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College soccer week 4 preview

Villanova opens Big East play; Notre Dame and other unbeatens look to stay perfect



After beating two ranked teams in consecutive weeks, Villanova will set their sights on 10th-ranked Butler in their Big East opener at home on Saturday.

Butler is led by reigning national Player of the Week David Goldsmith, who scored four goals in two matches last weekend in Akron, and enter conference play with a 4-0-1 record. The Wildcats have had the week off after topping then-No. 22 Delaware 2-1 on the road on Sunday. They upset then-No. 11 Boston College the previous Sunday in Boston.

Saturday’s game is at 1 p.m. at Higgins Soccer Complex.

Temple returns home to North Broad Street after two straight losses on the road to host Fairfield, which comes in 2-1-2 on the year. Former Philadelphia Union Academy and Continental FC Delco midfielder Diallo Simon-Ponte is a freshman for the Stags.

The local team with the best record, La Salle, will take on Penn in a Philadelphia Soccer Six derby match at Rhodes Field at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Explorers, who are off to a 5-1-0 start under new head coach Rob Irvine, will then visit Evan Vare and Lafayette on Tuesday.

Penn is still seeking their first victory after a loss and three draws in their first four matches. In addition to facing La Salle, they’ll travel to Bethlehem to take on Lehigh on Tuesday.

Drexel will open up conference play on the road against Union Academy alum Kevin Carvahlo and Northeastern at 6 p.m. Saturday and then return home to face Princeton at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Delaware opens CAA play hosting William & Mary on Saturday and hosts ACC opponent Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

Looking to the national scene, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Buffalo, Loyola-Chicago and UMass Lowell will all try to continue their perfect runs to start the season and North Carolina will look to get back on track after being upset by East Tennessee State for their first loss of the year.

Top-ranked Notre Dame visits Louisville tonight while No. 5 Syracuse hosts No. 15 Boston College. Buffalo, which improved to 7-0-0 with a win over Niagara on Thursday will look to make it nine wins out of nine with a road trip to South Florida on Sunday and a home game against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday.

Other games to circle include No. 17 Virginia with Union Academy grads Raheem Taylor-Parkes and Jerren Nixon Jr. taking on No. 5 Clemson and No. 7 UCLA visiting Harder Stadium to play No. 13 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. Midweek, No. 14 Creighton will host eighth-ranked Denver. Denver is 6-0-1 this season and are unbeaten in 24 straight regular season games dating back to 2014.


No. 22 Rider at LIU Brooklyn, 5 p.m.

Saturday, September 17
Villanova vs Butler, 1 p.m.
Temple vs Fairfield, 2 p.m.
Drexel at Northeastern, 6 p.m.
Lehigh vs Robert Morris
St. Joseph’s vs Navy, 7 p.m.
Delaware vs William & Mary, 7 p.m.
La Salle at Penn, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 20
La Salle at Lafayette, 7 p.m.
Delaware vs Virginia Tech, 7 p.m.
St. Joseph’s vs Villanova
Penn at Lehigh, 8 p.m.


No. 5 Syracuse vs No. 15 Boston College, 7 p.m.
Louisville vs No. 1 Notre Dame, 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 17
No. 17 Virginia vs No. 6 Clemson, 7 p.m.
No. 13 UC Santa Barbara vs No. 7 UCLA, 10 p.m.

Sunday, September 18
No. 4 Maryland vs Penn State, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, September 21
No. 14 Creighton vs No. 8 Denver, 8 p.m.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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