College Update: Goals Galore in Week Three
As the march of the college season continues, and we get into mid-September, the conference tables are beginning to take form, and the outcome of the season is starting to come into view. All across the country, some schools are pulling away from the pack, some are falling into a very deep hole, and others are in a dead heat for conference tournament positioning. While large schools like Wake Forest and Louisville take up the news, big things are happening at the small schools, and this week we take a look at some of the best MOBA performers from the NCAA Division II and the NAIA.
Robinson Back in Form at Charlotte
The top scorer for MOBA over the summer with four goals, Edmundo Robinson had gotten off to a rough start at Queens University of Charlotte, as he failed to score in the Royals first three matches. That all changed on September 9th, as Robinson finally got his name on the score sheet against Flagler at home in Queens' 4-1 victory. Coming out of the half knotted at one, Robinson and the Royals got off to a flying start in the second half when Robinson played a brilliant through ball to Alberto Morales who calmly buried the one-on-one. Twenty minutes later, it was Robinson who put the Royals up 3-1 when he took a short pass from Adam Ward and blasted the ball past Mel Broughton. In the following matchup against Wingate on September 13th, it was Robinson who scored the lone goal in the Royals 4-1 away conference loss. Queens looks to get back to winning form on September 16th when they battle Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate as they continue South Atlantic Conference play.
Duque, Crusaders Off to Conquering Start
Based in a small-town of 10,000 in North Carolina with an enrollment of just over 1,100, Belmont Abbey College does not get much press coverage. While their season may be sliding under the national radar, the Crusaders have gotten off to a flying start, boasting a 3-0 record, scoring twelve goals, and only allowing one. Starting their season with back-to-back 4-0 wins against Newberry away and Catawba at home, the Crusaders have been excellent at spreading the ball and getting everybody involved, as eight different players have gotten on the score sheet, including their #10 Geinner Duque. Duque, while he did not score last season, was a significantly under-appreciated midfielder for Peachtree City MOBA. Playing in eleven games mostly coming off the bench, Duque consistently gave his all to the team and was arguably one of the better defending midfielders on the team. For the Crusaders, Duque has played a slightly different role, leading the team on their attacks and helping get his teammates in position to score. Belmont Abbey followed up their impressive wins with another home victory against Shaw, this time by a score of 4-1, in which they scored all four goals inside seventeen minutes, and the lone conceded goal came off a penalty in the seventy-fourth minute. Going forward, Duque and the Crusaders are in great form, and they look to continue that form in their conference opener on the road against Southern Wesleyan on September 16th.
Dalton State Continues Dominant Ways
The last time we checked up on the Roadrunners, they had gotten off to a 1-1 start and were staring down a matchup against #12 Thomas University. Two weeks later, Dalton State have shown any doubters that they are not a team to be taken lightly. Coming off a 3-2 loss the day before, the Roadrunners went into that match against Thomas with a chip on their shoulder, and they played brilliantly. Jumping out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Santiago Moore's two goals on nineteen and twenty-one minutes, the Nighthawks clawed back to level after sixty-three minutes, but Kevin Villatoro knocked in the winner just five minutes later and Dalton State got the victory. That kick-started a four-game win streak that included an 11-2 home victory on September 10th against Oakwood in which the Roadrunners led 9-0 at the half thanks to Juan Zapata's hat trick and Moore's three assists. The September 12th matchup against Bryan College was arguably the most meaningful for MOBA, however, as that match saw Daniel Valenciano and Santiago Moore both tally a goal, with Moore assisting Valenciano's goal that extended the lead to 3-1, before the New York-born Moore scored the winner in double-overtime as #19 Dalton State pulled off the upset of the #17 ranked team in Division II.
Image Courtesy: Queens University of Charlotte, Peachtree City MOBA