Okoli breaks out for 4 goals (including a hat trick) for Wake Forest while Akron creeps up the national rankings. But injuries take their toll as well.
It was a matchup of Sounders Academy right backs as Sophomore DeAndre Yedlin and Akron took on Freshman Nick Raskasky and West Virginia after both had picked up an assist in the previous match. Unfortunately the clash was short-lived as 6 minutes in Raskasky went down with what would end up being a season-ending injury. All of Sounders Nation is wishing Nick a speedy recovery.
In better news, Sean Okoli has taken over the offense for a top 15 team. Read on for details.
#2 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin (D)
4-0-0 (2 Assists) since last update
The Zips continue to roll through their conference and have climbed to a #2 overall ranking behind only consensus #1 Maryland, who have yet to lose this season. Akron has won 9 consecutive games and only allowed 1 goal in that run. Beyond that solid defense, Yedlin added two more assists (including one on a game-winner over Michigan) and is now tied for the team lead with 6 on the season.
Akron next plays at 4-8-2 Hartwick and 7-7-1 Michigan State, so the winning is likely to continue.
#13 Wake Forest - Sean Okoli (F)
2-1-0 (4 Goals)
After showing promise all season, Okoli broke out in a big way over the last couple of weeks, scoring once against Virginia and then scoring a hat trick to beat NC State 3-1, earning him national player of the week honors. The two conference wins put Wake in a strong position in a very tough ACC, though they finished up with a dud of a 1-0 loss to Southern Conference champions Elon. Still, they trail only Maryland and UNC in the conference.
The 4 goals gives the sophomore Okoli 8 on the season, which puts him way ahead as the team leader. The Deacons next take on South Carolina this weekend then finish their regular season next week when they host powerhouse Maryland (to be broadcast on ESPN3).
The Huskies beat Stanford twice and drew away at Cal to climb back into the national rankings. Both Stanford wins involved early straight red cards to a Cardinal, so either Jeremy Gunn is coaching a really hotheaded team or the Huskies are getting under opponents' skins.
Washington remains undefeated in conference play and is leading the conference, though UCLA has a couple of games in hand. After a game against San Diego State this weekend, they take on the Bruins in a match that's likely to decide the regular season conference champion.
#25 UC Santa Barbara - Brandon Brockway (D)
The Gauchos lost two of three to drop all the way from #8 to #25. It's a brutal stretch for a team that didn't have a loss in their first 11 games but has now lost 3 of 4 and it puts them in last place in the Big West North Division (not to be confused with the Big North West Division). Brockway (who's actually a red-shirt Freshman, not a Sophomore as I've referred to him in the past) continues to start every match for the team. Next they take on Stanford, who presumably will try to keep 11 players on the field.
College of Charleston - Troy Peterson (M)
The Cougars' overall record isn't that impressive, but that's mitigated by the fact that they've played 6 nationally ranked teams, including current #1 Maryland and #2 UNC. Their conference results have been strong and they're currently leading the Southern Conference standings. Sophomore Peterson is an every-minute midfielder for the team and is likely to be joined next season by Sounders Academy player Ike Crook, who gave a verbal commitment to CoC. They complete their regular season with two conference matches this weekend before the Southern Conference tournament starts next week.
Seattle Pacific is the #11 Division 2 team in the country with Evan Robicheau playing every match in midfield. Here's a post-game chat with the Sounder:
Jess Klug got an assist in Bucknell's 2-1 loss to Army. Aaron Kovar also got an assist for Stanford in a 3-2 win over Glenn Paden's Oregon State. Denver won 3 of 4 home games with Jordan Schweitzer starting at fullback. Their only loss was against top 10 ranked New Mexico. One of the wins was over Seattle U, who have now lost 6 straight despite 3 Sounders alumni on the team. Raskasky picked up an assist for West Virginia in the match before his injury, which ends an excellent season as a starting fullback for a team that hovered in or near the national rankings all year. Both Justin Solomon at Yavapai and Nick Palodichuk at Duke are also dealing with injuries, so we wish them well on their road to recovery.