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College soccer week eight recap and awards

Saint Joseph’s unbeaten in conference; Temple defense extends scoreless streak while Syracuse gets tripped up by Albany

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While Temple has gotten a lot of the attention this season for their new facility, explosive offense and a defense that through Tuesday hadn’t conceded a goal in 500 minutes, only one Philadelphia Soccer Six team – Saint Joseph’s – can boast a 3-0-0 conference record.

The Hawks (6-5-1) beat Rhode Island and George Mason to extend their win streak to start their Atlantic 10 schedule to three for the first time since 2007. Derek MacKinnon scored the game-winning goals in both games and Matt Crawford continued his dominance with a pair of goals in the Rhode Island game and an assist on MacKinnon’s game-winner in the George Mason game.

Temple, meanwhile, also picked up a pair of wins, both by 1-0 scorelines in a derby match against Villanova and their first ever win over SMU on the road. Jorge Gomez Sanchez bagged the game-winner in both matches and has scored the game-winner in six of the Owls’ eight wins.

Nationally, Syracuse had a pair of letdowns with a loss to in-state rival Albany and a loss against Louisville on a goal from Mohamed Thiaw, a junior college transfer who leads the Cardinals with nine goals and is a big reason for the team’s success this year.

While North Carolina suffered another defeat, giving up two second half goals and losing 2-1 to Virginia, top-ranked Maryland stayed unbeaten with a pair of shutouts over Ohio State and West Virginia.

Union Academy grad Sebastian Elney found the back of the net for the second time this season after Gordon Wild connected on his 10th in the 2-0 win over Ohio State and Amar Sedjic’s fifth of the year was the lone goal in the West Virginia win. While the Terps offense has been impressive, it’s their experienced back line that makes them title favorites – the shutout over West Virginia was their fifth of the year and as a team they’ve only conceded seven goals in 12 matches.

Goal of the Week

Whenever you hear someone say a team is most vulnerable right after scoring a goal, I’m pretty sure they are thinking about what Oscar Velazquez did off the kick off for UNLV following a goal against UT Rio Grande Valley.

Players of the Week

Philadelphia Union Academy: Sebastian Elney, So., Maryland
Elney has been in something of a goal-scoring slump for the top-ranked Terps but had his best game of the season against Ohio State, setting up Gordon Wild for a goal and then adding one of his own in the 2-0 win. Elney has a pair of goals and four assists on the season playing as a target forward.

Regional Player of the Week: Derek MacKinnon, So., Saint Joseph’s
The second year player from Washington Township, N.J. stepped up and scored game-winning goals in victories over Rhode Island and George Mason.

National Player of the Week: Brian Saramago, Fr., Loyola
Saramago was a scoring machine for the Red Bulls Academy coming into college so it was only a matter of time before he would show up on the national radar. He did that with a hat trick in a 3-3 draw with Boston and added an assist on the game-winning goal to beat American.

Teams of the Week

Regional/Philadelphia Union Academy Team of the Week

GK: Alex Cagle, Jr., Temple
Had two clean sheets and 11 total saves in 1-0 wins over Villanova and SMU.

D: Chad Poarch, Fr., High Point (Middletown, Del.)
Had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Longwood.

D: Brendon Creed, Jr., Temple
Set up the lone goal with a long ball to Jorge Gomez Sanchez and helped the defense shut down Villanova in a 1-0 win.

D: Greg Seifert, Sr., Princeton
Scored a pair of goals and added an assist in 3-1 win over Seton Hall.

D: Tony Daniele, R-So., La Salle (West Chester Pa.)
Daniele scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Rhode Island, the team’s first conference win of the season.

D: Sam Wancowicz, Jr., Penn
Wancowicz had the opening goal in a 2-2 draw with Delaware and assisted on Alec Neumann’s goal in a 2-1 loss to Columbia.

MF: Matt Crawford, Jr., Saint Joseph’s (Bensalem, Pa.)
Scored two goals and added an assist in 3-1 win over Rhode Island and set up the game-winning goal on a free kick in a 2-1 win over George Mason.

F: Sebastian Elney, So., Maryland*
Elney’s production has slipped after leading the Terps in goals last season, but he’s found other ways to make an impact. He scored his second goal in a 2-0 win over Ohio State and assisted on Gordon Wild’s game-winner.

F: Matt Greer, So., Dartmouth*
Greer scored an insurance goal in the second half of a 2-0 win over Yale. He has a pair of goals and an assist on the season.

F: Derek MacKinnon, So., Saint Joseph’s (Washington Township, N.J.)
Scored game-winning goals in 3-1 win over Rhode Island and a 2-1 win over George Mason.

F: Jorge Gomez Sanchez, Sr., Temple
Scored the lone goal in 1-0 wins over Villanova and SMU to give him 12 for the season.

* Philadelphia Union Academy alum 2013-2016 
** Was part of the Philadelphia Union Academy as a member of a youth club affiliate

National Team of the Week

GK: Cody Niedermeier, R-Sr., Maryland
Recorded two clean sheets and 10 total saves in wins over Ohio State and West Virginia.

D: Brad Ruhaak, Sr., Akron
Scored the game-winner and led defense to shut-out over Buffalo.

D: Greg Seifert, Sr., Princeton
Scored a pair of goals and added an assist in 3-1 win over Seton Hall.

D: Bernardo Mattos, Sr., Albany
Anchored an Albany defense that limited Syracuse in a 2-1 win and shut out explosive Vermont.

MF: Eddie Sanchez, Sr., Portland
Had a hat trick in a 5-1 win over Gonzaga, including the game-winner on a free kick.

MF: Matt Crawford, Jr., Saint Joseph’s (Bensalem, Pa.)
Scored two goals and added an assist in 3-1 win over Rhode Island and set up the game-winning goal on a free kick in a 2-1 win over George Mason.

MF: Julian Gressel, Sr., Providence
Scored the game-winning goal to beat Brown and recorded a brace and had an assist in a win over Villanova.

F: Niki Jackson, Jr., Grand Canyon
Had his second hat trick of the season in a 3-2 win over Houston Baptist.

F: Brian Saramago, Fr., Loyola
Had an assist on the game-winning goal to beat American and had a hat trick in a 3-3 tie with Boston.

F: Mohamed Thiaw, Jr., Louisville
Thiaw had another strong week for the Cards with a goal in a 6-0 win over Belmont and the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Syracuse. He leads the team with nine goals.

F: Jorge Gomez Sanchez, Sr., Temple
Scored the lone goal in 1-0 wins over Villanova and SMU to give him 12 for the season.

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 TheCup.us, 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.

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