The WAC reintroduced men's soccer in 2013 and quickly has become one of the hottest men's conferences in the country.
This week's Top 25 features two WAC teams
: No. 14 Seattle and No. 22 Utah Valley. A third, Grand Canyon, opened its new soccer
stadium on Friday to a record crowd.
Seattle gave No. 1 Akron all it could handle before losing, 1-0, at the Zips' tournament over the weekend. In their opener, the Redhawks beat West
Virginia, 2-0. They won the WAC in 2015 and beat UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Utah Valley beat ranked Washington, 2-1, on a pair of Paul Hoffmeister goals in front of
3,216 fans at Clyde Field. "This game was just awesome," Hoffmeister said. "The intensity was high and the fans were fantastic and they really pushed us when we were a man down."
Realignment hit the WAC hard and forced the conference to look for varsity sports to add in order to meet NCAA minimum requirements. It picked up six teams from MPSF men's soccer, including Air Force
and UNLV, which played in the conference when men's soccer started two decades ago.
Recent growth has been spurred by schools that have launched men's programs, like Utah Valley and
Texas-Rio Grande Valley, or moved up from Division II, like Grand Canyon.
The Lopes, coached by Schellas Hyndman
, the longtime SMU men's coach and later FC Dallas head coach, christened GCU Stadium
with a 4-2 victory over UCF in front of 6,402 fans, the largest crowd
to ever watch a college soccer game in the state of Arizona.
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. HOKIES BACK ON TRACK -- Virginia Tech men's soccer
has been in a funk in the years after Patrick Nyarko led the Hokies to
the Men's College Cup in 2007.
They've had eight straight losing seasons and won only seven ACC games over that span as the program suffered following the resignation of head coach Oliver
Weiss in the wake of revelations of NCAA violations during the recruitment of eight foreign players in 2007 and 2008.
In 2015, the Hokies lost their last four games and finished with a
seven-game winless streak to conclude the campaign with a 5-9-3 record overall and 0-5-3 in the ACC.
But Virginia Tech showed new energy, opening the new campaign by winning Ohio State's
Bert and Iris Wolstein Classic. The Hokies edged the ranked Buckeyes, 1-0, on Costa Rican Marcelo Acuna's golden goal and then beat Oakland, 3-0. Acuna, a transfer from Houston Baptist, also scored
against Oakland and was one of four Hokies named to the all-tournament team.
“I am proud of our team and what they were able to put together this weekend,” said Virginia Tech
coach Mike Brizendine, who took over in 2009 after Weiss left. “We showed our commitment to hard work and our ability to fight through the elements.” THIS WEEK'S
SOCCER AMERICA TOP 25 --
Akron remained No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings after beating Georgetown and Seattle
, a pair of ranked teams, on opening weekend. North Carolina
moved up three spots to No. 2 with a pair of 3-0 wins. Carolina's ACC rival Clemson jumped to No. 3 while UCLA and Maryland, which tied 1-1, each dropped one spot. Top 25: bit.ly/2bvNqZ3 LOOKING AHEAD -- No. 11 Indiana will host
No. 10 Stanford, No. 12 Notre Dame
and No. 23 California at its annual adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, one of the oldest tournaments in the country, at Armstrong Stadium. The Hoosiers have won 14 of the tournament's 33 editions.
3 Clemson vs. 7 Creighton
5 Maryland vs. 25 Georgetown
10 Stanford vs. 12 Notre Dame (at Indiana)
11 Indiana vs. 23 California
11 Indiana vs. 10 Stanford
12 Notre Dame vs. 23 California (at Indiana) Monday:
25 Georgetown vs. 18 Virginia Tech
5 Maryland vs. 22 USF
UCLA vs. 1 Akron TRIVIA.
Name the first of eight adidas/IU Credit Union Classic participants to go on and represent the USA at the
World Cup. College Soccer: On the Air
CROWD COUNT -- Clemson, the 2015 NCAA
Division I men's runner-up
, opened its 2016 campaign
with a 2-1 win at South Carolina
in their annual Palmetto Cup match that drew 6,892 fans at Stone Stadium, the largest ever crowd in venue history. OFF TO SERBIA --
Three collegians are in Brad Friedel's
U-19 team that is in Serbia to play three games through Monday: defenders Tanner Dieterich (Clemson) and Eddie Munjoma (SMU) and forward Elijah Rice (Washington). Roster: bit.ly/2bU2ZH3 TRIVIA
Indiana's three-time All-American John Stollmeyer.
OPENING CREDITS --
Highly regarded JC transfer Jason Romero needed just 65 seconds to score his first goal for
UCLA. It came straight off the kickoff. Huh? The Bruins passed the ball around 22 times before Romero scored into an empty Maryland net.