The men’s college soccer regular season is heading toward twilight with only a few games remaining. This week’s preview takes a look at some important conference battles and what is on the line.
Will the curse of the No. 1 strike again this weekend? Georgetown is a difficult team to play when the Hoyas are on their game, but that hasn’t been the case recently. Georgetown lost its last two and dropped to 2-2-1 in conference play. Creighton continues to pick up wins and roll through the competition in typical Elmar Bolowich fashion.
The beautiful Lynn Stadium hosts an important ACC clash on Friday when the Tigers of Clemson stroll into town to take on the Cardinals. Louisville is 6-2-1 at the new stadium and 4-2 in conference play. Clemson also sits at 4-2 in conference play with two games remaining. The Tigers, Cardinals, and Syracuse are tied for the best record in the Atlantic Division heading into the weekend.
New Mexico and Old Dominion are five and four points back of the top spot in the conference respectively. New Mexico is a different beast at home and in need of points from this game, which is a bad combination for Old Dominion. The Lobos have scored 13 and only conceded two in their last six games in Albuquerque. Old Dominion has been more than solid this season and rolls into Saturday on three-game winning streak. Will the hot streak be enough to knock off the Lobos? Or is the home team just too much to handle in its friendly confines?
No. 16 Michigan State(m) (9-3-2, 3-1-1) vs. Northwestern (7-2-4, 2-1-2), Sunday Oct. 26, 1 p.m. (ET)
The Big Ten is something else this season. It’s pretty easy to argue that Indiana is the best team in the conference, and yet the Hoosiers head into the weekend sitting in seventh in the nine-team division. Michigan State is in second in the conference while Northwestern is in sixth, but a road win for the Wildcats would send them right up the table. Michigan State is coming off a disappointing loss to Oakland where the Spartans coughed up two goals late. Northwestern is riding high after a 2-0 win over Rutgers on the win. There are two very good goalkeepers in this game and it will likely come down to which one makes the key save in who snags the points in East Lansing.
UC Santa Barbara (7-6-2, 3-2-1) vs. Cal Poly(m) (8-4-3, 3-2-1), Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 p.m. (ET), Fox Sports West
That’s a national television game from the Big West Conference, which is the bare requirement to make this list. UCSB is atrocious on the road, but above average at home. The Harder Stadium crowd gives the edge to the boys in blue for this matchup. Beyond that, freshman standouts Axel “Heartbreaker” Mendez and Ludwig “Floorball” Ahl have developed a great chemistry and started to really embarrass defenders. If neither Cal Poly nor UCSB interest you, tune in to see the crowd behave rationally because Isla Vista on a Saturday night is a really mellow place.