College soccer update: Sept. 15

Last year at this time New Hampshire had played six games, and boasted as many wins as goals: two.

This year they haven’t lost, and have scored at least two in each of their five games in a 4-0-1 start under new coach and Durham native son Marc Hubbard, who moved from nearby Southern New Hampshire University in the offseason.

And the team is not getting ahead of itself.

“The biggest message is that we’re taking small strides and we’re not reading into this too much,” Hubbard said. “We’re trying to put ourselves in a position to be as healthy as possible during conference time. We haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

This despite a late hire which limited recruiting, so the Wildcats are hot out the gates with mostly the same crew that finish under .500 last year.

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Hubbard lauds his upperclassmen for their role in the early success. A lot of teams see their leadership group struggle under a new coach, who embraces his recruits while planning for the future.

Instead, Hubbard’s getting yeoman’s work from senior Lukas Goerigk, redshirt senior Jimmy Petrucelli and junior midfielder Chris Wingate, the latter a slick and technical midfielder who brings plenty to the engine room. And 6-foot-2 senior Ben Ramin has three goals on the season, including a brace while tripling his production from three previous years spent between Syracuse and New Hampshire.

“We’re happy with the start obviously, but we have a long way to go not only within the season but within this program and where we want to be in a few years,” Hubbard said. “These guys are certainly laying good framework and foundation but we have a long way to go,”

We’ve noticed. And we wouldn’t rule out a run in America East play come October.

Three stars

  1. We told you to keep an eye for Georgia native Daniel Johnson‘s goal for Louisville against Kentucky last week. The junior transfer from Maryland played his youth ball at West Ham, and he took a gift off a Kentucky giveaway, belting a bending shot home. Check it above, about a half-minute into the video.
  2. New Mexico (3-1-1) — Jeremy Fishbein’s team has one blemish on its record, a loss to then-No. 1 UCLA, and Chris Wehan has goals in four-straight. The superstar midfielder belies his 5-foot-9 on the pitch, and has twice registered 7 shots in a game this year.
  3. Bradley Farias, Campbell — After scoring nine goals as a freshman on a 5-13 team last season, the Florida native helped the Camels to a pair of wins this weekend with a combined three goals and two assists. He has five on the year, and also netted against NC State in exhibition season.

Other notes

  • No.2 ranked Notre Dame looked good in shutting out No. 9 Clemson to kick off ACC play this weekend. The Irish puts its season-long shutout streak on the line against Xavier tonight.
  • No. 1 Creighton proved there isn’t a hex on the No.1  ranking by heading to East Lansing and knocking off Michigan State 1-0.
  • We have new national leaders in goals and assists, as Bowling Green’s Pat Flynn is proving last year wasn’t a fluke by netting eight goals already this season, while American University’s Liam Robley paces all playmakers with eight assists.
  • Shout out to Elon University, which is up to No. 20 in the national rankings.
  • Your No. 1 ranked teams in the NSCAA poll? On the men’s side, along with Creighton are reigning champs in D-2 Lynn, D-3 Tufts. For the ladies, it’s Virginia, Barry and Lynchburg.