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College Soccer: A Wild Opening Weekend In Division I

ByNick Pavelec

Published on Tue Aug 31 2021

|

3 min read

College Soccer: A Wild Opening Weekend In Division I

Men's Division 1 soccer has seen quite the toss up in the last couple of years. With perennial champions Stanford, succumbing to a few lackluster seasons, the throne was for the taking.

Marshall stepped up to that challenged and knocked off powerhouse Indiana University to claim its first ever NCAA championship last year. Thus, it was no shock that the preseason Division 1 rankings had Marshall at 1, and Indiana at 2.

If you're curious about our thoughts on the preseason rankings, here is a separate article. Yet rankings were meant to be shaken up, and boy were they this weekend, lets get into the highlights.


RELATED ARTICLE: Biggest Takeaways from the Men’s College Soccer Preseason Rankings


Down Goes #1 Marshall

Marshall, Last year champs, took a tough loss this past weekend, losing to #15 Virginia Tech 3-2. After being ranked #1 in the preseason poll, and returning a multitude of players.

It appeared as though Marshall were set to make another historic season. This loss is an incredibly hard pill to swallow, as the Virginia Tech team earlier that week had tied an unranked university of Missouri Kansas City team.

Obviously Marshall has plenty of talent, but this opener however is not a good sign, and could indicate a rough road ahead.


#3 Pitt Losses its Opener

Another massive shake-up in the Top 5 ! #3 Pitt, who is coming off a solid Season with a 2020 NCAA tournament run that was just cut short, was beaten 2-1 by an unranked West Virginia team.

While it is well known that West Virginia is fantastic at home, this still is not a good look for Pitt. While it could be season starting rust,  they don't have a lot of room for error.

As the ACC is stacked with great schools like Clemson, Wake Forest, and North Carolina, all of which were ranked top 10 in the preseason's coaches poll.


RELATED ARTICLE: America's soccer stars don't play in college. Is the NCAA to blame?


Stanford Continues to Struggles

Stanford has struggled to recapture its success from earlier in the decade, and its struggles continued on opening weekend. Even though they were ranked number 8 in this season's preseason poll.

Stanford fell short in its home opener, losing to unranked SMU. This early season struggle is nothing new for recent Stanford Teams, however in order to get back to the glory day's, they're going to have to come out strong next weekend.


Georgetown Looks Strong  

While a lot of the top 10 appeared to be shaken up, Georgetown remained firm and proved itself this weekend. Taking a handed victory 3-0 over #23 Fordham this past weekend, and will likely take the #1 spot in next weeks coaches polls.

After winning it all in 2019, it appears early on like Georgetown is looking like a strong candidate to regain the title.


What to Watch for This Week

With such a drastic shake up of the top 5 this weekend, there are storylines all over the place for this upcoming week.

The most pressing is how does Marshall respond to a loss.On Thursday they play 25th ranked Costal Carolina, a divisional opponent and one that Marshall must beat in order to show they are still contenders.

On the flip side of the coin, Virginia Tech can prove itself to be a legitimate contender this weekend, as they play 13th UCF this upcoming weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity for Virginia Tech to carve itself out as a big player in the ACC this year.

Along with all this shakeup, lets see how this weekend fairs for some of the other high ranking programs. Teams such as Clemson, Indiana, and North Carolina all had great opening weekends. With upset in the air however, it will be interesting to see how long some of these staple programs can remain undefeated.


All of this being said, I think its safe to say that Division 1 Soccer is one of the most exciting and exhilarating sports to watch this fall. Regardless of who you root for, its going to be a wild ride.

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