We’ve obviously been tweeting out results and updates from our DMVSoccer.com Twitter feed, but after watching so many local teams in action this past week (and in the preseason), we thought we would share a few things that we noticed while watching local college teams compete in what was the first week of action for many local D1 programs.
Defeated Bryant 1-0
Next Match: Monday at home vs Howard, 7pm
After defeating Bucknell and James Madison in preseason action, Head Coach Pete Caringi‘s UMBC squad opened their season on Friday night at home against a Bryant University side which finished with a 3-10-3 record last season, but was picked to finish fourth in NEC preseason coaches’ poll.
I was able to watch all three of UMBC’s matches so far. Against Bucknell, they won 2-0 but it could have been closer to 3 or 4. Former Archbishop Curley standout, sophomore Tre Pulliam, had a goal called back in that match, and in the second half especially, it seemed like the Retrievers were in on goal on a number of occasions.
Against tougher opponents like JMU and Bryant, scoring goals and creating chances weren’t as easy. Against JMU, a first-half penalty scored by senior Sammy Kahsai (from Hyattsville, played at Northwestern HS) was the difference, as Caringi’s side grinded out a 1-0 victory in the second half.
In Friday’s season-opener against Bryant, UMBC was off to a very sluggish start in the first half, not creating many chances and having a hard time stringing passes together. However, whatever adjustments or motivational “get your heads out of your @$$es” halftime talk that coach Caringi delivered at the break apparently worked, because UMBC came out firing in the second half. They had a number of corners kicks and set pieces which were nearly converted. Junior center back Kyle Saunderson converted a diving header in the 54′, but UMBC continued to push and dominate the second half.
They do have one weapon in particular which teams will likely struggle to defend throughout the season, a long throw from Saunderson which is on a frozen rope and headed to the far post from anywhere within 25 yards out.
Tre Pulliam provided some fireworks on Friday night, showing that he’s not just a speedy forward looking to get in behind every chance he gets. On two different occasions he turned and took on multiple Bryant defenders, megging them on a few occasions and getting the home crowd into the match. Sophomore Tre McCalla has also showed some skills on the ball in recent matches.
UMBC also has a goalkeeper battle on their hands. Redshirt-freshman Tomas Potts and fellow freshman Ciaran O’Loughlin (from Birkenhead Englandm just outside of Liverpool) were battling for the position, along with redshirt-freshman Hunter Trefny. O’Loughlin got the start on Friday, making 3 saves and earning the clean sheet.
After tonight’s match against Howard, UMBC has a pretty brutal 3-game stretch where they’re away to Villanova and Monmouth, before returning home to face WVU. Coach Caringi and his staff should know a lot more about his team over next few weeks, leading up to their much-anticipated home matchup vs Maryland on September 26th.
Speaking of Maryland…
University of Maryland
Defeated Santa Clara 4-2
Next Match: Hofstra on Monday (home, 7pm), UCLA on Friday (home, 7pm)
Sasho Cirovski’s University of Maryland side, who won the Big Ten title last season, was picked to finish sixth in the country in the NCAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, and it’s obvious why when you look at their roster. Junior forward Gordon Wild, who was a Hermann Trophy finalist last season, was placed on the Hermann Trophy Watch List this preseason. Former DC United Academy standout, Junior Eryk Williamson (from Alexandria, VA), comes off of an impressive performance at the Under-20 World Cup, and looks ready to anchor the Terps’ midfield this season.
On Friday night, the Terps defeated Santa Clara 4-2 in an away match. Senior Jake Rozhansky (Germantown, MD, transferred from University of Virginia) scored two goals, along with goals by Williamson and fellow former DC United Academy standout Freshman, forward Eric Matzelevich (Washington, DC).
It’s obviously a good sign to see so many attacking options for Coach Cirovski in early season action, with Wild, Rozhansky, and Matzelevich looking to impress. Senior midfielder George Campbell (Baltimore, MD, went to McDonogh HS) also played the majority of the match, along with junior midfielders Amar Sejdic, DJ Reeves (Ashton, MD, went to Sherwood HS), and Sebastian Elney.
The Terps have a difficult schedule this season, playing four teams (UCLA, Michigan State, Connecticut, and Indiana) in the Preseason Top 25. They have 5 straight home matches between now and September 17th when they hit the road against Penn State, but look for Coach Cirovski to see what kind of depth he has in his squad over the next few weeks.
