Photo courtesy of Jeff Sipsey
UCLA continues to bury its slow start to the 2011 season in the distant past.
Chandler Hoffman’s brace led the Bruins to their fifth straight win of the campaign, a 2-0 win over Pac-12 opponents San Diego State on Sunday. The victory helped UCLA maintain its unbeaten record in conference play, as Hoffman boosted his goals total to 11 on the season.
Here’s how MLSsoccer.com’s Top 20 fared over the past week:
Maryland recovered from its loss at Virginia, posting back-to-back wins at home, including a 4-2 triumph over rivals Duke on Friday night. John Stertzer scored a brace for the Terps, and Patrick Mullins and Sunny Jane rounded out the scoring for the victorious side.
MLSsoccer.com's Top 20
|16||UC Santa Barbara||9-4-1||11|
Up next for the Terps is a trip to North Carolina this coming Friday, to play a Tar Heels side which shockingly lost 1-0 to Davidson on Monday night. The winner of the Maryland vs. North Carolina match will have the inside track on the ACC regular-season championship.
Continuing to set the pace for the rest of the country are the Connecticut Huskies. The No. 1 team in the nation continued to roll on, edging Pittsburgh 1-0 on Saturday with freshman Allando Matheson — a product of the Toronto FC Academy — grabbing the game-winner. The Huskies travel to West Virginia for another Big East clash on Tuesday.
Keeping up with UConn in the ranks of the unbeaten is one of the season’s surprise outfits, New Mexico. Playing a busy Friday-Sunday schedule at home, the Lobos defeated Denver and Air Force, 6-0 and 1-0, respectively, extending their winning streak to seven matches.
An Ethan Finlay hat trick pushed Creighton past UC Irvine in a battle of MLSsoccer.com Top 20 teams from last weekend. The Bluejays responded after suffering a midweek upset against Missouri State, and next host Bradley on Wednesday night.
UC Santa Barbara lost its fourth match of the season, 2-1 at the hands of Cal Poly. The game featured one of the largest crowds of the season, with 11,075 in attendance — most of whom rushed the field in celebration after the Mustangs took the Central Coast derby. A Patrick Sigler penalty in the last minute of the match provided the difference, as the Gauchos faltered.
The steady ascension of Akron up the rankings continued, as the Zips won their third conference game of the year with a 2-0 victory over Hartwick. Thomas Schmitt and Hermann Trophy-hopeful Darren Mattocks scored for Akron, who next battle Michigan on Tuesday.
Life for the 2010 runners-up Louisville hasn’t been kind. The Cardinals’ struggles in Big East play continued, losing 1-0 to St. John’s. Barruro Punyed scored the game’s only goal in the 50th minute for the Red Storm, while Louisville don’t get a break, hosting South Florida on Tuesday night.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com.