Atlantic 10 soccer contributing to national rankings

By Clinton Angus

Atlantic 10 men’s soccer is being deemed good enough to have two of its top teams appear in several top-25 polls this past week. Charlotte is ranked No. 14 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 and No. 19 in Soccer America’s poll. The 49ers won five of their first six matches including an overtime upset against Virginia. Jennings Rex, a junior midfielder, leads the 49ers in goals (3) while the team is tied for the league-lead in shutouts with Xavier and Fordham.

Xavier is the other team ranked nationally, as TopDrawerSoccer.com has them at No. 24. The Musketeers boast a 5-1 record after beating IUPUI on a free kick goal from sophomore Gino Depaoli during the 81st minute. While a 5-1 record helps, XU can view its win over No. 13 Northern Illinois as the golden ticket for its ranking. The Xavier offense is led by junior Luke Spencer (two goals, two assists) and freshmen James Weber (two goals) while goalkeeper Justin Marshall has registered two shutouts.

Xavier and Charlotte both won last weekend and should expect their rankings to maintain status quo or move up a couple of spots. Charlotte has a chance to make a lot of noise on Tuesday night when they will take on No. 1 ranked Maryland in College Park, MD.

No. 17 Notre Dame topples No. 5 Louisville

In a tight match on Saturday, The Fighting Irish were able to protect their home field with a 1-0 victory over Louisville. The Irish opened up conference play with a win that puts their overall record at 5-1-2 this season.

The lone goal came in the fourth minute when junior Danny O’Leary netted one off of a deflection. The goal was set up by a 50-yard run down the pitch by senior Adam Mena before he crossed the ball to O’Leary. Louisville keeper Andre Boudreauz made the initial save, but was unable to control the rebound as O’Leary took advantage.

The final score was not indicative of the play, however. Notre Dame had several close chances to pad its lead but many of its shots sailed just wide or over the crossbar.

The Cardinals came close to tying the match in the 84th minute when Nick DeLeon booted a deep shot that Irish keeper Will Walsh dove to tip the ball out of bounds. Walsh finished with seven saves.

The Fighting Irish will play No. 12 St. John’s this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Queens, N.Y. Louisville will play No. 2 Connecticut next at home on Oct. 1.

No. 10 Boston College Shuts Down URI

On a wet and rainy Friday night, junior Charlie Rugg put Boston College on top in the second minute of play. The only score proved to be the game-winner, as the Eagles went on to win, 1-0 at the URI Soccer Complex.

Rhode Island notched 12 shots on goal but BC goalkeeper Justin Luthy stopped all of them, earning a new career-high.

Rugg’s goal was his second game-winning goal in the past three games. He has five goals on the season which ties him for the team lead.

The goal came off a corner kick from senior Amit Aburmad, who leads the team in assists with five.

URI refused to go quietly as they pushed the pace during the second half. Eight of the Rams’ 12 shots came during the second half which featured a few quality scoring chances. In the 56th minute, Jamie Eckmayer took a shot that hit the crossbar which rebounded to Mike Casey, who fired a shot off the post.

BC will play Brown this Saturday in Providence. The Brown Bears eliminated the Eagles from the NCAA Tournament last season. URI will open up conference play Oct. 1 when it hosts Saint Louis on a Saturday night.

Clinton Angus can be reached at [email protected]