Florida State remains unbeaten and untied atop the national polls for the women, and men’s #1 Maryland also stayed perfect as ACC competition kicked into full swing this week. However, as usual, the Top 25 didn’t go unscathed this week as several top tier teams took a tumble. Though the perennially strong programs still hold strong, parity is becoming a household word in the world of college soccer.
Only four men’s teams remain unbeaten and untied as we head towards the end of September (#10 Marquette, #25 Cornell, #25 UC Riverside, and High Point). The biggest upset this week came in #2 Notre Dame’s 2-1 loss to Big East rival Louisville. It was their first blemish of the season. #3 Old Dominion’s 4-1 loss to Drexel in their CAA conference opener was also a shocker, but #6 Charlotte, #11 Creighton, #20 Dayton, and #22 NC State also lost to unranked opponents, sending the top 25 into a bit of a tumult.
Locally, #13 St. John’s got all it could handle in a 3-0 loss at UConn in their Big East opener. For the Huskies, it was revenge for a 1-0 loss to the Johnnies in last year’s Big East final at Red Bulls Arena. You could tell the game meant something to both teams as the match featured 27 fouls, five yellow cards and a red card for St. John’s.
The Hofstra men are 6-1-1 in non-league play after topping Jacksonville 3-1 this week. They now head into the meat of their conference schedule with a game against UNC-Wilmington. Massapequa’s Mike Annarumma scored his first goal of the season against the Dolphins, North Babylon’s Tyler Botte picked up an assist, and senior goalkeeper Adam Janowski of Coram made four saves.
While the Maryland men have been the story in the early season, no one should be falling asleep on the Lady Terps. The team, which is playing nine freshmen and two sophomores on a regular basis, is unbeaten in North Carolina (beat UNC, tied Duke, and beat Wake Forest this week) and in first place in the powerful ACC conference. Senior Becky Kaplan and junior Hayley Brock have led the way for this young group, accounting for 15 of the Terps 23 goals on the season.
Another team making some noise on the national scene is West Virginia. The Mountaineers beat #8 Oklahoma State on Sunday in their first Big 12 Conference game, giving them two wins over Top 10 programs this season (#2 Stanford was the other). They could make their first appearance in the Top 25 this coming week.
#9 Penn State has gotten off on the right foot in Big Ten play, outscoring opponents Northwestern and Illinois, 8-1 this week. The scoring surge is led by last year’s national scoring leader Maya Hayes. After posting 31 goals and eight assists a year ago, Hayes has picked up right where she left off, scoring four goals and two assists in the last three games.
On the local scene, Levittown’s Jill Mulholland is currently leading the Hofstra women with 5 goals and 12 points. The Pride are 6-4 as they get set to open conference play against James Madison this week. It’s also been a big couple weeks out at Stony Brook. Head coach Sue Ryan picked up her 200th career win with a victory over Manhattan, and the Seawolves have also topped Lehigh and tied Loyola to push to a 6-2-2 mark on the season. They were ranked 7th regionally for the fourth straight week. They open conference play on Thursday at 1 pm at Albany.