Battle of unbeatens goes to Marquette
Also: Presidents honor McNerney; Roberts completes 17 in a row
On a crisp fall Saturday night in Milwaukee, two of the nation’s last unbeaten men’s soccer teams entered Valley Fields for a top-10 matchup between Big East Blue Division foes.
But only No. 9 Marquette remained unscathed as the Golden Eagles downed No. 2 Connecticut 3-2 in front of 1,353 fans.
The victory not only kept the Golden Eagles unbeaten, but also helped them prove that Marquette is one of the elite teams in Division I men’s soccer right now.
“We came out firing and it proves what a talented team we are and what we can do to the big teams around us,” Marquette senior Andy Huftalin said. “We don’t care about the doubters…we care about the people who believe in us.”
Huftalin netted a goal in each half, increasing his team-leading total to six goals on the season. Huftalin scored the Golden Eagles’ second goal, putting them up 2-0, while Marquette’s defense held the Huskies scoreless until the 71st minute.
UConn’s Andre Blake – the Preseason Big East Goalkeeper of the Year -- kept it close with some stellar saves early in the second half, but Huftalin struck again in the 82nd minute on a cross to the far post by sophomore Andy Lysak.
It was the first time in 37 career matches that Blake had surrendered more than two goals in a contest. The game also marked the first time UConn has allowed three goals in a game since a 3-0 loss to Boston University in 2009.
“A team that can normally bully teams in the back and outplay teams in the middle…I thought we held them very well,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “If they wouldn’t have had Blake at goalkeeper, I think we would have scored six goals.”
With the win, Marquette stretched its nation’s longest win streak to 11 games. The Golden Eagles join Cornell (10-0-0) as the only two Division I men’s soccer teams without a loss or a tie in 2012. The Golden Eagles are now 19-3-1 in their last 23 matches.
It was the first time Marquette defeated UConn as the Huskies were 7-0-1 against MU in the previous eight meetings of a series that dates back to 1991.
Earlier in the week, Connecticut defeated No. 3 Georgetown, handing the Hoyas their first loss of the season.
• Ferris State pulled off a huge upset in Division II football on Saturday, rallying from a 17-point first quarter deficit to shock No. 3 Grand Valley State 40-24 in Allendale. It was the Bulldogs first win against the Lakers since 1999, and snapped GVSU’s 12-game winning streak dating back to last season, which had been the longest active winning streak in Division II football. Quarterback Jason Vander Laan led the Bulldogs with 185 yards rushing and two scores, as well as 79 yards passing.
It was the first time Ferris State had scored more than 20 points against the Lakers since 2000, while GVSU’s 24-point total was its least of the season.
• Murray State senior quarterback Casey Brockman threw as many touchdowns as incompletions in a 52-14 victory against Austin Peay, becoming the school’s all-time leader with 55 touchdown passes. Brockman connected on 38-of-43 passes for five TDs and 455 yards. He completed his first 17 passes of the contest en route to becoming the league’s all-time leader with 793 completions and was named Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance.
• No. 20 Florida upended No. 5 Texas A&M in women’s soccer 2-1 on Sunday, handing the Aggies their first Southeastern Conference loss and ending their 12-game unbeaten streak. Texas A&M tumbled to third in the SEC overall standings following the loss behind Florida and Missouri, who share the league lead with 21 points each. The Aggies still remain on top of the SEC Western Division standings. After opening SEC play with a loss to Kentucky, the Gators have posted seven consecutive league victories.
• There’s nothing like a dazzling finish in a football game, and No. 10 Bethel gave their fans a nail-biter in a 15-14 come-from-behind win versus Concordia College in Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday. Bethel trailed 14-7 with 1:24 remaining in the contest, and it was not looking good, as quarterback Erik Peterson fumbled and Concordia recovered and returned it for a 71-yard TD.
However, yellow flags littered the field and Concordia was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct – their only penalty of the game – which gave Bethel one more chance at getting into the end zone with one second remaining. Peterson found Jay Hilbrands for a nine-yard TD pass, putting the Royals back in the game. Bethel decided to go for the two-point conversion, rather than the tie and overtime, and Peterson found Mitch Hallstrom for the win as the Royals moved to 5-0 on the year. Watch the finish
• It was a very emotional day for the Washington & Jefferson football team during Saturday’s 56-18 loss to Thomas More in Division III Presidents’ Athletic Conference play. The Presidents had lost senior captain and star running back Tim McNerney when he was pronounced dead early Thursday morning after being attacked for his cell phone and wallet.
On W&J’s first offensive snap, the Presidents lined up with 10 men on the field – none in the backfield – to honor McNerney. Senior captain DeAndre Simmons also wore McNerney’s No. 5 jersey in memory of his teammate. On Twitter, football fans have been remembering McNerney with hash tag #RIP5.
• The No. 5 Tampa women’s volleyball squad continued to roll through Sunshine State Conference play, picking up wins versus Lynn and Nova Southeastern to improve to 6-0 in league action. The program is one win shy of earning its 1,000th victory, and will try for it on Wednesday against SSC foe Eckerd. The Spartans have won seven consecutive matches and are 13-2 on the year.
