The 2018 College Soccer Season is officially underway. There were several outstanding season opening matchups and as is always the case several upsets occured. Several freshmen and transfers made an immediate impact. Fasten your seat belts as the pace is going to pick up as teams settle into a rhythm.
Stanford 0 – San Jose State 0 (ot) – Stanford had a twenty-four to nine advantage in shots but was unable to find the back of the net in their season opener against San Jose State. Alex Clewis had an eleven save evening in goal for the visiting Spartans.
Wake Forest 2 – Indiana 1 (ot) – The Demon Deacons secure a signature season opening win with freshman Kyle Holcomb netting the game-winner in the second overtime period before a crowd of 4,751 fans at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem. The contest was scoreless at half-time. Omir Fernandez scored to give Wake Forest a 1-0 lead three minutes into the second half. Indiana's Griffin Dorsey found the back of the net in the seventy-third minute to knot the score at 1-1.
North Carolina 1 – ETSU 0 – Junior forward Jelani Pieters drove a header into the back post that was set up by a nice ball from midfielder Mauricio Pineda in the seventy-ninth minute of the contest to give the Tar Heels the edge they needed to secure the win. Senior James Pyle had two saves in goal to record the shutout.
Michigan State 1 – South Florida 0 – Freshman forward Farai Mutatu converted a header in the eighty-seventh minute out of a corner kick to give the Spartans a season opening win over a determined South Florida team. Senior Jimmy Hague had one save in goal to post the shutout. The contest took place before a crowd of over two thousand enthusiastic fans at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing.
Louisville 2 – St. Bonaventure 1 – The Bonnies silenced the crowd at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium when Kosi Nwarfornso converted a penalty kick in the fifteenth minute to go up 1-0. Junior forward Kino Ryosuke knotted the score at 1-1 six minutes later when he placed a shot into the upper right corner of the frame from ten yards out with a double assist from midfielders Geoffrey Dee and Tate Smith. Dee, who missed the 2017 campaign due to injury, converted a penalty kick in the sixty-ninth minute of play to conclude the scoring for the evening. Luke Iacobellis had five saves in goal for St. Bonaventure. Jake Gelnovatch had a two save evening between the pipes for Louisville.
Akron 2 – Butler 2 (ot) – This one was among the premier season opening matchups. Louis Bulger scored out of a free kick from eighteen yards out in the twelfth minute to draw first blood for Butler. Sophomore David Egbo scored in the twenty-fourth minute for Akron from eighteen yards out to tie it at 1-1. Egbo converted a penalty kick for Akron just before intermission to give the Zips a 2-1 advantage heading into halftime. Butler forward Brandon Guhl scored in the sixtieth minute at close range with an assist from Alex Lehtinen to knot the score at 2-2. Both teams had a lot of new faces on the pitch.
Duke 3 – FIU 1 – The Blue Devils secured an impressive season opening win. Senior midfielder Ciaran McKenna netted the first Duke goal when he converted a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the first half. FIU's Nick O'Callaghan converted a header out of a free kick put into play by Joris Ahlini in the fifty-third minute to tie it at 1-1 and give the Panthers new life. FIU had to play a man down when they were shown a red card in the seventy-third minute of the match. Duke responded with a header from sophomore defender Matthias Frick out of a corner kick in the seventy-seventh minute and a goal from junior forward Daniele Proch in the eightieth minute to secure the win. Sophomore Will Pulisic had five saves in goal for Duke.
Providence 2 – SMU 1 (ot) – Count this one among the season opening upsets. The contest was scoreless at half time but Providence jumped out to an early advantage when Tiago Mendonca drove a shot into the back of the frame from twenty-five yards out in the fifty-second minute of the match after receiving a pass from Malcolm Duncan. SMU newcomer Akean Shackleford skillfully chipped a shot into the net in the eightieth minute to tie the contest at 1-1 and send it into extra time. Alex Dacosta netted the game-winner for Providence from eighteen yards out in overtime. Providence out of the Big East Conference picks up a signature season opening win on the road. Redshirt senior Colin Miller had eight saves in goal for the Friars.
