This week in men's college soccer

No. 1 Syracuse is off to its best start in school history -- starting out 8-0-0 for the first time -- but the Orange will put their unbeaten and united record on the line on Friday night when they travel to South Bend, Indiana, to take on No. 5 Notre Dame.

The Orange reached the Men's College Cup for the first time in 2015 but lost German star Julian Buescher on a Generation adidas contract to D.C. United and Ben Folk, who signed with the Portland Timbers.

Defender Miles Robinson came in as an unheralded freshman last year but now he is considered one of the top two or three MLS prospects in the college ranks. He is one of four sophomores who start along with three freshmen.

Canadian Chris Nanco leads Syracuse with four goals, followed by German Johannes Pieles, Swede Jonathan Hagman, Kenny Lassiter and Robinson with three.

The Orange have a heavy international flavor. Of the 14 players who saw action in the 2-0 win over Boston College last week, two each are from England, Sweden, Germany and Canada and one each from Colombia via Canada and Norway.

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THIS WEEK'S SOCCER AMERICA TOP 25 -- Syracuse took over the top spot in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings. Maryland also moved up two places and is now at No. 2. UCLA, Louisville and Notre Dame round out the top five. Last week's No. 1, North Carolina, dropped to No. 6 following its loss to ETSU. No. 19 Loyola, Ill., and No. 22 Charlotte are also unbeaten and untied. Top 25: bit.ly/2cH0jjM

College Soccer: On the Air

MIDWEEK ACTION -- Goals by Phillip Goodrum and Stian Sandbekkhaug gave UNCW a 2-0 win over Charlotte to hand the 49ers their first loss of the season. Syracuse, Loyola, Ill., and Charlotte began the week as the nation's only unbeaten and untied teams.

Current Unbeatens:
Syracuse
8-0-0
Loyola, Ill.
6-0-0
Massachusetts-Lowell
7-0-1
Butler
6-0-1
Denver 7-0-2
Maryland
5-0-2
San Diego State
4-0-2
Indiana 5-0-3

LOOKING AHEAD --
The Notre Dame-Syracuse game is one of four games involving Top 25 teams this weekend. All are from the ACC.

Week 5, Top 25 Matchups
FRIDAY
5 Notre Dame vs. 1 Syracuse
6 North Carolina vs. 16 Boston College
13 Virginia Tech vs. 7 Clemson
SATURDAY:
4 Louisville vs. 14 Virginia

IRAQI WAR HERO BACK in GOAL -- At the age of 37, Robert Waggoner is the No. 4 goalkeeper at West Virginia Wesleyan, and he might not see action for the Bobcats, but just making the Division II team is quite an accomplishment.

He received two Purple Hearts and one Bronze Star while serving in the Iraq War, where he took part in the initial invasion and was injured when his unit was ambushed in Kirkuk in 2008 and he was thrown off the roof of a building by a blast. Before enrolling at West Virginia Wesleyan, where he is majoring in applied physics, his weight ballooned to over 300 pounds.

"He is a neat guy to have around," West Virginia Wesleyan coach Gavin Donaldson told the school web site. "I have a lot of respect for what he is doing and for the work he is putting in for us, and for the work he is putting in academically."

Waggoner's weight is down to 250 pounds, but he admits it is hard to keep up with his teammates.

"I really try to," he said, "but my body won't let me do a lot of things now...when I am running with the guys, their jogging pace is my surge pace. I am on the reserve team, and hopefully, it can work out for me to get in goal for them at some point, but if it doesn't, I have really enjoyed working with a team and being around the guys."

MILESTONES -- Jim Rickard earned his 300th career victory, all at The Master’s since he arrived at the NAIA school in 1991, as the Mustangs beat Bethesda, 6-3.

LEADER BOARD -- Russell Cicerone added to his national lead with his 11th goal of the season in Buffalo's 2-1 victory over St. Bonaventure on Wednesday that improved the Bulls' record to 8-1-0 start, tying a program record for best start to a season,

Leading Scorers
PLAYER, TEAM G
1. Russell Cicerone, Buffalo 11
2. Jorge Gomez Sanchez, Temple 9
3. Bernard Yeboah, Vermont 8
3. Gordon Wild, Maryland 8
3. Albert Ruiz, FGCU 8
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