The D1 Men's Soccer season is less than a week away after the final weekend of preseason games has concluded. Here's a look at what took place over the past few days and a glance at what's ahead
BR-1 Stanford picked up right where it left off with two wins in its preseason run, knocking off Sacramento State 5-0 and Cal Poly 2-1 to get ready for the regular season. The team's lone goal against came on an own goal as a shot deflected off a defender and slipped into the net. In those two games Foster Langsdorf netted three goals.
BR-25 Denver and BR-137 Air Force played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday — not the start to the season that the Pioneers were hoping for. Despite not finding the back of the net, Denver did outshoot Air Force 7-4 and held a 7-2 edge in corner kicks.
Speaking of draws, BR-29 Tulsa was held to a 0-0 draw against D2 Oklahoma Wesleyan despite holding an 11-5 advantage in shots.
In a solid battle over the weekend, BR-2 Syracuse topped BR-14 Ohio State 2-1. The Orange was destined for its third draw of the preseason before Jonathan Hagman netted the game-winner at the 88-minute mark. Previously, 'Cuse tied with New Hampshire 1-1 and Michigan State 2-2.
Gordon Wild (BR-8 Maryland) and David Olsen (BR-20 Seattle) led the nation with 16 goals apiece last year and are heading back onto the pitch with high expectations. Wild transferred from USC Upstate to Maryland in the offseason, but it didn't take long for the German-born forward to get acclimated with the east coast as he scored two goals in a 6-2 exhibition victory over Tulsa last week.
In the net, Drew Shepherd had the best 2015 campaign, allowing just four goals for a 0.327 goals against average which was the best on the D1 level. Shepherd is back with BR-59 Western Michigan as a sophomore this year after playing for the Michigan Bucks and winning the Premier Development League championship over the summer. Also back between the pipes is Harrison Veith, who ranked seventh in the country in saves with 91 for BR-200 Central Arkansas. Veith is the top returner in saves as the other six players ahead of him graduated.
BIG GAMES OFF THE BAT
Maryland has a tough opening night match-up against BR-9 UCLA. The game won't make or break the season for either team, but a win will have lasting repercussions on rankings and possibly NCAA Tournament seeding if each team plays well for the duration as they're expected to.
Stanford doesn't have an easy start, either, this year. The Cardinal takes on BR-6 Notre Dame on Sept. 2 and it'll be a huge test for the defending champions.
Also on Sept. 2, BR-10 Creighton travels to BR-5 Clemson. Both teams look vastly different than last season, so this will be a good marker for who is on the upswing and who is heading down the ladder this year. Before that match-up, Clemson has BR-45 South Carolina on its ledger Friday in their opener.