Georgetown 1 – South Carolina 0 (ot) – The Hoyas traveled to Columbia and came away with a season opening win when junior foward Achara netted the game-winner in the ninety-second minute of the match. The goal was set up by a pass from senior midfielder Kyle Zajec to sophomore midfielder Foster McCune who then redirected it back into the middle to Achara who decisively placed the ball into the back of the frame. Georgetown remains in South Carolina for a contest with Coastal Carolina on Sunday.
Creighton 2 – Clemson 0 – Another big season opening win for a team out of the Big East Conference in front of a crowd of 5,473 at Morrison Stadium in Omaha. Junior transfer Ziyad Fares from Yavapai College scored in the thirty-seventh minute of play from five yards out with a double assist from teammates Younes Boudadi and Akeem Ward to give Creighton a lead that they would never relinquish. Anthony Macchione added the insurance goal in the forty-second minute after receiving a cross from Ward. It was a good resume building win for a Creighton team that hopes to return to the NCAA Tournament field after being absent last year.
Fordham 2 – Holy Cross 1 – Sophomore transfer Sameer Fathazada alertly deposited the rebound of Janos Loebe's shot into the back of the net to give Fordham a 1-0 lead in the twenty-eighth minute of the match. Holy Cross quickly responded when Owen Azrak converted a penalty kick that resulted from a handball in the box to tie the contest at 1-1. The contest remained 1-1 at halftime. Fordham's Janos Loebe netted what proved to be the difference maker in the seventy-sixth minute from within the top center of the box after receiving a pass from Jack Sluys. Senior Dan Miklos had three saves in goal for Fordham. Henry Stutz had six saves in a losing cause for Holy Cross.
UCLA 4 – Coastal Carolina 0 – The Bruins travel cross country to secure a solid season opening and momentum building win with an impressive showing on the offensive side of the ball. Freshman midfielder Matt Hundley scored twice, junior forward Mohammed Kamara who transferred in from Tyler Junior College and redshirt junior midfielder Robert Knight each added a goal. Anderson Asiedu, Hundley and Alex Knox were credited with assists. Senior Cole Martinez had three saves in goal to notch the shutout for the Bruins.
Virginia 1 – New Hampshire 0 – This one looked to be headed toward overtime but sophomore midfielder Joe Bell determined otherwise when he scored with only twenty-one ticks remaining in regulation to give the Cavaliers the edge they needed to secure a hard fought win against a gutsy New Hampshire team. Redshirt sophomore Colin Shutler had two saves to record the shutout in goal for Virginia.
Western Michigan 2 – Loyola Chicago 0 – The Broncos were impressive on both sides of the ball. Neither team scored in the first stanza but Western Michigan broke the ice five minutes into the second half when Kosti Moni converted a penalty kick to go up 1-0. Loyola Chicago received a red card in the sixty-seventh minute and had to play a man down the rest of the evening. Cameron Sipple made it 2-0 Western Michigan in the seventy-fourth minute when he scored from the right corner of the box. Mike Melaragni and Giuseppe Vitale assisted on Sipple's goal. Redshirt senior Elijah Michaels had a one save evening in route to recording the shutout in goal for the Broncos. Western Michigan travels to face DePaul on Monday.
Tulsa 2 – Michigan 1 – Tom McIntosh's Tulsa team came to Ann Arbor ready to play and left with an impressive win. Juan Sanchez got Tulsa on the board in the eleventh minute after receiving a nice pass from freshman forward Gilles Kuhler. Zakyi Mohammed scored for Michigan in the twenty-fourth minute to tie the contest at 1-1. Tulsa's Joe Ruiz scored out of a corner kick served in by Chase Bromstedt and then headed by Gustavo Vargas to Ruiz with a little over a minute remaining in the first half to put the Golden Hurricane back on top. Michigan had a 17-11 advantage in shots. Sophomore Cooper Clark had six saves in goal for Tulsa. Henry Mashburn had three saves between the pipes for Michigan.
