Seven weeks into the fall season, unbeaten teams are few and far between. It is just the nature of athletics — only the strong survive. But after last week, the undefeated teams remaining around the nation should be put on an endangered species list.
Across the board, in every sport and division, a plethora of unbeaten teams fell to the wayside last week. It didn’t matter if it was football or field hockey, or Division I, II or III – it seemed like every team with either a No. 1 ranking or a zero in the loss column went down. And, there wasn’t even a full moon to blame it on.
The curse of the unbeatens ran the most rampant in FCS on Saturday where the top four highest ranked teams all lost for the first time this season.
No. 1 North Dakota State was upended by unranked Indiana State 17-14 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, ending the defending NCAA champion’s 10-game winning streak.
Stunners also included No. 6 Eastern Washington downing No. 2 Montana State 27-24 in Big Sky action; unranked Villanova, which cruised to a 38-14 win against No. 3 Old Dominion in CAA football; and No. 4 Wofford, which fell to No. 7 Georgia Southern 17-9 in Southern Conference play. (And, No. 5 James Madison squeaked by with a 27-26 victory against William & Mary in double overtime, so it will be interesting to see which of these teams – if any – jumps to No. 1 in the new FCS Coaches’ Poll on Monday.)No. 1 North Dakota State was upended by unranked Indiana State 17-14 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, ending the defending NCAA champion’s 10-game winning streak.
The top-ranked team in Division II football – Pitt State – also went down on Saturday as No. 7 Northwest Missouri State rallied for a 31-21 victory against the Bearcats in The Fall Classic at Arrowhead XI. The defending NCAA champion Gorillas had entered the contest with a 10-game winning streak.
In Division I women’s volleyball, No. 2 Washington suffered its first loss of the season as the Huskies 16-match winning streak snapped with a 3-1 loss to No. 5 Oregon. UW had been the lone remaining unbeaten of Division I teams.
After winning its first 18 matches of the season, No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney went down in four sets to No. 19 Wayne State and two days later, dropped another match to Truman State in Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball action.
The top team in Division III women’s volleyball – Washington-St. Louis — also lost this week to No. 12 Chicago, although the Bears had suffered their first defeat earlier in the season.
Division I men’s soccer lost two more unbeatens as No. 23 High Point fell for the first time, losing to Virginia 2-1 on Tuesday and No. 4 Marquette dropped its first match of the season to No. 10 Georgetown 2-1 on Saturday.
LIU Post – the No. 1 team in Division II men’s soccer – saw its 12-game winning streak end as unranked NYIT downed the Pioneers 2-1 on Saturday.
On the same day West Florida gained the No. 1 ranking in Division II women’s soccer, the No. 2 Argonauts dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 7 Armstrong Monday afternoon. The loss ended an 11-game game winning streak and 14-game unbeaten streak dating back to last season. Previously unbeaten No. 2 West Chester was also upset, falling 3-2 to unranked Lock Haven on Saturday.
In Division I field hockey, Massachusetts handed No. 1 Syracuse its first defeat of the season 2-1 on Thursday. The Orange was 12-0 entering the week, and bounced back with a 4-1 win against No. 13 Stanford on Saturday.
The No. 1 team also went down in Division III field hockey as Salisbury lost 3-2 to No. 7 Mary Washington in a Capital Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday.
And, if the agony of defeat was not enough for you in fall sports last week, you’ll be happy to know the feeling is already spreading to the winter season. The defending NCAA champion and No. 1 Boston College men’s ice hockey team opened the season with a 3-1 loss to Northeastern, snapping the Eagles’ 19-game winning streak dating back to last season.
• One No. 1 team that did not lose last week was the Florida State women’s soccer squad. The Seminoles continued their dominance in Atlantic Coast Conference play, shutting out Virginia Tech and Virginia. FSU has not allowed a league foe to score, and has outscored conference opponents 14-0 on the year.
• We’ve talked about the success Marquette’s men’s soccer team this season, but the Golden Eagles women’s soccer squad is also holding their own. The No. 22 Golden Eagles clinched a first round bye into the Big East Tournament, and picked up another two shutouts during the weekend, downing St. John’s 3-0 and Syracuse 2-0 and improving to 8-0-1 in league play. Marquette leads the conference with 12 shutouts on the year, and has allowed only two goals against Big East opponents.
|Sept. 13||Duke||W, 1-0|
|Sept. 16||Wake Forest||W, 1-0|
|Sept. 27||North Carolina||W, 1-0|
|Sept. 30||NC State||W, 2-0|
|Oct. 4||Clemson||W, 7-0|
|Oct. 11||Virginia Tech||W, 1-0|
|Oct. 14||Virginia||W, 1-0 (OT)|
• UC Davis upended No. 8 UC Santa Barbara 1-0 in Big West Conference men’s soccer action on Saturday. After starting the season with a 2-4-4 mark, the Aggies have reeled off four consecutive wins – all in conference play. The victory also ended a six-game losing streak to the Gauchos.
