College Update: MOBA Players Leading Schools to Crucial Wins

As we finally get into the heat of the college season, post-season play is starting to creep into the minds of coaches and players all across the country. The next two weeks will be crucial for seeding in conference tournaments, and winning as many matches as possible never hurts. Over the last few matches, it has been MOBA products who have been stealing the spotlight, securing some essential victories for their respective schools.

Avery, Canes Break Cold Stretch With Much Needed Win

After a very strong start in which Georgia Southwestern went 3-0-1 in their first four, the Hurricanes team found themselves struggling mightily in the second half of September, losing five straight between September 16th and September 30th. While that many losses in a season may not be bad, that many early could be detrimental to a season. Heading into October, the Canes desperately needed a win, and it just so happens that it was Chris Avery who stepped up. Facing off with a Point University team that had a three-match losing stretch of their own, a home match with the Skyhawks seemed like the perfect trap for the Canes to fall into. It did not start that way, however, as the Canes were able to strike first in the thirty-seventh minute when Divin Moke headed in a perfect cross from Daniel Mendson. Fifteen minutes after the break, the Skyhawks struck back with Juan Domingo rebound goal to equalize. After ninety, the two sides were deadlocked, but it was super-sub Chris Avery who got the last laugh. Heading into overtime, the fresh legs of Avery prove the difference, as he charged through the Point defense on ninety-eight minutes before rolling a pass to sophomore Dylan Marshall who knocked in the winning goal for the Canes. Following a week-long break, the Canes will be back in action of the 11th when they do battle with a Clayton State team that is loaded with former MOBA players.

Dalton State Continues to Dominate

Santiago Moore, Daniel Valenciano, and the Dalton State Roadrunners have been a regular through this College Update series, and another week of matches justifies another spotlight. After scoring eight goals and tallying ten assists through his nine matches, Moore has been in excellent form all of this season, and Valenciano has added his fair share to the Roadrunners season, scoring two goals to go along with three assists in eight games. Climbing all the way to #15 in the NAIA national rankings, a September 30th date with Trinity Baptist proved to be a tune-up match for Dalton, as the Roadrunners put in seven at home, including one goal from both Moore and Valenciano, as well as two assists from Moore and one from Valenciano. Following that match, Dalton State faced their toughest test this season as they did battle with #1 William Carey away in their SSAC opener. The obvious underdogs, it wasn't going to be easy to overcome Goliath. Despite the adversity, it was the Roadrunners who opened the scoring, as Moore put Dalton up one nineteen minutes in. They were able to hold the lead for twenty minutes before Joaquin Ruiz Cabello leveled things at one. Just after the half, Michael Conejero made it 2-1 in favor of William Carey, and after that point, the Roadrunners defense held strong, but the offense just couldn't find an answer. Despite their first loss in six matches, Dalton proved once again that they can hang with anybody, and they will continue to be a dangerous team going forward.

Sheikali, Boston U Revive Lost Season

Despite what the record showed for Boston University through five matches, the team has a lot of talent, which is centered around senior defender Adam Sheikali. No matter, the record wasn't great, showing 0-5-0 through five matches (with the exception of a 2-2 draw with the Haitian National Team in a September 3rd exhibition), and wins were needed sooner rather than later. With Sheikali on the roster, this Terriers team has been very successful over the last three seasons, and even though the  2017 season started rough, one could not help but know things would turn around. Turn around they did, and who better to start the turn around than Sheikali himself. Facing Harvard at home back on September 16th, it was Sheikali who scored the lone goal in the 1-0 victory off a free kick just after halftime. That win spurred a 4-1-1 stretch in their next six that included a 3-0-0 start to Patriot League play. