As we’ve previously mentioned on Twitter, this season we are going to try to put together DMV college soccer rankings for DMV-area college programs on an ongoing basis. The goal is to increase awareness of what college programs in DC, MD, and VA are doing throughout the season. We will take into account all major polls, including United Soccer Coaches’, CollegeSoccerNews, TDS, NCAA, and others.
As of Tuesday, August 28th, here are our current DMV NCAA college rankings through week
1 University of Virginia – 1-0
ACC powerhouse UVA, coached by George Gelnovatch, defeated #19 New Hampshire 1-0 in their first match of the season thanks to a last-minute goal from sophomore midfielder Joe Bell. We will know more about this Cavaliers side in the coming weeks, with Maryland and VA Tech on the schedule for next week after they take on Elon on Thursday.
2. Virginia Tech – 2-0 – First Place in ACC Coastal Divison
Coach Brizendine’s Hokies went through preseason undefeated, beating quality opponents like WVU, Villanova, and ODU. They’ve started the regular season 2-0 and on top of their ACC division, beating Air Force 2-1 and Gardner-Webb. Junior Forward James Kasak has assisted 3 of Va Tech’s 4 goals thus far. The team heads to Florida for away matches vs South Florida and UCF, before traveling to Charlottesville where they take on UVA. We should know more about Virginia Tech’s squad in the coming weeks.
3. Georgetown – 1-1
Picked by many as a National Top 10 powerhouse, The Hoyas won their first match of the season at South Carolina but then picked up an away loss against a tough Coastal Carolina side. They take on Radford this Friday, followed by Stanford next Monday which will be a tough matchup for Coach Wiese’s side. Freshman goalkeeper Giannis Nikopolidis, the replacement for J.T. Marcinkowski, was named Big East Goalkeeper of the week. Senior defender Brendan McDonough was named to the preseason Mac Hermann Trophy Watch List, and with Achara already opening his scoring account this season vs South Carolina, it’s hard to believe that the Hoyas won’t string together some results in the coming weeks.
4. University of Maryland – 0-1
Coach Cirovski’s Terps program will see a lot of new faces stepping in this season, with the team losing starters Eryk Williamson, Jake Rozhansky, Gordon Wild, and George Campbell after last season, among others. Long-time assistant coach Brian Rowland took the head coaching job at Temple, so the Terps are getting a fresh start this season. In their first match of the season, they traveled to Washington State where they lost 2-0 to a National Top 10 program in University of Washington. However, the Terps had an impressive offseason, heading across the pond to take on English clubs Queen Park Rangers and others. This Friday night, they’ll take on Stanford at home, followed by Virginia on Monday at Audi Field, and UCLA at home on Friday. Coach Cirovski will know more about his squad in the coming weeks, with a defense anchored by standout junior defender Donovon Pines, returning players Sebastian Elney, Omar Sedic, Paul Bin, and goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair looking to avenge last season’s early NCAA tournament defeat. Newcomers Brett St. Martin and Justin Gielen will also look to contribute off of the bench.
5. William and Mary – 1-1
Led by senior standout forwards Antonio Bustamante and Ryder Bell, William and Mary started the season 1-1 after defeating Saint Joseph’s 2-0 and dropping a tough overtime defeat to Villanova. Bell has started the season with 2 goals and 1 assist, while Bustamante (named to preseason Mcc Hermann Watch List) has 3 assists thus far. Head Coach Chris Norris will know a lot more about his team this season in the coming couple of weeks, as they travel to Chapel Hill to take on UNC this Friday, followed by away matches vs NC State and Loyola.
6. Loyola – 2-0 – First Place in Patriot League
United Soccer Coaches, TDS, and College Soccer News all have ODU as the next best DMV-area team in terms of their National Rankings, however I’m a firm believer in this Loyola side based on their season last year, and pieces they’ve added this offseason. Standout sophomore goalkeeper Chase Vosvick, who had an impressive offseason down in Florida with Montverde Academy’s PDL side, will look to improve on his Freshman season, already allowing only 1 goal in 2 matches for Steve Nichol’s Greyhounds. In their first 2 matches, they defeated Rutgers at home 3-0, and Mount St Mary’s at home 3-1. Junior standout forward Brian Saramago, aka Saramagoal, was named to Mac Hermann Trophy Watch List and registered a hat trick in the second match vs Mount. Senior CB Mickey Watson has a new partner in crime in transfer Jake Dengler, who scored his first goal of the season vs Rutgers, and with an impressive and deep midfield highlighted by senior Gabriel Carlsson and junior Barry Sharifi, combined with an impressive front 3 of Saramagoal, Josh Fawole, Sam Brown, and Nico Brown back in the mix this season, this Loyola side has the necessary pieces in place to compete for an NCAA Tourney spot. We’ll know more after the Greyhounds travel to Villanova this Friday, followed by William and Mary at home a week later.
7. Old Dominion University – 1-0-1
Head Coach Alan Dawson’s Monarchs started the season with a 1-0 home victory vs Radford, followed by a 2-2 overtime draw vs Georgia Southern. Senior forward Max Wilschrey from Germany leads the team with 3 goals thus far. ODU will take on Santa Clara at home this Friday, followed by another home match vs Temple on Sunday. We will see where ODU ranks once they’ve played a few more matches, as GW and UMBC who have both started the season undefeated will look to continue their winning ways.
