MLS on Campus: Northwestern find their form, thanks to star sophomore

Northwestern sophomore forward Joey Calistri

Photo Credit: 
Photo courtesy of Northwestern Athletics

Welcome back to MLS On Campus, our weekly look at the goings-on in the college game. Every Monday, we'll give you the week's best highlight, the standout players, which games to watch in the week ahead and, of course, our national Top 10 list.

After all, the SuperDraft is only a few months away...

Big Men on Campus

Northwestern sophomore forward Joey Calistri – The reigning Big Ten co-champions got off to a rough start this season by falling 3-1 to UC Santa Barbara in their opener, but have quietly bounced back to reel off four straight wins. Their last two, a 4-0 thrashing of UW-Green Bay on Friday followed by a 2-0 win over Marist on Sunday, can be partially chalked up to Joey Calistri’s offensive outburst. With a hat trick against Green Bay and another goal vs. Marist, the sophomore striker has run his goal total this season to 5.

Furman freshman forward Bobby Edet – Nominally, at least, Edet made this week’s list by scoring a hat trick against Presbyterian. The real reason Edet’s heroics are getting the nod this week is so we can all talk about the fact that the Paladins put an 8-0 beat down on the Blue Hose on Friday.

Furman had to come back down to Earth on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Vermont, and they remain unranked in any major poll. But still, that’s three wins in a row for coach Doug Allison’s team. 

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

1

UNC
(2-0-2)

A 2-2 draw with Maryland isn’t the most encouraging result for the Tar Heels. UNC are now a very pedestrian 0-0-2 in conference play, and their two goals conceded to the Terps is particularly troubling for a team that was built for defensive dominance. Still, the Heels are undefeated, which seems to count for a lot more in the wake of a week that saw ten of the NSCAA’s Top 25 lose, including six from the top 10. 

2

4

New Mexico
(3-1-1)

UNM lost their first game of the season on Sunday, falling 3-2 to Cal State Northridge. In another week, this would have meant the Lobos fell down the rankings rather than climbed, but Northridge are 6-0-0 this season and haven’t scored less than two goals in a game. It’s still a loss for New Mexico, but it one that's more indicative of Northridge's quality than any troubles from UNM. 

3

7

Notre Dame
(2-0-2)

Notre Dame only played once this week, but made the most of it by beating ACC foes Syracuse 3-0. The Orange have fallen short of expectations so far, but the bottom line is that the Fighting Irish just picked up an impressive result on the road against a conference opponent. 

4

2

Creighton
(4-1-0)

First the bad news for the Bluejays: Their record of four straight wins just snapped in a double overtime loss to William & Mary. The good news? They have a chance to redeem themselves this week against St. John’s, who are 5-1-0 with wins over Akron and reigning Big Ten co-champions Penn State. It’s the first of a string of four games against top-notch opposition. 

5

8

UCLA
(3-1-1)

It’s tough to know just how much the Bruins deserve this. Yes, they picked up two solid wins against UCSB and San Diego, but neither win looked comfortable. UCLA earned their third red card of the year against UCSB, and owe their win in part to the fact that the Gauchos could only put two of their 15 shots on goal. Their win over San Diego came courtesy of an own goal in overtime.

6

10

California
(3-0-1)

Cal’s longest road trip of the year is done, finishing with a 1-1 draw at Penn State. It's an impressive road result muted by the fact that the Nittany Lions have fallen well short of expectations. Nonetheless, the Golden Bears came out of the gates strong this season with some high profile wins, but even with their draw at Happy Valley, it remains to be seen whether they can replicate those performances during the grind of the regular season.

7

(NR)

Washington
(4-0-1)

Washington’s week got off to a decidedly mixed start. The Huskies kicked off on Tuesday against UConn, and though they earned a draw, they also lost senior goalkeeper – and MLS prospect – Spencer Richey for the season due to a broken leg. They bounced back on Friday with a 1-0 win over Brown, who were No. 25 in the NSCAA rankings.  

8

3

UConn
(2-1-1)

A scoreless draw against Washington at home was probably not the result UConn were looking for, but the week got much worse on Friday when the Huskies lost to Bradley, 1-0. The defense is still looking fine, and they still have the best goalkeeper in the country. The trouble is coming on offense, where Mamadou Doudou Diouf (15 G in 2012) has yet to open his account this season.

9

6

Georgetown
(4-2-0)

This is the point it’s gotten to for the Hoyas, where two wins can drop you three spots. Georgetown handed Duquesne their first loss of the season on Friday before eking out an overtime win over James Madison. Like UConn, the defense has been OK this year, but the Hoyas just haven’t been able to gel on offense.

10

(NR)

Cal State Northridge
(6-0-0)

Big win for the Matadors this weekend over New Mexico, and the nation better stand up and take notice of their two big goal-scoring threats. Junior forward Sagi Lev-Ari and senior striker Brian Behrad have scored seven and five goals this season, respectively, and combined for four in CSUN’s 4-1 win over Central Arkansas and 3-2 triumph over UNM. The Matadors haven’t had the toughest schedule this year, but any team in the country would be happy with wins over UNM and San Diego. Up next: Big bully neighbor UCLA. 

 

Highlight of the Week

You want to see UNC freshman midfielder Omar Holness make Maryland’s entire defense look silly? Of course you do.

Oregon State’s junior attacker Khiry Shelton scored three goals this week, including a brace against Air Force. In fairness, the Falcons are 0-5-0 this season, but their woeful record doesn’t make Shelton’s first strike against them look any less impressive on film.

What to Watch For:

Connecticut vs. St. Louis, Saturday, 7 pm ET

The Billikens took a tumble this week after a double overtime loss to Evansville, but a chance to get a result in Storrs could restore their fortunes. And it’s not like the Huskies don’t have anything to prove.

Creighton vs. St. John’s, Saturday, 8 pm ET

This is St. John’s big chance to make a statement, because they likely won’t see another ranked opponent until October 23 when they play Marquette. Taking down the Bluejays at their homecoming is a mouthwatering possibility, and a scenario Creighton needs to avoid at all costs.