• The Villanova football team was one of this week’s giant killers, upsetting No. 3 Old Dominion 38-14 in FCS football on Saturday. Redshirt freshman quarterback John Robertson sparked the Wildcats to rally from a 14-point deficit and score 38 unanswered points for the victory. Robertson was a dual threat to the Monarchs, passing for 151 yards and a touchdown without an interception, and running for a career-high 89 yards and three scores on 24 carries.
• Two freshmen won their respective races at the 2012 NCAA Preview Cross Country Meet at E.P. Tom Sawyer Sate Park in Louisville, Ky., where the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held. UTEP’s Anthony Rotich clocked a personal-best time of 23:01.00 in the men’s 8K race, defeating UNC Greensboro junior Paul Chelimo, who was the runner-up in the 5,000 meter race at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
South Carolina’s Kayla Lampe won her second race of the year with a personal record of 21:03.5 in the 6K, helping the Gamecocks to a third-place finish at the Preview Meet. Lampe won the race by 11.3 seconds.
• Charleston’s Jordan Roberts exploded for 327 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns as the Golden Eagles upended No. 24 UNC-Pembroke 42-30 in Division II football action on Saturday. Roberts was responsible for four touchdowns in the game – two on the ground, one via pass and one after a school-record 100-yard kickoff return.
• The No. 5 Stanford men’s water polo squad picked up two victories against top-10 teams, knocking off No. 2 UC Santa Barbara and downing No. 8 Pepperdine in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action during the weekend. Freshman Bret Bonanni netted three goals in each contest to pace the Cardinal.
|THE DIGIT||THE 4-1-1|
|5||No. 1 Mount Union posted its fifth consecutive shutout of the season, defeating Capital (Ohio) 62-0 in Division III football action on Saturday. The Purple Raiders are one shy of tying the school-record for consecutive shutouts set by the 2007 team. Mount Union also stretched its regular season winning streak to 69 games.|
|15||Albany senior tailback Drew Smith ran for three touchdowns in a 36-13 win against St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, raising his FCS-best total to 15 on the year. Every one of Smith’s TDs has come on the ground.|
|17||Davidson senior wide receiver Lanny Funsten caught a Pioneer Football League record 17 passes in a 34-24 loss to Jacksonville on Saturday. Funsten also became the school’s career leader in both receptions and receiving yards. He now has 191 career receptions and 2,362 career yards receiving.|
|98||The Dominican (Ill.) men’s soccer team rallied for a 2-1 victory versus Milwaukee School of Engineering on Saturday, stretching the Stars’ Northern Athletics Conference unbeaten streak to 98 matches dating back to October 2004. The Stars are ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA Division III Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, and are 8-0-0 in NAC action.|
|100||Syracuse head field hockey coach Ange Bradley picked up her 100th victory at Syracuse with a 4-1 win against No. 13 Stanford on Friday. Bradley is 100-23 in her sixth season with the Orange.|
|162||After an Ivy League record 162 games without being shut out, Brown finally put up a goose egg in the Bears’ 19-0 loss to Princeton on Saturday. The streak dated back to the 1996 season.|
• Sophomore Callum Willmott netted a hat trick to propel Niagara to a 3-2 victory against Canisius in MAAC men’s soccer action on Saturday. The Purple Eagles (8-0-4), one of just four unbeaten Division I men’s soccer teams in the nation (Maryland, Xavier, Cornell), extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games, tying the program record.
• The Utah State women’s volleyball team swept San Jose State on Saturday, stretching their league winning streak to five matches for the first time in their eight years in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies are 8-1 in WAC play, and boast a league-leading 8-1 mark in the standings.
• No. 12 Colorado School of Mines women’s volleyball continued to roll, sweeping Fort Lewis in Division II’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Saturday. The Orediggers have won 10 consecutive matches, posting a 30-5 set record with a .288 hitting percentage during the streak.
• No. 5 Armstrong Atlantic State scored five goals in a 10-minute first-half stretch, including four tallies by senior Morgan Mitchell, as the Pirates remained perfect in Division II’s Peach Belt Conference women’s soccer play with a 5-1 win against Georgia College on Saturday. AASU extended its program-best winning streak to 10 games, and kept its home unbeaten streak intact at 36 games. Mitchell leads the PBC with 12 goals on the season.
• In Division III football, the battle between top-10 foes No. 3 St. Thomas and No. 7 Bethel did not exactly live up to pre-game expectations. The Tommies routed the Royals 37-0 stretching their string of regular season victories to 30 games.
Follow Amy Farnum on Twitter: @NCAA_Amy