Though the 2011 season for the senior team has come to a close, we're here to remind you that if you're a Sounder at heart, the season never truly ends. Our first graduated class of Academy players is making their mark as Freshmen across the college soccer landscape.
It's been a couple of weeks since the last update and the college season is winding down to the last few matches before conference tournaments and then the NCAA tournament culminating in the College Cup hosted in Hoover, Alabama. This update features the sudden and explosive emergence of Sean Okoli at Wake Forest.
#6 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin
Last 5: 2-2-1 (Assist)
By the standards of the defending national champion Zips, this stretch has been pretty bad. After going nearly two months with only one loss and two draws, they equaled those winless results in just the last 5 matches. They had spent most of the season in the top few spots of the national rankings but have dropped to 6th and are likely to drop more after Wednesday's 1-0 home loss to Michigan State which also snapped an NCAA record 4-year home unbeaten streak.
Regardless they've still been good enough that they clinched the regular season MAC championship with a 3-0 win over Bowling Green (which featured a Yedlin assist). And a few days later we had another matchup of Sounders Academy players when Sean Okoli started for Wake Forest in a 2-2 draw with the Zips. The best news is that DeAndre continues to start every match at right back for Caleb Porter, who now also happens to be the head coach for the US U-23 national team.
Akron has one more regular season match this Sunday and then the MAC tournament kicks off next weekend.
Duke - Nick Palodichuk
Last 4: 2-1-1 (2 Assists)
Duke continues to hover at the edge of the national Top 25 rankings with positive results. They kicked off this stretch with an overtime away loss to a ranked Boston College team (in which Palodichuk assisted on the only Blue Devils goal) but went undefeated in the next three home matches. An interesting development is that after playing most of the season as an attacking midfielder Nick is now being listed as a forward alongside near-consensus overall #1 draft pick Andrew Wenger. The change has so far produced a couple of assists from the Sounder. We'll see if he keeps playing up front as Duke plays their final regular season match tonight and then moves on to the ACC tournament.
Wake Forest - Sean Okoli
Last 5: 2-1-2 (4 Goals, Assist)
Wake Forest has finished off their season on a good run culminating with two away draws in tough matchups against Akron and Maryland — both top 5 teams in the country. Okoli had a huge role in that run, as he went on an incredible goal-scoring tear against tough competition. Sean started all 5 matches at forward and scored his first collegiate goal (as well as picking up another assist) in a 5-2 victory over NC State. Here's video of the goal (including some of the most inspired play-by-play you'll ever hear). The next match he scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over William & Mary. Here's a post-match interview with Sean.
The next match was the aforementioned matchup with Akron and in it Okoli scored from the top of the box to tally only the second goal the Zips had allowed at home all season. You can see that here and keep watching to see some great touches from Sean through the rest of the game. And he finished the regular season by scoring the only Deacon goal in a crucial 1-1 draw with Maryland.
That goal tied the Freshman for tops on the team with 10 points — 9 of them coming in the final four matches of the season. Wake Forest is hoping those great results extend into the postseason as they take on Virginia in their ACC Tournament opener on Tuesday.
College of Charleston - Troy Peterson
Last 4: 0-2-2
Charleston's strong early start to the season is now nothing but a memory. With the latest winless stretch the Cougars are now without a win in their last 9. That includes a three game streak without scoring a goal before they managed a 2-2 draw with Davidson in their regular season finale. Peterson continues to start every match in the midfield, so we look forward to a resurgence when the Southern Conference playoffs kick off on Sunday.
Oregon State - Brandon Brockway, Glen Paden
Last 4: 2-2-0
The alma mater of 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year candidate Danny Mwanga had a mixed couple of weeks with two home wins and two away losses. Paden continues to pick up minutes as a substitute forward, while we expect Brockway to finish the season without an appearance. Their regular season finale is against the Huskies in Seattle next week.
Florida International - Rodney Greiling
Last 3: 0-2-1
After coming off the bench to start in two huge shutouts over ranked opponents, both Greiling's and FIU's fortunes have gone downhill. Rodney started the first match of the stretch — a 4-1 loss to Tulsa — and then came out at halftime of a 4-3 loss to South Carolina after conceding 3 goals in the first half. He was once again on the bench for a 0-0 shutout with a ranked UAB team. The final match of the season is tonight against Florida Gulf Coast.
#24 Barry University - Chase Hanson
Last 4: 3-1-0
Barry finished their final three games of the regular season with two wins and a 0-2 loss in the finale and managed to hold on to a spot in the bottom of the Division 2 Top 25 rankings after spending much of the season near the top. Hanson started every match in midfield for the Buccaneers.
They kicked off the first round of the Sunshine State Conference tournament with a victory over St Leo in penalties in which Chase came off the bench. Tonight they play in the tournament semifinals against #1 seed Lynn for a chance at the final on Sunday.
Santa Clara - Ryan Herman
Last 3: 2-0-1
The Broncos recovered from a 5-game scoreless streak to go undefeated in their last 3 and give themselves a shot at the WCC regular season title, though they probably have to win out in their final three matches to earn it. Larry Jackson seems to have taken over for Kevin Klasila in goal and started all three matches with Herman looking to next year to play for the team.
#20 Washington - Drew White
Last 4: 3-1-0
The Huskies posted wins in three of their last four with only a home match against Oregon State remaining the regular season. The loss came in an away match against 8th ranked UCLA and Washington holds on to the 20th spot in the Top 25, which should help them out when tournament selection time comes around. I haven't had word on an official redshirt designation, but with only one match left it's clear that Drew is targeting next season to start his Huskies career on the field.
Nate Boatright picked up his first start for Concordia University as they continued to tear through NAIA opposition. They had three wins and a draw in this stretch and are now 11th in the NSCAA rankings. Nate started against College of Idaho and also picked up substitute minutes and an assist off the bench against Olympia's own Evergreen. They have one final regular season match left before the conference tournament next week.
Ancilla College completed their season with two regular season wins and then a loss in the first round of the NJCAA Region 12 tournament. Yordan Rivera scored the only goal in one of their two shutout victories and finished the season with 4 goals and 9 assists. Seattle Pacific won 3 and lost 1 since our last update but dropped to 23rd in the national rankings after their loss to Division 2 #1 ranked Simon Fraser. Evan Robicheau started every match and picked up a goal and an assist in the stretch. The Falcons' regular season finale is tomorrow at Interbay and then the NCAA Division 2 tournament starts next week.
Highline now hasn't lost in forever after a 2-0-2 stretch. Darwin Jones got another goal and an assist in that run, but the Thunderbirds' success is build on their defense as they've allowed the fewest goals among the 20 NWAACC teams this season. Their final regular season match is tomorrow, but they've clinched a spot in the tournament next week. Shoreline picked up their second win of the season in a 1-3-0 stretch. Still not sure if Jeremy Wentzel is taking the field for them.