College Soccer Professor: week five rankings

Goals galore through the first four weeks have some players dreaming of a spot in the history books.
Since 2005, only six players have scored 20 or more goals in a college season (including the postseason). There are quite a few who have come up just short of that tally, but the elusive 20-goal club remains very selective in recent years. 

This year, there are a handful of players who are out to a fast start in the scoring race and ahead of schedule in reaching that milestone goal mark. Among that list are familiar names Casey Townsend (8 goals) and Chandler Hoffman (7 goals), but there are some lesser-known talents who are also on pace like Tyler Riggs (8 goals), Gyasi Zardes (8 goals), and McKauly Tulloch (9 goals).

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Time will tell if any of those student-athletes can reach that point, as the games will only get more difficult when these programs enter league play, but they are all off to a sizzling start. Top 25 (W-L-D)

1. Creighton 6-0-0. Over the weekend, the Bluejays tied their program record for most consecutive shutouts with six. Next up: Kentucky, September 21. PR: 1

2. Maryland 7-0-0. The most convincing aspect of Maryland’s early success has been the ability to score in quick succession. Within 11 minutes of scoring a goal, the Terps have scored at least one more in every game this season. Next up: Seton Hall, September 20. PR: 3

3. Indiana 5-0-2.
After only playing two games at home for nearly the first month of the season, the Hoosiers have five of the next eight in Bloomington. Next up: Penn State, September 23. PR: 4

4. UCONN 6-0-0.
Freshman keeper Andre Blake has a 0.33 GAA so far this season, but he has yet to really be tested with only 17 saves recorded. Next up: Boston College, September 20. PR: 5

5. Louisville 5-1-0. Eight different players have scored for the Cardinals; Ken Lolla’s side is really spreading the wealth. Next up: Ohio State, September 21. PR: 7

6. Akron 4-0-2. The Zips are one piece away from putting this all together. It is going to click soon and put the offense back in high speed. Next up: Tulsa, September 24. PR: 2

7. UNC 5-1-0. The loss to Virginia Tech still haunts this team. Next up: Wofford, September 20. PR: 6

8. UCLA 4-2-1. With 13 games left on the schedule, UCLA will only have to leave Westwood for five of them. Next up: Seattle, September 23. PR: 9

9. UCSB 4-1-1. Fifi Baiden’s health is at the top of the list of concerns for a team with four tough games in the next two weeks. Next up: San Diego, September 23. PR: 8

10. UC Irvine 7-1-0.
Irvine’s undefeated season came to an end on Sunday, but it was a tough spot at the end of a long road trip. The overall picture has been positive for George Kuntz’s side heading toward the Big West opener next week. Next up: UNLV, September 23.  PR: 11

11. West Virginia 4-2-1.
It is going to be difficult for any team to go into Morgantown and pull out a result. However, the Mountaineers have only four games at home left this year. Next up: South Florida, September 25. PR: 12

12. Old Dominion 4-0-0. By this time next week, we should know if the Monarchs are real with road games against George Mason and UNC on tap. Next up: George Mason, September 24. PR: 14

13. South Florida 4-2-1. The Bulls regained form against Irvine on Sunday and now head into Big East play on a high note. Next up: West Virginia, September 25. PR: 18

14. UCF 6-0-1. Akron transfer McKauly Tulloch has nine goals and two assists in only six games played. Next up: FGCU, September 23. PR: 13

15. St. John’s 5-1-1. Tyler Junior College transfer Jack Bennett has five goals and the Red Storm is looking good again. Next up: UCONN, September 24. PR: NR

16. New Mexico 5-0-2. Do not for one moment believe that Akron game was a one-off for the Lobos. This is a solid team with good pieces and post-season experience. Next up: Loyola Marymount, September 23. PR: 23

17. Georgetown 4-1-2. The Hoyas are one of those teams that just put up results even in games where they do not play well. Next up: Villanova, September 24. PR: 17

18. Notre Dame 4-1-2. Not one of Notre Dame’s top three scorers (Adam Mena, Ryan Finley, and Harrison Shipp) is a regular starter. Next up: Louisville, September 24. PR: 16

19. SMU 3-3-0.
Underperformers to start the season, but starting to look sharp as last year’s squad when it matters most. Next up: Cal State Northridge, September 24. PR: 19

20. San Diego State 4-1-1. Sophomore Miles Byass leads the team in scoring with three goals and four assists, but there are five other players on the roster with two or more goals. Next up: Central Arkansas, September 24. PR: 24

21. Iona 5-1-0.
The out-of-conference schedule is going to hurt this team if the Gaels don’t win their league tournament. Next up: Adelphi, September 21. PR: 22

22. ETSU 5-1-0.
One of the biggest surprises of the season has been the lack of production from Itode Fubara, who only has one goal and one assist. Next up: Virginia Tech, September 20. PR: 25

23. Cal State Bakersfield 2-0-3. Gyasi Zardes looks like a man amongst boys on the field, but the Roadrunners need to step up in the supporting roles around him. Next up: Gonzaga, September 23. PR: 16

24. Boston College 5-1-0. The leading scorer for BC is 25-years-old, pretty sure that is all you need to know. Next up: UCONN, September 20. PR: NR

25. UAB 5-0-2. Redshirt freshman Diego Navarrete, a transfer from Akron, has four goals and one assist so far this season. Next up: Portland, September 23. PR: NR

Game of the week
: South Florida at West Virginia, September 25, 3:30 p.m. (ET), CBS Sports Network

The Bulls start Big East play with one of the toughest games on their docket. Morgantown has not been kind to visitors, and the Mountaineers are an unforgiving side that will punish any mental lapse.

The feverish fans combined with the typically high-paced play of West Virginia make games from Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium some of the most eye-catching in all of college soccer.

The result of the match may boil down to the clash between future professionals Eric Schoenle and Dom Dwyer. The former is the leader of the Mountaineers defense who is crafty beyond his years and will provide a welcome to the Big East experience to Dwyer. The English striker is confident in his squad and knows they will need him to be more clinical in front of the net on Sunday than he was last week.

Also on television this week, Notre Dame against Louisville on Saturday on FSC.