• The No. 1 USC men’s water polo squad downed No. 5 Stanford 9-6 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action on Saturday as the Trojans extended their winning streak to 17 games, and improved to 15-0 on the year. Tobias Preuss recorded a second-half hat trick to help the Trojans secure the win. USC – the four-time defending NCAA champion -- is the only unbeaten team in men’s water polo this season.
• The top-ranked Syracuse field hockey team reeled off its fifth consecutive shutout, blanking Providence 3-0 in Big East Conference action on Saturday. Goalkeeper Leann Stiver extended her consecutive shutout minutes streak to 381 dating back to Sept. 16 against Kent State. The senior leads the nation in both goals against average (0.44) and save percentage (.875). Syracuse (12-0) and Connecticut (13-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in Division I field hockey.
• New Jersey City University netted a pair of goals 1:47 apart in the second half to overcome a 1-0 deficit and knock off No. 6 New York University 2-1 on Wednesday. Midfielders Alec Metsch and Nana Kofi Kusi scored for NJCU. The Gothic Knights handed the Violets their first loss of the season. NYU had not allowed more than one goal in a contest before the matchup with the Knights.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
|1||Washington is the lone undefeated Division I women’s volleyball team after sweeping Utah and Colorado in Pac-12 play during the weekend. Oregon fell to Stanford in five sets on Friday, leaving the Huskies as the only Division I squad with a spotless record. Washington is 6-0 against conference competition, and shares the top spot in the Pac-12 standings with Stanford.|
|17||Wheaton (Ill.) quarterback Jordan Roberts set a school record with 17 consecutive pass completions in the Thunder’s 44-10 defeat of Carthage on Saturday. The previous mark of 16 consecutive complete passes had stood since 1983. Roberts connected on 24-of-27 passes for 258 yards and five touchdowns in the contest. He has 16 touchdowns and only one interception this season.|
|36||The No. 2 Stanford women’s soccer squad extended its Pac-12 winning streak to 36 matches as Mariah Nogueira and Alina Garciamendez notched a pair of second-half scores within 37 seconds of each other to claim a 2-1 come-from behind win against Colorado on Sunday.|
|98||North Dakota State’s Marcus Williams intercepted a Youngstown State Kurt Hess pass and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown sparking the top-ranked Bison to a 48-7 win versus the No. 3 Penguins. It was the first interception of the season against Hess. The Bison have won nine consecutive games against nationally-ranked foes.|
|100||New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell and James Madison head coach Mickey Matthews both earned their 100th career coaching victories in Colonial Athletic Association football contests on Saturday. McDonnell is now 100-64 at UNH following a 44-21 defeat at Georgia State, while Matthews is 100-62 at JMU after the Dukes downed No. 12 Towson 13-10. Both coaches have spent their entire head coaching career at their respective schools.|
|3,649||Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet ran for 88 yards in a win against Charleston Southern to become the Big South Conference’s all-time leading rusher with 3,649 yards. The previous mark of 3,633 yards was held by Liberty’s Rashad Jennings.|
• Maine sacked No. 15 Delaware nine times en route to a 26-3 victory in FCS football action on Saturday. Michael Cole was credited with five of the Black Bears’ sacks, and now leads the team with seven on the year. Maine entered the contest against the Blue Hens with only five sacks in its previous four games.
|Aug. 29||Southern Nazarene||W, 63-21|
|Sept. 15||Arkansas Tech||
|Sept. 22||Southeastern Okla.||W, 56-20|
|Sept. 29||Southwestern Okla.||W, 50-22|
|Oct. 6||Arkansas-Monticello||W, 71-0|
• No. 18 UW-Oshkosh is 5-0 for the first time since 1968 following a resounding 50-13 victory against UW-Eau Claire in Division III Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. The Titans set a school record with 35 first downs in the contest. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Titans dating back to last season. They have scored 35-plus points in five of those games.
• No winner, no loser … again. For the third time in as many years the Amherst and Williams Division III men’s soccer teams played to a tie. This year’s game ended scoreless after two overtimes. No. 2 Amherst (8-0-1) and No. 17 Williams (6-0-2) both remain unbeaten on the season. The Jeffs hold a slight edge in the incredibly close series, leading 42-39-13 in 94 meetings since 1922.
• Winston-Salem State quarterback Kam Smith tossed five touchdown passes in a 63-7 win against Johnson C. Smith as the No. 4 Rams remained perfect on the year. Smith completed 13-of-15 passes for 259 yards and his five TDs – all in the first half of the contest against the Golden Bulls.
• No. 14 Henderson State dominated both offensively and defensively in a 71-0 victory versus Arkansas-Monticello in Division II Great American Conference action on Saturday. The Reddies (6-0) forced a season-high six turnovers and racked up 655 yards of total offense as they remained unbeaten. Henderson has scored 50 or more points five times this season.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy