With last week’s SoccerInferno report on the women’s NCAA National Championship title, it’s only fair to report on the men’s NCAA championship game, which took place last Sunday, Dec. 11, in Hoover, Ala. North Carolina was represented well in the final game of the tournament with UNC-Charlotte facing the UNC-Chapel Hill for the title. The Tar Heels of UNC-CH defeated Charlotte by a 1-0 score to claim their second national title in 10 years.
The only goal of the game was scored by UNC Junior Ben Speas in the 65th minute; a beautiful 25-yard shot that has some news organizations are calling it a “wonder goal.” He was also an important player in the Tar Heel’s game on Friday night against UCLA when Speas kicked the winning penalty kick to propel the team over UCLA to win the game 3-1 after it was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time. Speas is no stranger to big wins or National Championship titles, however. He was part of the University of Akron team that won the NCAA tournament in 2010.
The UNC-CH team has come close to winning the National Championship in recent years. The team lost in semifinal games in both 2009 and 2010 and lost in the final game back in 2008. Tar Heel senior Kirk Urso is the only player on the Carolina roster to have played minutes in each of the previous three College Cups, so Sunday’s victory was especially rewarding.
“My whole college career has been awesome, but there was something extra about this team,” he said in an interview. “To cap it off with this is something I’m going to remember the rest of my life.”
Congratulations to the Stanford women’s soccer team on their first national championship in Division I women’s soccer! The team defeated Duke 1-0 last Sunday to clench the title that has eluded the Cardinals for the past three years. Since 2008, the team has never lost a regular season game; the team’s four seniors never lost a game at home and advanced to the College Cup four times. In 2008 the Cardinals lost in the semifinal game and in both 2009 and 2010 they lost in the national finals with a 1-0 score. In the school’s history, Stanford has won 101 national championships. The women’s soccer team added one more to that with their victory this weekend in Kennesaw, Ga.
“I told them they are going to go down in history as the first team to ever win a national championship for women’s soccer at Stanford,” Coach Paul Ratcliffe said.
Stanford dominated the game for much of the first half, but seniors Camille Levin and Teresa Noyola teamed up to score the only goal of the game during the second half. Once the Cardinals scored, the Blue Devil women got serious and attacked the Stanford goal repeatedly in the final 20 minutes of the game. Sophomore goalie Emily Oliver said it was, “the longest 20 minutes of my life.” Even with Duke’s aggressive offense, it was only fitting that Stanford win the game after many years of such hard work and crushing disappointments. Congrats again to the Lady Cardinals!
Many college sports fans may be focusing on the pigskin as football season gets underway, but if you’re not paying attention to this season’s NCAA soccer teams, you’re missing out. Both the men’s and women’s rankings were shaken up this weekend after some unexpected victories.
In the women’s league, after beating Notre Dame on Friday and UC-Irvine on Sunday, the undefeated Stanford team pushed out current leader North Carolina to reclaim the top spot in the rankings. The UNC Tar Heels dropped to #2 after losing to unranked Texas A&M on Sunday. This is the third consecutive season that Stanford has occupied the #1 spot. During the past two years, the team held the top spot through the season and up until the NCAA College Cup, before losing to North Carolina in the final in 2009 and Notre Dame in 2010.
“We still have a lot to prove this year,” Coach Paul Ratcliffe said. “We want to be the national champions. That’s our ultimate goal.”
In the men’s league, the Maryland Terrapins now hold the top spot in the rankings, following a 4-0 win over Boston College this weekend. They, too, pushed out a Tar Heel team – the previously #1 UNC men’s team dropped to #4 after their double-overtime loss to Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Maryland sophomore forward Patrick Mullins was named ACC Men’s Soccer Co-Player of the week after his two goals against Boston College. Mullins shared the honor with Kyle Renfro from Virginia Tech.
Cassie Dickerson was awarded the Female Medal of Honor for playing women’s soccer at Ohio State. Cassie is from Kalamazoo, Michigan and majored in Animal Science and Nutrition. She is a three-time co-captain for the Buckeyes. Cassie was named a 2010 NSCAA first team All-American after garnering Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. Cassie started all 24 games for the Buckeyes in 2010, anchoring a defense that recorded 12 shutouts after 13 in 2009. After battling back from multiple knee injuries, Cassie helped lead the Buckeyes to a 31-8-4 record over her last two seasons in games she started, including a 2010 Big Ten title and NCAA College Cup appearance. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection also was named one of 15 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in intercollegiate soccer. She plans to pursue a career in law.
Source: Ohio State
The Notre Dame men’s soccer team recently held its annual awards banquet. Senior Steven Perry, forward, received the Monogram Club team MVP. In 2010 Perry broke the team and career highs for 12 goals and 28 points. Junior Adam Mena, midfielder, earned the Knute Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award, for being the top student on the Irish squad. Seniors Craig Krzyskowski and Andrew Luttrell both received the Spirit Award. Ryan Miller, who played for the Irish from 2003-07, garnered the Mike Berticelli ‘Bert’ Award.
Notre Dame was 10-6-4 overall in 2010 and second in the Big East Blue Division at 6-2-1.
Source: South Bend Tribune
College Soccer News announced the schools 2011 recruiting class. The player rankings reflect an analysis of the potential impact a player will have at the collegiate level. There is always debate regarding any ranking and no one can predict what the future will hold but CSN thinks they might be correct. Players who have signed professional contracts are not included in the rankings.
The 2011 player rankings include the individual’s club team, position and the college (if any) to which they have committed verbally. Below are the top 15, click here to view the rest.
Rank Player Club Team Position School
|1. Eriq Zaveleta Real Salt Lake Defender Indiana
|2. Alex Shinsky Super Nova Midfielder Maryland
|3. Sean Davis Red Bull Academy Midfielder Duke
|4. Boyd Okuwonu FC Dallas Defender UNC Chapel Hill
|5. William Trapp Columbus Crew Midfielder Akron
|6. Sean Okoli Seattle Sounders Forward Wake Forest
|7. Nick Paloduckuk Seattle Sounders Midfielder Duke
|8. Caleb Stanko Vardar Midfielder Michigan
|9. Teddy Mullin Triangle F.C. Midfielder Wake Forest
|10. Jack Coleman FC Dallas Midfielder Indiana
|11. Jordan McCary Concorde Fire Midfielder UNC Chapel Hill
|12. DeAndre Yedlin Seattle Sounders Defender Akron
|13. Spencer LaCivita CASL Goalkeeper Virginia
|14. Felipe Noguerol Weston F.C. Forward Stanford
15. Cooper Vandermas-Peeler CASL Midfielder UNC Chapel Hill