The eyes of the soccer world were cast to all corners of the globe these last several days as the World Cup dreams of so many nations were either realized or dashed, with the United States in the middle of it all, saving Mexico while crushing Panama on Tuesday night. Not surprisingly college soccer may have been a little bit lost in the shuffle, but the countries student athletes kept at it, with Conference tournaments drawing ever closer.
It was a rare week with little movement in the Coaches Rankings, especially at the top of the table, where California retained the number one spot and the second and third rated colleges, Notre Dame and Washington, were also were unchanged.
Also unlike previous weeks, only three teams fell out of the top 25, and those schools were at the low end of the charts, numbers 22 St. John’s, number, 24 Wisconsin-Milwaukee and 25th rated Providence.
They were replaced by Penn State, who entered at 17, Marquette (20) and Furman, who came in at number 22. Former number one North Carolina continued their slide down the rankings after splitting a pair of 2-1 decisions during the week. The Tar Heels defeated Boston College on the road on Saturday October 12 to rebound from an overtime loss at home to Clemson last Tuesday.
Number one Cal finished out last week with a 1-1 tie versus third ranked Washington and took on two more Pac 12 rivals this week, going on the road to challenge San Diego State and the fifth ranked team in the nation, UCLA.
In a sign of just how loaded the Pac 12 is this year, the Golden Bears fell behind 3-6-1 San Diego State Thursday night, before storming back to beat the unranked Aztecs 2-1. It was the first time that Cal had trailed in a match this season.
There would be no letting up for Cal when they traveled to Los Angeles to take on UCLA at the Bruins home field of Drake Stadium on Sunday, October 13th. Once again Cal had to come from behind when UCLA took the early lead on 13th minute tally from Victor Chavez. Cal leveled through a swerving free kick off the boot of junior defender Christian Dean, but the Bears couldn’t hold the lead, falling behind 2-1 on Jordan Vale’s header just before the half.
But in the second half Cal showed a champions grit, scoring on a penalty kick from Steve Birnbaum to send the game to overtime. It didn’t take long for the Golden Goal to come and Stefano Bonomo was the hero, finishing after good approach work from Luis Fuentes and Connor Hallisey.
|2||Notre Dame (1)||548||7-0-4||2|
|6||Cal State Northridge||419||11-2-0||4|
Dropped out: No. 22 St. John’s (N.Y.); No. 24 Wisconsin-Milwaukee; No. 25 Providence.
Others receiving votes: UC Santa Barbara 57, Delaware 55, VCU 40, Gonzaga 30, Providence 20, Evansville 15, New Mexico 14, Saint Francis (Pa.) 13, William & Mary 12, St. John’s (N.Y.) 10, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 8, Tulsa 7, Connecticut 5, Wisconsin 5, Saint Louis 3.