We tend to focus on the offensive stats here, but as we move into conference play, it's the Sounders defenders who are making their mark, and not just DeAndre Yedlin. Another fullback is making offensive contributions as a Freshman and a Sophomore is holding the line for a top 5 team.
#3 UC Santa Barbara - Brandon Brockway
3-0-1 since last update
UCSB hasn't lost all season and that perfect record has pushed them into a top 5 ranking. That run includes 4 shutouts and 3 games allowing only one goal. It's a solid defensive showing, and anchoring that back line is sophomore Sounder Brockway. He started all 4 of their matches in the past two weeks and is in line for more playing time with the ongoing injury to usual starter Peter Schmetz. This weekend they take on Big West opponents UC Riverside and Cal St Bakersfield.
#7 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin
2-0-1 since last update
The Zips are also undefeated since our last update and Yedlin continues to patrol the right sideline for them. He's on a bit of an assist drought, but as the schedule moves to more MAC teams the level of competition will drop. This weekend they have a home match against the 2-7-1 Buffalo Bulls.
#16 Wake Forest - Sean Okoli
Wake also remained undefeated during this stretch. Two of the results were draws, but one of those was an away match against then-#1 UNC, so that didn't hurt them any. The other draw was a scoreless match against Nick Palodichuk and Duke last weekend. Sean continued to start for the team and scored a goal in a 4-0 romp over Appalachian State. This weekend they travel to Virginia Tech.
Oregon State - Glenn Paden
3-0-0 (2 Goals, 2 Assists)
Well hello, Glenn Paden. We noted last week that the Sophomore forward had started picking up minutes for the Beavers, but over the last couple of weeks he's gone well beyond that. The team won all three of their matches and Paden had a goal or assist in all of them. Beyond his scoring he's turning to a provider for likely 2013 MLS draftee Emery Welshman, including assisting on the double overtime winner last weekend versus UC Irvine. This weekend they take on Washington in conference play.
West Virginia - Nick Raskasky
2-0-0 (2 Goals)
The Mountaineers earned two shutout wins since the last update and one included fullback Raskasky scoring two of the team's four goals. He's now suddenly tied for the team lead in scoring. We'll have to see if that's just a fluke or if he remains a part of the offense as they take on Iona this weekend.
Duke - Nick Palodichuk
Palodichuk went quiet during this stretch. Other than the aforementioned draw with Wake Forest, the Blue Devils split results with a win over Clemson and a loss to UNC Wilmington. In the most recent game, Nick actually came off the bench. Hopefully he's back in a starting role when they take on #6 UNC this weekend.
Washington - Michael Gallagher, Ian Lange, Drew White, Ryan Herman
The Huskies split results in a road trip to Alabama, then lost a tough back-and-forth home match to Brown before mauling local rivals Seattle U featuring three Sounders of their own. In fact, in that match the Huskies didn't play any Sounders at all, which would have been unthinkable when the season started and the roster looked loaded with Rave Green. But Darwin Jones and most recently Dom Dismuke were ruled ineligible (Jones' plans are still unknown and Dismuke is now at Highline), Herman remains behind Spencer Richey, and both Gallagher and Lange have lost playing time. There'll very likely be at least one Sounder on the field this weekend when they take on Oregon State and Paden.
Stanford - Aaron Kovar
Only two matches for Stanford this update and they were both losses. Kovar had been absent from the team for a few weeks, whether from injury or some other issue we weren't sure. But he came back as a substitute against Loyola Marymount to score a goal to force overtime before Loyola won it late. Stanford moves into conference play with UCLA and San Diego State this weekend.
Jesse Klug scored a game-winner for Bucknell in their conference opener. He leads the team in shots and his 5 points are tied for second on the team. Jordan Schweitzer got an assist for Denver as they went 3-0 and have won their last 5 in a row. Austin Sweeney scored for Seattle U in a win over Portland, but it was only their second win in a tough season.