MLS on Campus: Wake Forest move up four spots after Luca Gimenez shines

MLS on Campus Wake Forest's Luca Gimenez

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Brian Westerholt/Sports on Film

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 highlights, 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

Wake Forest senior midfielder Luca Gimenez – Wake Forest’s tilt against Maryland this week was about as big as they come, a clear-cut fight to become the No. 1 contender to challenge Notre Dame’s ACC hegemony this season. Gimenez certainly answered the bell.

The São Paulo-born Gimenez scored the Demon Deacons’ second and third goals, then assisted on their fourth. It may have felt like stat-padding at the time – Wake led 4-1 at that point – but it ended up being a game-winner as the Terrapins battled back to make it 4-3.

Portland freshman forward Eddie Sanchez – Portland aren’t a Top 25 team, but Sanchez is still probably going to win Freshman of the Year. The 5-foot-9 striker had eight goals and three assists heading into the Pilots’ Sunday matchup with Santa Clara. Now he has 11 goals and three assists. You do the math.

(Hint: He scored a hat trick, people.)

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

1

California
(10-0-3)

Cal continued to solidify their No. 1 credentials this week with a 1-0 victory over archrivals Stanford. The Cardinal have had an up-and-down season, and the lone goal was put in the 86th minute off the rebound of a missed penalty – a questionable one, at that – but here’s the bottom line: The Golden Bears find ways to get results. Period.

2

3

Washington
(10-0-3)

The Dawgs began their week with a 1-0 win over Pac-12 foes Oregon State, surviving a scare with a goal-line clearance in the 90th minute. The normally good defense faltered slightly in their next game against an offensively talented San Diego State team, but Washington proved their own attacking chops in a 5-3 win. There’s a lot of talent on this Huskies squad, and they seem unstoppable right now.

3

2

Notre Dame
(8-0-5)

A 1-1 draw against Northwestern isn’t as good a result as it would have been before the Wildcats lost to Michigan State and Bradley in recent weeks, but Notre Dame put in a decent performance (if only because six of their 22 shots were on frame) and nearly won in the 110th minute with a header that was cleared off the goal line. The Irish bounced back with a come-from-behind victory over NC State on Saturday, a result which maintained their co-lead atop the ACC.

4

8

Wake Forest
(7-3-4)

The Deacs had sort of a mixed week, starting off with a 1-0 loss on the road to Akron before coming back East and beating Maryland – who had been sharing the top spot in the ACC with Wake – by a 4-3 scoreline. Akron are a talented team that has underperformed this season, and that’s a long road trip from Winston-Salem. The result in College Park more than makes up for it.

5

9

Georgetown
(10-3-1)

One game this week for the Hoyas, but they made the most of it by beating up on Big East rival Butler 4-1. Georgetown have scored at least one goal in each of their last five, a streak which included an 8-0 win against Seton Hall. If the Hoyas are indeed beginning to realize their potential on offense, then the rest of the country better watch out.

6

(N/R)

Furman
(10-1-2)

The Paladins have racked up a really impressive record this season and their last loss came against Akron in their second game of the year. Despite a ridiculous unbeaten streak and the revelation of freshman striker Bobby Edet (7 G, 1 A), though, Furman have flown sort of under the radar because they’ve played so few ranked teams. Weekend wins over No. 9 Clemson (on the road, no less) and No. 25 Elon fixed that problem. Welcome to the Top 10.

7

10

Coastal Carolina
(11-2-0)

The Chanticleers just keep rolling along. This week’s unlucky victims were Winthrop and Radford, who fell to 3-1 and 1-0 defeats respectively to run Coastal’s win streak to 10. CCU have a much bigger week coming up, however: The Chants face the school’s traditional rivals Liberty on Friday before traveling to face Elon.

8

7

Cal State Northridge
(11-2-1)

A 0-0 result away to UC Riverside is nothing short of shocking for the Matadors. This is a team that had scored less than two goals just twice in their 13 previous games and had never been shut out. Northridge have a bevy of skilled attackers like Sagi Lev-Ari (11 G, 4 A), Brian Behrad (6 G, 2 A) and Beto Velasquez (4 G, 6 A). So how did Riverside stop them? Highlanders goalkeeper Ashkan Khosravi stood on his head. It happens.

9

4

UCLA
(7-3-2)

We’ll know more on Monday night when UCLA play Washington in Seattle, but their Friday draw against Oregon State can’t have been a good omen. The Beavers had lost all three of their conference games this season before hosting the Bruins, but somehow managed to hold No. 5 UCLA to a draw. Not good, and has to be better in their tough, tough road game against the Huskies.

10

5

Maryland
(6-3-5)

The good news: Maryland have been putting in goals like nobody’s business in the last week-and-a-half (11 in three games). The bad news? They’ve also allowed seven goals over that stretch, and one of those games was a shutout against Marshall (2-7-5 this year). Still, despite the inconsistency, Maryland are still in a decent spot in their conference with a 4-1-3 ACC record.

Highlights

They may not be top 10 teams, but the Tulsa-UAB matchup on Saturday was a great showcase for two very good teams that suffer from living outside of college soccer’s traditional powerhouse conferences. Hosts Tulsa ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline, a result that added another impressive feather to the Blazers’ cap this year. (Aside: Cristian Mata’s opener for the Golden Hurricane was really good/worth watching.)

Don’t believe us that Bobby Edet is a revelation? Watch this goal.

File this one under “things you don’t see on the stat sheet”: Washington defender Michael Harris’ now-infamous flip-throw. Skim forward to 0:48 to see it, and to see why it’s actually a legitimate tactic.

What to Watch for:

Washington vs. UCLA, Monday, 10 pm ET (Pac-12 Networks)

UCLA missed a big opportunity against Cal to reassert themselves in the conference. Facing the Huskies on the road gives them a shot at redemption, and then some. Just for kicks, we can throw in the reverse leg on Sunday (4 pm ET) when Washington travel to Drake Stadium.

Marquette vs. Georgetown, Saturday, 8:05 pm ET

Marquette have been sort of up-and-down this season, but have gotten on a roll recently. The Golden Eagles have won their last four games, including contests with Creighton and Butler. More importantly, though, Marquette have a perfect 5-0-0 record in the Big East. Any way you slice it, this is a dangerous road game for the Hoyas, but they desperately need a win to keep pace in the conference.