Last Matches: Defeated La Salle 5-4 Friday night in Overtime, Defeated Saint John’s 1-0 on Sunday Night
This Week: At William and Mary, Sunday 7pm
Steve Nichols’ Loyola Greyhounds side won their first two games of the season this past week, defeating La Salle 5-4 away and St John’s 1-0 at home.
The five goal scorers on Friday night: Sophomore Barry Sharifi, Freshman Sam Brown, Sophomore Sam Carter, Junior Mickey Watson, and Sophomore Josh Fawole (Columbia,MD and Long Reach HS) all played a part in their second match, a 1-0 victory Sunday night vs St. John’s.
Sophomore forward and former DC United Academy player Nico Brown scored the lone goal on Sunday night, with some great link up play outside of the box with freshman Sam Brown. Loyola freshman goalkeeper Chase Vosvick (Phoenix, MD, Played for Baltimore Bays before attending Montverde Academy in Florida) let up four goals in the season opener vs La Salle, before bouncing back and having a strong performance on Sunday night, earning the clean sheet.
I was able to watch Loyola against St John’s, and thought they played a very entertaining brand of soccer. They try to stretch teams out and knock the ball, and have guys like Josh Fawole, Nico Brown, and Sam Brown who look to get at defenders with pace and attacking intent.
Sophomore forward Brian Saramago, last season’s Patriot League Rookie of the Year and who was picked as Patriot League offensive player of the year, didn’t play on Sunday and saw limited action against La Salle. However, it looks like they have plenty of attacking options to fill the void.
Local freshman midfielders Eddy Rodriguez, Collin Jouan, and TJ Walker will all compete for time at midfield, with Walker looking impressive thus far with his pace and eagerness to both defend and get forward. Sophomore midfielder Barry Sharifi also had impressive moments on the ball, and Loyola’s outside backs Ryan O’Connor and Jake Campbell both has very strong performances vs St. John’s. Center backs may be a cause for concern, Loyola let up 4 goals in their first match and on Sunday vs St John’s, Mickey Watson looks strong in the air, but left his feet and made a few risky slide tackles in Loyola’s own box. There was also a botched clearance from his CB partner which almost resulted in Saint John’s equalizing late in the second half, but Loyola was able to hold on to the result heading into their next matchup on Sunday vs William and Mary.
Some other DMV teams we’ve watched play so far:
George Washington Colonials– Lost to Binghamton 4-0 on Friday night, but bounced back with a 1-0 victory against Lehigh yesterday. Baltimore Local and former Calvert Hall player, freshman Brady O’Connor, with the winning goal, a header in the second half. Fellow DMV local freshman Jordan Saint-Louis (Bethesda Academy) was impressive in the match, running at defenders and looking to cause problems. GW head coach Craig Jones is working on finding the right mixture of young guys and upper-classmen. Former DeMatha player, senior Koby Osei-Wusu, started at the 6 vs Lehigh and controlled the midfield for the Colonials, but he could use a more active partner in midfield at the 8. Once Coach Jones and his staff finds out more about his team over the next few matches, including their next contest vs St. Francis Brooklyn on Friday which will be the third straight away match, before returning home to face William and Mary next week.
James Madison- I was able to catch two of JMU’s preseason matches, versus UMBC and GW, and thought they were one of the more balanced teams that I watched. With lots of depth and guys who know how to play, head coach Tom Foley’s squad was able to earn two straight results to start their season, a draw against FIU on Friday night and a 1-0 home victory against Pitt on Sunday. Freshman GK TJ Bush (Herndon, VA), Junior Billy Metzler, and sophomore Niclas Mohr (from Germany) were all named to the Wolstein Classic All-Tournament Team for their performances in JMU’s first two matches.
CCBC-Essex- Bonus Community College coverage coming at ya! On Saturday I went to check out CCBC-Essex take on Louisburg College from North Carolina, with both programs having reputations for developing players who later transfer to D1 programs. CCBC-Essex went ahead 3-0 early, shocking a Louisburg team who just got off of a long bus ride from NC. Freshman Varmah Siryon from Dundalk high school scored two for the Knights, along with Clement Blamo Jr who also played at Dundalk High. Former Baltimore Armour standout center back Jake Dengler made his CCBC-Essex debut, along with fellow freshmen defenders John Assaro (played for Baltimore Armour and Pipeline) and Walter Avila (former Bethesda Academy and Pipeline player). For Louisburg, Fela Osifeso (former Baltimore Armour, Pipeline, and Baltimore Bays player) was excellent throughout the match, and his older brother Tobi Osifeso (also played for Baltimore Armour) scored a wonder goal in the second half, a strike from 20+ yards out.