MLS on Campus: Washington crash Pac-12 party as conference tournaments set to kick off

MLS on Campus Washington's Mason Robertson

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of UW Athletic Communications

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

Washington freshman forward Mason Robertson – This was undoubtedly the Huskies’ biggest week of the season, and thanks to the work of a freshman, it was a triumph for Washington.

Robertson (above left) scored the winning goal for the Huskies in a 2-0 win over Stanford on Friday, a crucial strike considering what was at stake in their next game against Cal. Without a win over the Golden Bears, Washington’s chances at winning the Pac-12 would be seriously shot, but Robertson once against stepped up to score the winning goal in overtime and put the Dawgs’ fate in their own hands.

Bowling Green senior forward Ryan Comiskey – The Falcons scored 11 goals this weekend, beating IPFW 8-0 and drawing West Virginia 3-3. Comiskey scored four of those.

The stats kind of speak for themselves on this one, so there’s not much more to be said. Oh, except for: Wow.

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

1

UCLA
(10-3-4)

The Bruins didn’t play this week, but their chances of finishing top of the Pac-12 actually got a huge boost after Cal fell to Washington on the road. It would require a lot of things to go their way, but UCLA still have a chance of winning the conference with a win over San Diego State in their final game.

2

2

Notre Dame
(11-1-5)

The Fighting Irish finished off their regular season with a 2-0 win over Pitt to give themselves a share of the ACC regular-season title in their first season in the conference, splitting the honors with Maryland. Notre Dame now enter the ACC tournament seeded No. 2, and will host Duke in the first round. Fitting end to a really impressive regular season.

3

5

Washington
(13-1-4)

They had to wait until overtime, but the Huskies managed to pull off a massive win against Cal on Sunday to push themselves into first in the Pac-12. On the other hand, no matter where they finish up in the conference, this is not a team anyone’s going to want to face in the NCAA Tournament. Just one game – against Oregon State on Sunday – until the Dawgs take the national stage.

4

4

Georgetown
(13-4-1)

The Hoyas have been plenty inconsistent this season, but it turns out that Marquette’s rampage through the Big East fell short just in time for Georgetown to make up the ground and snag a share of the conference title. GU will enter the Big East tournament with the No. 1 seed.

5

6

Maryland
(10-3-5)

With a 2-1 overtime win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Friday, the Terrapins earned themselves one last ACC title before their move to the Big Ten next year, as well as No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. An immensely talented team with the reigning Hermann winner in Patrick Mullins, Maryland also finally have worked out some of the kinks that come with a young defensive corps, allowing two goals in their last four games.

6

3

California
(12-3-2)

Cal are scrambling after losing talisman Steve Birnbaum to a leg injury, though as of right now there’s no indication of how long he might be out. But the magic seems to have worn off for Cal, a team which continually found ways to snag results off big-time opposition earlier in the year. Their last two games against ranked teams have ended in losses – albeit to UCLA and Washington – which isn’t the best trend to be starting right before the NCAA Tournament.

7

7

Wake Forest
(9-4-5)

Boy, that loss against Notre Dame last week really smarts now for the Demon Deacons. As the third seed, Wake will face the dangerous, if slightly inconsistent, Virginia Cavaliers in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Deacs certainly don’t need to win out to reach the NCAA Tournament, but sitting at No. 16 in the RPI, getting bounced early would hurt their chances of earning a seed.

8

8

Akron
(14-3-1)

Akron’s double-OT win over Western Michigan on Saturday clinched them a ninth-straight Mid-American Conference crown. The Zips have really turned their season around from their low point of losing to Hartwick on Oct. 5. Since then, they’ve racked up wins against Penn State, Wake Forest and Michigan, as well as drawing Michigan State. That said, there’s only so much Akron can do to help themselves at this point: Winning the MAC tournament isn’t going to wow many observers.

9

10

UC Santa Barbara
(12-4-3)

Mission accomplished for the Gauchos, who finished off their regular season with a 2-0 win over archrivals Cal Poly to finish off an undefeated Big West slate. Now the question becomes whether they can hold up that record in their conference tournament.

10

(NR)

UMBC
(14-1-2)

The Retrievers snatched a win in their final regular-season game, scoring the only goal of their game against Stony Brook with 2:35 remaining. It was more of a formality than anything, because UMBC’s stellar record was easily enough to clinch them the No. 1 seed in the America East tournament. If they win – more likely than not – they should be a shoo-in for a seed at the NCAA Tournament.

Highlights

There wasn’t much more than bragging rights at stake for Army and Navy when they faced off on Friday – both teams had already clinched a spot in the Patriot League tournament, and holding the No. 1 and 2 seeds, the Midshipmen and Black Knights will be playing for an NCAA berth if they meet again this season – but no one on either side of the ball seemed to care much. The match went to double overtime before Navy were able to snatch a winner.

Meanwhile, in Evanston, Indiana recorded a 3-0 win over Northwestern. It’s been a rough season for the champs, so let’s let the Hoosiers have their moment.

What to Watch for:

 Charlotte vs. UAB, Wednesday, 8 pm ET

It’s easy to get lost in the Pac-12, ACC and Big East when you follow college soccer, so do yourself a favor and keep an eye out for the Conference USA tournament. Lots of good teams to be seen in action, as evidenced by the fact that Charlotte and UAB are meeting in the quarterfinals.

Oregon State vs. Washington, Sunday, 2 pm ET (Pac-12 Network)

On the other hand, you should definitely not stop watching the Pac-12 just because they get a lot of hype: By and large, they’ve earned it. With a win on Sunday against Oregon State, the Huskies can clinch the conference.