Thursday, October 4, 2012
The top-ranked college team in the nation gets the national spotlight in the NSCAA Men’s College Game of the Week on Friday, with a number of PDL standouts set to lead No. 1 Maryland as the Terrapins host ACC rival Virginia on Friday night at 7 p.m. on Fox Soccer. The clash is one of a number available this weekend on national television that will feature current and former PDL standouts as they help their college programs pursue conference success.
The Terrapins have been led this season by Patrick Mullins, who has starred the past two summers for the New Orleans Jesters. A native of the Big Easy, Mullins has scored five goals and added six assists this fall for Maryland as the Terrapins have maintained an undefeated 8-0-1 record, including a 3-0-0 start to ACC play.
Mullins had seven goals and one assist this summer for the Jesters, leading the team with 15 points. This fall, he has been backed by former Real Maryland Monarch Jake Pace, who sits second on the team with 10 points. The redshirt junior has proven dynamic off the bench for the Terrapins, having only played 384 minutes and yet to make a start this season.
Defensively, Maryland has been led by London Woodberry, with the Baltimore Bohemians standout starting all nine games and leading the team with 830 minutes played. On Friday he will face a Cavaliers attack led by former Reading United standout Will Bates, who leads Virginia with five goals and 11 points. Woodberry will also face his Bohemians teammate, Chris Somerville, who has a pair of goals this season for the Cavaliers.
ESPN3 also has a pair of important ACC contests on Friday night, with Duke visiting North Carolina State at 6:30 p.m. ET, and Clemson hosting No. 6 North Carolina at 7 p.m. ET.
The Blue Devils have had an up-and-down season so far, going 1-2-1 in conference play. Led by Carolina Dynamo standout Sebastian Ibeagha, who was named the 2012 PDL Defender of the Year, Duke has been tight defensively, conceding less than a goal per game, but Ibeagha has also led the team offensively this fall, scoring four goals and adding an assist.
North Carolina has also been strong defensively, with Ibeagha’s Dynamo teammate Scott Goodwin posting a 0.31 goals-against average this season and seven shutouts in 10 starts, but the Tar Heels have also been effective in attack as they open ACC play with a 3-0-1 record. Orange County Blue Star forward Andy Craven leads the team with 10 points, and is tied with former Dynamo midfielder Martin Murphy with four goals.
Clemson, on the other hand, has been led by Palmetto FC Bantams forward Austin Savage, with the senior forward having scored three goals this season. Savage led the Bantams in their inaugural season this summer with nine points, but will face a big challenge to try and get past Goodwin and the Tar Heels’ strong defense.
ESPN3’s weekend schedule concludes on Saturday as Charlie Rugg and Boston College visit Wake Forest at 12:30 p.m. ET in another ACC clash. Rugg, who played the past two summers for the Worcester Hydra and GPS Portland Phoenix, took TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Player of the Week honors on Monday, and leads the Eagles with 12 points in seven games. He will face a Demon Deacons’ defense led by Austin Aztex goalkeeper Michael Lisch, who has given up just six goals in 11 appearances while recording seven shutouts. Sounders FC U23 standout Sean Okoli will be an attacking threat for Wake as well, having scored three goals this fall after scoring four goals in 10 games this summer for the Northwest Division champions.
The weekend’s action gets underway on Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network as Cal visits Stanford for a crucial contest between the two traditional rivals. Both teams are 1-1 in conference play, with the Cardinal being led by former Washington Crossfire forward Adam Jahn. The 6-foot-3 senior has scored five goals and added two assists for Stanford this fall.
Friday evening sees No. 5 UCLA host Oregon State, with the Bruins looking to maintain their perfect start to conference play. Sounders FC U23 standout Fernando Monge has been on a good run of form lately for the Bruins, and he sits in a three-way tie for the team lead in points with nine. Former Ventura County Fusion forward Reed Williams also has nine points for the Bruins, while Pali Blues midfielder Victor Munoz leads the team with four assists.
Oregon State, meanwhile, has been led by Portland Timbers U-23s forward Emery Welshman, who has 15 points and six goals this season for the Beavers. Austin Aztex forward Khiry Shelton has also had an impact for OSU, recording seven points in six appearances.