College Roundup: Akron, Louisville off to winning starts

Colin Rolfe and Louisville knocked off UCLA.

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of University of Louisville Athletics

Hurricane Irene couldn’t keep the college soccer season from getting under way this past week, and there was plenty of action to go around. Here's a rundown of the Top 20 as ranked by MLSsoccer.com:

MLSsoccer.com's Top 20

Rank School Record
1 Akron 1-0-0
2 Louisville 1-0-0
3 UCLA 0-1-0
4 North Carolina 1-0-0
5 Creighton 1-0-0
6 Maryland 2-0-0
7 Connecticut 1-0-0
8 Notre Dame 0-0-1
9 SMU 0-1-0
10 UC Santa Barbara 1-0-0
11 Indiana 0-0-1
12 Boston College 2-0-0
13 Virginia 1-1-0
14 Princeton 0-0-0
15 William & Mary 1-0-0
16 Penn State 2-0-0
17 California 1-0-0
18 Duke 1-1-0
19 Brown 0-0-0
20 West Virginia 1-1-0

In Kentucky, Louisville got off to the start they were looking for, knocking off visiting UCLA 2-0. An early own-goal set up by Kenney Walker in the sixth minute got the Cardinals the start they were looking for, and the tenacious defense kept the potent Bruins at bay. A second-half tally by Colin Rolfe (above) then put the game away.

It wasn’t all good news for the Cardinals, however, as sophomore Dylan Mares, a nice complementary attacking piece, came off injured and initial reports suggest he has torn his ACL.

Caleb Porter got just the start he was after with his new-look Akron, jumping all over Cleveland State 5-0. Sophomore forward Darren Mattocks scored twice and looks every bit the player he needs to be in order for the Zips to have success.

A trip to Cal State Northridge for the Labor Classic is up next, as Akron play Cal State Fullerton on Thursday and Cal State Northridge Saturday.

Two other rebuilding sides get off to the right start out east. Maryland won their opening two games of the season — defeating St. John’s 3-0 last Friday before dropping a tough West Virginia side 3-1 on Monday.

In both games, the Terps started slow, but the offense clicked into high gear after the break. Sophomore John Stertzer’s brace in the second half of Monday’s game earned the win.

Also in the ACC, Billy Schuler’s return for North Carolina was a welcome one, and the forward got on the scoresheet as the Tar Heels won 3-1 over UNC Wilmington. A busy Labor Day weekend awaits, as UNC prepare to host Oregon State and Louisville on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Another team that lost a number of talent to the pro ranks enjoyed a winning start. California squeaked by the University of San Francisco by a 1-0 score in the Bay Area Classic. John Fitzpatrick scored the winner for the Golden Bears, who hit the road this week to take on Northwestern, and a clash with another Top 20 side in Connecticut.

The upset of the weekend took place in Texas, as William & Mary overcame the heat and conditions to defeat SMU 3-2. Nicolas Abrigo scored a brace for the Tribe, while SMU has a tough Labor Day slate, traveling to Durham to play NC State and Duke this weekend.

Duke, the host of that tournament, also fell in their opening game, losing 3-2 at UNC Greensboro. Andrew Wenger, one of the top prospects in the country now playing as a forward, scored a brace in the losing effort. The Blue Devils bounced back Monday night with a 1-0 win over Furman, with Houston Dynamo Academy product Sebastien Ibeagha heading home the winning goal.