New Mexico 4 – Seattle 2 – New Mexico takes care of business with a huge season opening win over a highly regarded Seattle side. A crowd of 1837 fans were on hand to support the Lobos. Senior midfielder Antoine Vial and sophomore forward Matt Puig scored in the first half for New Mexico. Julian Avila-Good found the back of the frame in the first stanza for Seattle. The teams went into intermission with the Lobos up 2-1. Puig and freshman midfielder Omar Grey scored for New Mexico in the second half. Cody Gibson netted Seattle's lone goal in the second stanza. New Mexico head coach Jeremy Fishbein stated, "I couldn't be prouder of our guys. The mark of Lobo soccer is that we don't lose at home and our philosophy is we want to schedule the best so this was a top-25 team and we handled it." New Mexico hosts highly regarded Washington on Monday night at seven p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Washington 2 – Maryland 0 – Washington made the plays they needed to make to top a very good Maryland team. Opportunistic redshirt senior Scott Menzies alertly controlled and sent the rebound of teammate Joey Parish's shot into the back of the net in the thirty-second minute of the contest to give the Huskies the early advantage. Redshirt senior Kyle Coffee, who missed a portion of the 2017 season due to injury, made it 2-0 Washington when he scored from within the box after receiving a well played and timed cross from Parish. Redshirt junior Saif Kerawala was rock solid in goal for the Huskies. Dayne St. Clair had a six save evening in goal for Maryland. Washington travels to tangle with New Mexico on Monday while Maryland returns home to host Stanford on Friday, August 31.
Notre Dame 1 – Saint Louis 1 (ot) – This one took place in South Bend and featured two teams with new head coaches. Chad Riley at Notre Dame and Kevin Kalish at Saint Louis were seeking their first win. Both will have to wait for another day. Senior Patrick Berneski scored in the sixty third minute out of a free kick put in play by senior Felicien Dumas to give Notre Dame what appeared at the time to be the game-winning goal. But that was not to be the case. With sixteen seconds remaining in regulation, Saint Louis senior forward Anthony Brown tied the match at 1-1 by flicking a ball into the net that freshman Chase Niece served in from beyond midfield. Neither team scored in overtime.
Colgate 1 – Pitt 0 – Senior forward Freddy Jonsson secured a loose ball near the top of the box and directed it just inside the right post in the seventy-fourth minute of the game to give the Raiders the edge they needed to secure the win. Colgate's defense anchored by junior goalkeeper Jacob Harris (six saves) and defenders Tim Oberg, Will Stroud, Aram Ouligian and Christian Clarke did a good job of containing the Pitt attack. Raider head coach Erik Ronning stated, "We are happy to start off the season with a win against a very strong Pitt team. It felt like a game that might be decided by one play, and credit Freddy Jonsson for a great finish."
Grand Canyon 2 – Wisconsin 1 – Wisconsin took to the road and came out on the short end of the scoreboard before a crowd of 6,648 enthusiastic fans at the GSU Stadium. Senior midfielder Alex Radilla and freshman forward Calvin Kissi scored in the twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth minutes for Grand Canyon. Marco Afonso and Alex Ramirez were credited with a double assist on Radilla's goal. Ramirez also contributed the helper on Kissi's score. Freshman Andrew Akindele scored the lone goal for a young Wisconsin team in the fifty-eighth minute of play with an assist from Mitch Guitar. Grand Canyon had a sixteen to six shot advantage for the evening. Wisconsin will host Hartford on Monday at seven p.m. at the McClimon Soccer Complex. Grand Canyon hosts Creighton on Friday, August 31.
