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Alberto Camargo | NCAA.com | September 2, 2022

Three of the best matchups to watch across DI men's soccer this week

Clemson defeats Washington, secures 2021 Men's College Cup

The first week of the 2022 DI men’s soccer season provided some shocking upsets, heavyweight clashes and spectacular goals.

As we move into week two, it’s still too early to make College Cup predictions, but the next few days will provide some tasty matchups, starting with the team pushing No. 1 Clemson for the top spot in the national rankings.

FULL SCOREBOARD: Find all the games happening across DI men's soccer here

No. 21 Indiana vs. No. 22 Notre Dame | Saturday, Sep. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on B1G+

Indiana men's soccer celebrating a goal

This Saturday night in-state matchup sees two teams who lost on opening night, though under far different circumstances. Indiana, one of college soccer’s classic powerhouse programs, suffered a 3-2 loss on Aug. 25 to a current powerhouse, defending champions Clemson. There’s no shame in that defeat, though the ensuing 3-3 draw with Portland at home was not the response the Hoosiers would have wanted.

The Fighting Irish, meanwhile, were shocked at home by Seattle, 3-1. A nervy 3-2 victory over Michigan State on Aug. 29 which saw the Irish lead 3-0 and hold off a Spartan comeback was just enough for the team to stay in the top 25. They saw the worst drop from the preseason polls to week one, a fall of 18 places.

So what’s the story heading into Saturday? Well, there will likely be plenty of goals if the teams’ results up to this point are anything to go by. Both teams have spread their scoring around evenly for the most part, so keep an eye on the defense and goalkeepers. 

Notre Dame’s Bryan Dowd will remain in goal as he intervened a couple of times against Michigan State to maintain the lead. The Hoosiers, still looking for their first win of 2022, will likely revert to JT Harms, who saved six shots against Clemson. When Bryant Platt was given the start against Portland, he conceded three and failed to make a single save.

No. 19 Georgetown vs. No. 20 Denver | Monday, Sep. 5 on FloSports and Big East Digital Network

Georgetown men's soccer celebrating goal

And speaking of a team in need of a win, the Hoyas are the only other winless team in the top 25 after the loss to Pitt and a frustrating 1-1 draw at home against High Point. Georgetown dominated possession throughout and registered 19 shots to the opposition’s five. The Hoyas do host Temple on Friday, so there is still an opportunity to pick up a win before the 20th-ranked Pioneers come to the nation’s capital. 

Denver may have come as a surprise in the latest top 25 with wins over Gonzaga and Grand Canyon, but it has its stretch of litmus test matches this week. Before taking on Georgetown, the Pioneers will be in College Park to play No. 9 Maryland on Friday. Back-to-back ranked clashes will tell us more about this team in the young season. 

That Denver-Maryland game is also one to keep an eye on, but we gave the nod to Monday’s game because of the Hoyas’ early-season struggles. This team won 10 straight matches to begin last season and 13 of 15 overall in the regular season. 2022 has not been kind to Georgetown so far, and another test against Denver should prove interesting.

No. 11 Marshall vs. No. 2 Pittsburgh | Friday, Sep. 2 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+

Marshall took down Pittsburgh 2-1 in this matchup. Here's a recap of the match.

Preview:

The story here is Pitt’s quick start to the season. The Panthers were ranked seventh in preseason polls with two quick tests on the schedule. An opening night 2-1 win over No. 2 Georgetown set the table and a resounding 3-0 over No. 6 West Virginia four days later sent a message around the country: Pitt is the real deal.

Both Bertin Jacquesson and Noel Valentin have each scored twice and are on pace to smash their team-leading seven goals from a year ago. The dynamic duo has led Pitt to back-to-back wins over top 10 oppositions for the first time in program history. Up next is a date with No. 11 Marshall.

Don’t be fooled by Marshall’s 1-1 record, they have started the season well. A 5-0 win over VCU on opening night was followed by a 1-0 loss at Butler on Aug. 29 in which the Herd outshot the Bulldogs 21-9, including seven shots on goal to Butler’s one. If not for lightning calling the game in the 84th minute, perhaps Marshall could have equalized. 

The most recent United Soccer Coaches poll accurately reflected this. Rather than falling as one might expect a team to do after a loss, the Herd moved up three spots, while Butler received votes as well. The battle to watch on the pitch will be between Marshall’s defense and Pitt’s attack. 

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