8. George Washington University – 2-0 – First place in Atlantic 10
The hardest part of our first DMV college soccer rankings was not putting GW higher up in the rankings, after the Colonials have started the season 2-0 and in first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Head coach Craig Jones spent some time across the pond this offseason recruiting replacements for departing seniors Koby Osei-Wusu, Alex Conning, Christian Lawal and Oliver Curry. Freshman Jordan St. Louis left early last season to pursue a professional contract in Switzerland, and Simon Fitch transferred to VCU. However, Coach Jones seems to have found some players who can step in and contribute immediately, including grad student Haukur Hilmarsson from Iceland. Junior midfielder Drini Redzepi and sophomore defender Joshua Yurasits lead the team in assists with three a piece, and Max Holdsworth a Junior midfield transfer from American adds more depth to the Colonials’ midfield. Senior goalkeeper Thor Arne Höfs looks impressive thus far this season after a standout junior season and spending time training at DC United this offseason. But the story of the season thus far in the DMV area? Sophomore striker Osca Haynes-Brown, who notched a second half hat trick in GW’s first match vs Stony Brook, followed by four goals at home vs American. GW takes on Lehigh at home on Saturday, followed by Brown next Friday.
9. UMBC – 2-0 – First place in America East
Coach Pete Caringi’s Retrievers lost senior starters Tom Paul, Gregg Hauck, Cormac Noel and leading scorer Sammy Kahsai this offseason, but seem to have reloaded with incoming transfers Cesare Marconi who scored two goals in their 3-2 home victory over Rutgers last night, and Jackson Becher who scored the game winner vs Temple to help the Retrievers start the season 2-0 and on top of their conference. Freshman goalkeeper Quantrell Jones, who has participated in the USYNT Residency Program, came in as what many believed to be the sure starter, by sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran O’Loughlin has been able to retain his starting spot in the net. There may still be some questions in terms of depth in UMBC’s back line, but the Retrievers will look to continue their winning ways at home on Friday night as they take on College of Charleston, followed by a home match Sunday night vs Air Force.
10. VCU – 1-1
VCU had the type of season last year that should probably see them higher up our list, however through only 2 matches we have them at #10 with the potential to move up in coming weeks. They’ve started the season with a 3-0 win over Radford and a 2-0 loss to Georgia Southern, and with upcoming matches against Temple and Santa Clara, we should know more about where this VCU side belongs in the rankings throughout the season as they look to push for an NCAA tournament appearance.
11-16 (in no particular order) – American, Howard, George Mason, JMU, Navy, Radford
The goal of our poll isn’t to make any teams or players feel down on themselves themselves by picking them last in our rankings, so we’ve decided it would be better to group some of the programs together. Also, through one 1 or 2 matches, we expect our list to completely change over the next week weeks.
In the 11-16 spots, we have American University, Howard, George Mason, James Madison, Navy, and Radford.
American got off to a hot start, beating George Mason at home 2-1 with midfielder Fabio Massaro earning Patriot League midfielder of the week. However, in their second match against GW, American dropped a tough 6-0 result with only 10 men. They’ll look to rebound on Friday against a very tough WVU side at home.
Coach Phillip Gyau’s Howard side won their season opening against Bryant 2-1 on Friday night behind goals from Andres Gomez and Victor Guirma. Howard will look to continue their winning ways tonight at 7pm as they travel to Philadelphia to take on La Salle.
George Mason and head coach Greg Andrulis have a lot of new faces this season, highlighted by Sophomore transfer Colin Brezniak. The Patriots dropped their first match of the season vs American 2-1 with a goal from Grant Robinson. They’ll look to rebound on Friday night as they take on an undefeated Drexel (2-0) side at home.
James Madison has started the season 1-1 after defeating Gardner-Webb 4-0 and losing to Air Force 1-0. They aren’t in action again until next Friday when they take on Cal State Fullerton, followed by UC Irvine, before returning to Virginia to take on Radford at home. JMU is a team which could put together a string of results and move into the top 10, but it will depend on how they perform in the coming weeks.
Radford has started the season 0-2 after losses to competitive programs ODU and VCU. Things don’t get any easier for head coach Bryheem Hancock and squad as they travel to Georgetown this Friday, followed by matches against James Madison and Coastal Carolina.
And last but not least, I spent some time out at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis last week taking in a training session from Navy Head Coach Tim O’Donohue and staff. It’s no secret that Coach OD is attempting to rebuild the program, bringing in 10 freshmen this season with outside back Ben Huynh from Seattle Sounders Academy, forward Jacob Williams from Baltimore Armour, center backs Tyler Collins from Mount Saint Joe’s and Baltimore Celtic and 6’6″ freshman Matt Nocita from Porter Ranch, California stepping in as the immediate backbone of the team. Sophomore Wyatt Millard has the pace and ability to get in behind opposing back lines, and with junior Diego Manrique anchoring the midfield, Coach OD and staff have some good pieces in place. Sophomore goalkeeper Ian Bramblett has gotten the start thus far for the Midshipemen, but following a 1-0 opening night loss to Manhattan followed by a 2-0 loss to NJIT, the “trust the process” motto in Annapolis will be in full effect during the season as their coaching staff continues to make changes. One of the biggest question marks will be up front, with freshmen Bayne Bentley and sophomores Phillip Gustafson and Nicko West battling for the starting spot. West scored Navy’s only goal thus far off of a Jacob Williams shot on goal. Williams leads the team in shots and almost scored vs Manhattan. Navy take on Air Force this Friday night at home, followed by College of Charlerston on Sunday and then Howard on Wednesday night.