 

St. John’s 3 – Xavier 1 – St. John’s scored three times to come roaring back in the second half of play to top an Xavier team that was up 1-0 at halftime as a result of a goal from Karsen Henderlong in the twelfth minute of play. Senior midfielder Brandon Duarte scored in the fifty-seventh minute for the Johnnies and senior midfielder Niko Petridis found the back of the net in the sixty-ninth and eighty-seventh minutes.  St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur stated, “You have to make things go your way, you have to earn it and keep your head up and keep working. Our team’s going to have to continue to learn how to play when we’re down, to face adversity and to have character. Today was a good example of that and it was nice to see us come out on top.” St. John’s improve to 7-0-0.  Xavier is now 3-2-1.

Northwestern 3 – Maryland 1 – Northwestern came to play in this Big Ten contest with Bardia Kimiavi scoring in the fourth minute of play to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage. Maryland got back into the mix with a Brayan Padilla goal in the fifty-sixth minute to knot the score at 1-1. Northwestern responded with goals from senior midfielder Matt Moderwell in the sixty-sixth minute and senior forward Ty Seager in the sixty-eighth minute to secure a huge momentum building win.  Miha Miskovic had two save in goal for Northwestern. Russel Shealy had two saves in goal for Maryland. Northwestern improves to 4-3-0 while Maryland drops to 3-3-0. 

Portland 3 – CSUN 1 – Freshman back Delentz Pierre converted a header out of a corner kick and Rey Ortiz scored out of a give and go with Alejandro Pereira in the first stanza for Portland. Johnny Rodriguez pulled back one for CSUN when he found the back of the net in the fifty-fifth minute of play to make it 2-1.  Pereira added the final goal of the evening for Portland in the eighty-third minute. Nico Campuzano had a three save evening between the pipes for Porland while Paul Lewis had two saves in goal for CSUN.  Portland ups their record to 4-2-1. CSUN drops to 4-2-1. 

Creighton 1 – Marquette 0 – This one looked like it was headed to overtime until sophomore midfielder Daniel Espeleta broke the deadlock when he scored from the middle of the box in the eighty-sixth minute with a double assist from Younes Boudadi and Dominic Briggs to give Creighton the edge they needed to secure the win in this Big East Conference matchup.  Collin Valdivia had a productive eight save evening in goal for Creighton. Jackson Weyman had four saves between the pipes for Marquette. 

Northern Illinois 3 – Purdue Fort Wayne 1 – Forward Alex Frank scored in the twenty-third minute to give Purdue Fort Wayne the early lead. Senior Christian Molina scored in the thirty-fourth minute for NIU to knot the score at 1-1. NIU sophomores Miguel Maynex Jr. and Nick Markanich scored in the second half to give the Huskies a good come from behind win.  NIU is 2-4-1. Purdue Fort Wayne is 3-4-0.

Columbia 3 – Connecticut 2 – Senior John Denis played a key role in Columbia’s win scoring in the fifteenth and eighty-fourth minutes and contributing the helper on teammate Uri Zeitz’s goal in the sixty-second minute.  Jordan Hall scored in the twenty-sixth minute and Robin Lalpert in the eighty-first minute for UConn. Columbia head coach Kevin Anderson stated, “Tonight was the most complete performance over ninety minutes that we have had all season on both sides of the ball.”  Columbia is 1-2-2. Connecticut is 3-4-0. 

Pittsburgh 2 – Boston College 0 – Midfielder Velijko Petkovic scored out of a free kick from twenty-six yards out in the first half and junior forward Alexander Dexter scored in the second half from inside the box to give Pitt the edge they needed to top Boston College in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest. Jay Vidovich stated, “I’m proud of our guys growth and getting two results this week. Our habits are improving, and tonight we had a difficult opponent and environment. I’m happy with the collective effort, team defense and the bench guaranteeing the win.”  Pittsburgh improves to 3-3-1 while Boston College drops to 4-2-0.

The Grind Begins. Conference Play Gets Underway This Weekend In The Atlantic Coast Conference

It’s that time of the year when the teams in the ACC start beating up on each other. Six key ACC contests are on tap this weekend with the results having implications in the conference and on the national scene.

Wake Forest (4-0-0) at Pittsburgh (1-2-1)Friday - At first glance this one should be all Wake Forest but Pitt could surprise the Deacons. There are no easy wins in ACC play. The Demon Deacons will no doubt apply pressure that will likely take a toll on Pitt as the contest progresses.  But the Panthers, who remain a work in progress, have been explosive at times for portions of games as reflected in their two-goal lead over Indiana in Bloomington that ended in a 3-2 loss in overtime and a 3-1 advantage over Delaware that ended in a 3-3 tie. They also have a 3-0 win over Liberty.

This is Wake Forest’s first contest on the road this year.  If Pitt can put together a full ninety minutes of play and keep Wake Forest from dominating the run of play in the middle third then this one could be very interesting.

Duke (4-0-0) at Virginia (3-0-0)Friday - Duke has a potent attack led by Daniele Proch (5g, 0a) but Virginia has a defense that has not allowed a goal in three games and looks to be among the most difficult in the country to break down.

Duke topped Virginia 2-0 last year in Charlottesville when they came out strong and took control of the contest in the early going. Look for the Blue Devils to seek to do the same this year by using their speed on the flanks to open the field of play and create seams that they can exploit in the Cavalier defense. Virginia will seek to keep their shape on the defensive side of the ball and judiciously take advantage of opportunities to attack that come their way. 

