Sept. 10, 2009

By Amy Farnum

KNIGHT MOVES:  For the first time since 1996, Rutgers University is undefeated through its first five games after a pair of victories last week that included an upset of then-No. 13 Penn State on Sept. 6.  

Senior goalkeeper Erin Guthrie collected her 35th career shutout with a 1-0 win over Towson, breaking the school’s all-time record that had stood for 17 years.  The native of Sparta, N.J., followed it up with a 1-0 blanking of Penn State for the Scarlet Knights’ first defeat of PSU since 1996.  For her efforts, Guthrie was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week for the fifth time in her career.  She has yet to allow a goal this season.

On the merits of their early season success, the Scarlet Knights re-entered into the NSCAA Division I Top 25 at No. 17, and will travel to Tucson, Ariz., for a match versus No. 21 San Diego on Sept. 11 in the University of Arizona’s Marriott University Park Tournament.

STOCK RISING: Indiana is off to its best start in program history after posting a perfect mark through its first five games, and the Hoosiers gained recognition for their stellar play this week as they cracked the NSCAA Division I Top 25 at No. 25.

Sophomore forward Devon Beach provided a spark for the Hoosiers in their 2-1 double-overtime win over then-No. 6 Florida – the highest-ranked opponent an IU squad has ever defeated.  The native of Sarnia, Ontario, netted the Hoosiers’ first score of the contest off a free kick, and then assisted on Leigh Anne Cummings’ game-winning goal.  Four of Beach’s five career assists have led to game-winning goals for the Hoosiers.  She was selected Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week for her contributions.

The Hoosiers head to the Empire State to defend their first national ranking since 2007, visiting Hofstra and St. John’s over the weekend.

FILL IN THE BLANKS:  South Carolina has not only posted a flawless record in its first four contests, but the Gamecocks are one of only five teams in the nation with four straight shutouts to open the season.

The Gamecocks downed Louisville, 3-0, and cruised past Cincinnati, 4-0, as seven different players scored in the Courtyard by Marriott Airport Cardinal Classic last weekend.  With the two wins, South Carolina broke into the NSCAA Division I Top 25 for the first time this season at No. 18.

While the Gamecocks have allowed just 22 shots this season, junior goalkeeper Mollie Patton has kept those attempts out of the net.  She combined for 11 saves in last weekend’s tournament, including three point-blank saves against Cincinnati to win the title.  Patton was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week for her performance.

South Carolina travels to instate rival Clemson for the Carolina’s Cup, and will open the tournament against the Tigers on Sept. 11.  USC has never defeated Clemson on the Tigers’ home field.

QUICK KICKS:  No. 22 Kansas has opened the season 5-0-0 for the second straight year after downing Long Beach State and Rhode Island last weekend … California’s 1-0 victory over then-No. 10 Texas A&M was the Golden Bears first win over a ranked opponent since the 2007 NCAA Tournament … Florida State sophomore forward Jessica Price was named Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Player of the Week after contributing six points in two Seminole wins, including an assist against then-No. 13 Penn State.  The native of Libertyville, Ill., leads the ACC in scoring with 15 points … Maryland earned its first national ranking since 2004 in the Soccer America Top 25 at No. 18 as the Terrapins are off to their best start since 1996 (6-0-0).  The Terps look to remain undefeated when they host James Madison on Sept. 13.