MLS on Campus: Creighton take over top spot with signature win, clash with Michigan State looming

Sam Krenizen - On Campus

Photo Credit: 
Green Bay 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

Syracuse sophomore goalkeeper Alex Bono – A win against UConn these days is starting to sound less and less impressive, but for Syracuse, it was a massive and much-needed turnaround from the 3-0 drubbing they took from Notre Dame last week. Bono played out of his mind, recording 5 saves in the shutout, but then followed up by recording another 4 stops in the Orange’s 2-1 win over Duke, giving them their first conference win of the season.

UW-Green Bay senior forward Sam Krenzien – Green Bay’s had sort of an up-and-down season, but it’s time to give some love to their leading scorer, Sam Krenzien. Through eight games this season, Krenzien has notched 7 goals with 4 assists. Three of those goals and two of those assists are the products of the Phoenix’s two games this week, a 4-4 draw with Eastern Illinois and a 2-1 win over NJIT. Safe to say it was a decent week for the 6-foot-2 striker. 

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

4

Creighton
(5-1-0)

Mission accomplished. The Bluejays hosted St. John’s this weekend for their homecoming, and though they had to wait until double overtime, Creighton pulled out the win with a free kick goal from Fabian Herbers with less than two minutes to play. Signature win for the Jays, and a good start to a two-week stretch that will pit them against Michigan State, Georgetown and St. Louis. 

2

3

Notre Dame
(3-0-3)

Notre Dame got their week started off right by beating Michigan 3-0, then went on the road and suffered a surprising 1-1 draw to conference foe Boston College. The Irish took 17 shots and only put three on frame in the draw. Despite the dud, the Irish are always a threat going forward, and will be a force to be reckoned with heading into the heart of their ACC campaign. 

3

6

California
(5-0-1)

The Golden Bears have shot up the rankings, but every week it becomes clearer and clearer: Those opening weekend wins over Georgetown and Maryland were not flukes. Cal’s latest two scalps came from wins over Colgate and College of Charleston, their remarkably democratic offense scoring three goals in each contest. 

4

1

UNC
(3-0-3)

There’s nothing wrong with having a defense-first mentality, but at some point someone is going to have to score goals. Of UNC’s six regular-season games this year, four have gone to overtime. If you take out their 4-0 win over Coastal Carolina, the Heels have scored just three goals. More damning still, they’ve drawn all three of their ACC games. Still, that defense...

5

5

UCLA
(4-2-1)

On Thursday, the Bruins traveled to face UC Irvine and got whipped 3-1. On Sunday, they returned home and beat Cal State Northridge – the sexy new entrée into everyone’s Top 10 after a shock win over New Mexico – by a score of 4-2. The Jekyll and Hyde routine continues for UCLA, but here’s the takeaway: Depending on which Bruins team shows up to play, they are capable of beating any team in the country.

6

7

Washington
(5-0-2)

After returning from a successful road trip to New England last week, Washington kept the ball rolling with a 5-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Then it got weird, because the Huskies turned around and played Georgia State to a 1-1 draw. It’s not a good result – the Panthers were 1-0-5 going into the game – but Washington remain unbeaten. So ... good enough.

7

9

Georgetown
(6-2-0)

The Ivy League isn’t exactly a college soccer powerhouse, but scoring three goals in back-to-back games against teams that they should be beating is an encouraging sign. The Hoyas’ offense seems to be gelling finally, and not a moment too soon: Creighton comes to town on Saturday.  

8

2

New Mexico
(3-2-1)

Losing to Cal State Northridge was somewhat surprising, but understandable. Losing to Drake 1-0 is way less understandable and way more surprising, bringing up the question of whether this is just a slump for the Lobos, or if this team is as good as they showed in their first few games of the season.

9

(NR)

Northwestern
(6-1-0)

The goal Northwestern allowed to Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday was their first since Aug. 30 when they were ripped apart by UCSB. Even so, it didn’t snap the win streak that the Wildcats have now run to six games. FDU’s loss to Albany last week meant that the Knights were finally bounced from their place in the bottom part of the Top 25, but it’s still a significant win for NU.

10

10

Cal State Northridge
(7-1-0)

The Matadors’ loss to UCLA on Sunday isn’t quite enough to jettison them from the top 10, but it will be interesting to see how they react to the result with several tough games still on the docket. It wasn’t all doom and gloom on the weekend, though: Northridge won their seventh game of the season on Friday against UNLV. 

 

Highlight of the Week

Three reasons to watch the highlights of Creighton’s win over St. John’s: finding out who the homecoming king and queen were; Red Storm goalkeeper Rafael Diaz’s outrageous save at 1:43; and the sweet jams.

With a 3-1 win over Loyola this weekend, UMBC ran their season record to 7-0-0. On paper, it was the more impressive of their two wins this week, but it was their 3-2 double overtime victory over Navy on Tuesday that produced the more impressive goal. Junior defender Jordan Becker’s Golden Goal is one you’ll want to see.

What to Watch For:

Creighton vs. Michigan State, Tuesday, 8 pm ET

The Spartans have kind of flown under the radar, but if not for one bad loss to Valparaiso, they could be in the discussion for the Top 10. It’s a quick turnaround for Creighton, who will have three fewer rest days than State, so this one could get hairy for the Bluejays.

North Carolina vs. William & Mary, Tuesday, 7 pm ET

William & Mary managed to steal a win against Creighton, and with North Carolina in a bit of a funk right now, this one has “trap game” written all over it.