This contest has traditionally been determined by a single goal. That may not prove to be the case this year but nonetheless whoever scores first will have a big advantage in terms of setting the pace of the contest. If Duke has to chase Virginia from behind, they will be in trouble. 

This one could go either way but all things considered, the experience the Duke upperclassmen (Daniele Proch, Brandon Williamson, Max Moser, Sergi Nus, Hassan Pinto, Matthias Frick, and Will Pulisic among others) bring to the pitch should give the Blue Devils the edge they need to prevail at home over a very talented but still relatively young Virginia team.

Clemson (4-0-0) at Notre Dame (3-0-0)Friday - This one is an intriguing “something has to give” contest. Clemson has displayed a red-hot multi-dimensional attack led by Kimarni Smith, Robbie Robinson, Grayson Barber and Adrian Nunez that has produced a total of twenty-one goals in four contests. However, the Tigers have not yet faced a team that is as solid on the defensive side of the ball as Notre Dame. This is also their first game of the season on the road. 

The Irish led by sophomore forward Jack Lynn (3g, 0a) have found the back of the net eight times in three contests. The Irish are particularly dangerous out of set pieces. However, Notre Dame could have trouble finding the back of the net against a Clemson defense that has only allowed two goals to date.    

Both teams will attack but this one is going to come down to which team is able to settle into a rhythm and find an appropriate balance between offensive productivity and defensive effectiveness.  Clemson will push the attack but must do so in a manner that does not leave them vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball. The Irish will have to contain the Tiger attack but must do so while maintaining an opportunistic offense.

This one is up for grabs and should be a great college soccer match. 

North Carolina (2-1-1) at Virginia Tech (4-0-0)Friday - The Tar Heels entered the season with some reloading to do on the defensive side of the ball due to the departure of goalkeeper James Pyle and backs Alex Comsia and John Nelson which likely contributed to a season opening 2-2 tie with Creighton and a 2-1 loss at home to UCF.  Creighton and UCF were very competitive opponents but it is worth noting that the four goals the Tar Heels allowed in their first two games equaled forty percent of the total goals UNC allowed last year.  The Tar Heels are loaded on the offensive side of the ball with junior forward Alex Rose currently leading the way with four goals and two assists. This is a good North Carolina team but the jury is still out in regard to their play on the defensive side of the ball.  

Virginia Tech has wins on the road over Loyola Marymount 2-1, UCSB 3-1, Loyola (Md) 2-1 and Hofstra 4-3. This is an experienced and hardworking Hokie squad. Junior Kristo Strickler (3g, 1a) powers a Virginia Tech offense that has scored eleven goals while senior backs Jon Ingason and Will Mejia and junior goalkeeper Mathijs Swaneveld anchor a bend but don’t break Hokie defense. 

Momentum will be important in this one. The team that is forced to play off their backfoot could be in for a long evening. 

Boston College (4-0-0) at North Carolina State (2-1-1) – Saturday - Ed Kelly’s Boston College team is off to an impressive start with wins over Quinnipiac 2-0, Boston University 1-0, Rhode Island 2-1 and Holy Cross 3-2.  This is a young Eagle team with freshmen forward Stefan Sigurdarson (1g, 2a), midfielders Mike Suski (1g, 1a) and Amos Shapiro-Thompson (2g, 0a), back Victor Souza and goalkeeper Giacomo Piccardo in key roles.  

George Kiefer’s Wolfpack squad has had a good but somewhat disappointing start to the season with wins over Loyola (Md) and Longwood, a loss to St. John’s and a tie with William and Mary.   Boston College could pull off the win but chances are pretty good that North Carolina State’s experience, the home field advantage, and the play of Wolfpack midfielder David Loera will give the Pack the edge that they need to open ACC play with a victory.

Louisville (2-1-1) at Syracuse (1-1-2) – Friday – This one is intriguing because it is hard to get a handle on Louisville due to inconsistency in the level of their play and Syracuse looks to be a team that is experiencing a learning curve.  

Louisville opened the season with a disappointing 2-2 tie at home with Cleveland State. They then topped Kentucky 3-0 to secure their first win over the Wildcats since 2015 despite having to play a man down for the final thirty-three minutes of the match.  Louisville then topped Florida Atlantic 3-0 on the road before losing 2-0 to South Florida in Tampa.

The Cardinals look to be a team that is still trying to sort out their own identity. Resolve that and this team is going to win a lot of games. Midfielder Cherif Dieye and forward Emil Elveroth are among those who look to be keys to the Louisville attack.  Goalkeeper Jake Gelnovatch and back Cody Cochran are the guys who can bring stability and consistency to the defense.  

Syracuse is going through growing pains of their own with a number of new faces in key roles. The Orange opened the year with a 3-1 loss on the road to Georgetown. They then topped Binghamton 3-1 at home followed by a 1-1 tie with Yale and a 2-2 tie with New Hampshire. If this team jells, they are going to be very good.

The winner of this contest will be the team that is able to put together a full ninety minutes of play.  Both have had trouble putting together two good halves. In their last contest, Louisville dug themselves into a hole from which they were unable to recover when they allowed South Florida to score twice within the first nineteen minutes of the match. In their last game, Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead over New Hampshire but had to settle for a tie when they allowed two goals in the second half.





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.