The ACC dominates the College Soccer News’ Top 30 poll as the league owns six of the top 16 spots, including three of the top five positions. North Carolina is currently ranked No. 2, while Maryland and reigning national champion Virginia follow close behind at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Boston College, Duke and Wake Forest make-up the remaining programs nationally ranked in the CSN poll. The same six programs also rank among the Top 19 of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/HendrickCars.com weekly poll. North Carolina (No. 3) is joined by Maryland (No. 5) and Boston College (No. 10) as top 10 selections.
North Carolina senior defender Jalil Anibaba was named Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Player of the Week after helping his fourth-ranked Tar Heels to a 1-0 win in front of a capacity crowd at the Duke’s Koskinen Stadium. Anibaba’s efforts were also televised on the Fox Soccer Channel. Anibaba, a native of Davis, California, was a key factor in holding the nation’s leading scorer and reigning ACC Player of the Week, Ryan Finley of Duke, scoreless and to just four shots. The four shots were merely half of Finley’s average thus far this season. A crucial component of the Tar Heel backline, Anibaba has made a difference in allowing North Carolina to remain one of just two teams in the conference with a perfect 2-0 conference record at this point in the season. In addition, the Heels have yet to allow a goal in ACC play.
Wake Forest broke Virginia’s 20-game unbeaten streak, which dated back to last year’s NCAA Championship season, and broke the Cavaliers’ 13-match win streak in Klöckner Stadium last week. However, the Cavaliers still have not lost to a non-conference opponent since the 2008 NCAA Tournament – a string of 14 contests.
Head coach Ed Kelly, who is in his 23rd year at Boston College and was inducted into the New England Soccer Hall of Fame last fall, has guided the Eagles to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and seven in the last decade. Kelly picked up his 250th career win at Fairfield on Sept. 14.
Maryland has scored 15 goals through its first five matches of the 2010 season. That number is the highest total since 2005, when the squad scored 16 through its first four games. The Terps went on to win its first national championship since 1968 that season. In addition, tonight’s game is Maryland’s 1,000th game in men’s soccer program history.
The 1-0 shutout of Duke gave North Carolina its third-straight Triangle Derby crown as the Tar Heels have beaten both NC State and Duke three consecutive years. The win also improves Carolina to 2-0 in the ACC for just the third time in the last 20 years.
Junior forward Edwin Worley led Boston College’s offense with three points – one goal and one assist – and three shots on goal in the team’s 4-0 non-conference win over Boston University on Sept. 17. During the game, which marked his first appearance of the 2010 season, Worley assisted on the team’s third goal – at 42:45 - and concluded the scoring 14 seconds later, finishing touch passes from Charlie Rugg and Amit Aburmad. Worley currently leads all BC scores with 33 career points – 11 goals and 11 assists – in 42 games.
Sophomore forward Ryan Finley tallied his second hat trick of the season on Tuesday night, scoring three goals in 3:11 to lead Duke to a 4-0 blanking of George Washington. Finley owns seven goals in five games this year for the Blue Devils with those seven coming in three games. He leads all scorers on the team with 14 points on the year.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald made 10 saves on the week, including seven in the Deacs’ 1-0 win at No. 2/2 Virginia. The seven saves against the Cavaliers tied a season high and was just one shy of tying his career-high. Fitzgerald also made several outstanding diving saves to keep Wake in front and preserve first clean sheet of the season. The win snapped Virginia’s unbeaten streak at 20 games and its home unbeaten streak at 13 games. The shutout was the 23rd of his career and he earned his 40th career win in goal for the Demon Deacons.