Pacific 2 – UAB 1 (ot) – Louis-Etienn Nzonza scored out of a break away in the twenty-sixth minute to give UAB a 1-0 advantage. Camden Riley converted a penalty kick in the eighty-ninth minute of play to knot the score at 1-1 and give Pacific new life. Freshman Mamoru Kamisasanuki made a nice move to create the space he needed and slotted a shot into the back of the net in the ninety-eighth minute to give Pacific a come from behind win.
N.C. State 3 – USC Upstate 1 – Freshman Ivy Brisma alertly sent the rebound of his own missed shot into the net in the seventh minute of the match to give the Wolfpack the early momentum. Junior Tyler Gabarra made it 2-0 N.C. State in the thirty-second minute after receiving a pass from sophomore midfielder Manny Perez. Solomon Constant scored for USC Upstate from twenty-two yards out with an assist from Francis Eto in the forty-ninth minute to narrow the gap to 2-1. N.C. State sophomore midfielder Brad Sweeney scored out of a free kick from twenty-two yards out in the seventy-fourth minute of play to conclude the scoring for the evening.
William and Mary 2 – Saint Joseph's 0 – William and Mary took a 1-0 lead before the fans in the stands had time to settle in. Senior forward Graham Guidry scored just fifty-one seconds into the match with a double assist from Antonio Bustamante and Ryder Bell. Junior midfielder Julian Ngoh added what proved to be the insurance goal for the Tribe in the twelfth minute of play. Freshman Connor Andrews had four saves to record the shutout in goal for William and Mary.
Old Dominion 1 – Radford 0 – Old Dominion picks up a very solid on the road win. Senior forward Max Wilschrey scored the lone goal of the evening for the Monarchs in the twentieth minute of the match when he drove a header into the net after receiving a cross from sophomore midfielder Hans Kroschwitz. Radford played a man down due to a double yellow card for a large part of the second stanza. Mertcan Akar had three saves in goal to record the shutout for ODU.
California 2 – Detroit Mercy 1 – Detroit Mercy took the early lead when sophomore Daniel Iyok converted a penalty kick in the twenty-third minute of the contest. California tied it at 1-1 in the thirty-fourth minute of play due to an own goal. Senior forward Sam Ebstein sent a header into the back of the frame after receiving a very well played cross from fellow senior midfielder Shinya Kadono in the sixty-third minute to score what proved to be the game winning goal. Detroit Mercy played the final twenty minutes of the match down a man due to the receipt of a red card. California had an eleven to three shot advantage for the evening.
Virginia Tech 2 – Air Force 1 – Virginia Tech's junior transfer Marc Hopper from Roanoke College scored in the fifteenth minute with an assist from junior James Kasak to go up 1-0. Air Force responded with an Austin Dewing goal in the twenty-sixth minute to pull even at 1-1. Junior Nico Quashie scored a minute into the second stanza from twelve yards when he recovered a loose ball and sent it into an open goal to give the Hokies the edge they needed to top a very competitive Air Force team.
Charlotte 1 – FGCU 0 – Redshirt junior forward Maclean Holbrook's header in the eighty-seventh minute of the match gave the 49ers the edge they needed to top FGCU. Holbrook's goal was set up by passes from Dean Rutherford and Teddy Chaouche. Charlotte had a twenty-six to one advantage in shots. FGCU goalkeeper Gustavo Vasconcelos had a ten save evening in a losing cause. Elliot Panicco recorded the shutout in goal for Charlotte.
Denver 4 – Monmouth 0 – This one was all Denver. Senior forward Andre Shinyashiki contributed a hat trick and freshman Stefan DeLeone added the fourth goal to lead Denver in a solid season opening win. Senior transfer midfielder Moshe Perez from Colorado Mesa contributed two assists in the win. NIck Gardner and Will Palmquist combined to record the shutout in goal for a determined Denver team. The Pioneers will host Washington on Thursday, October 30 at seven p.m. in what should be a very interesting contest.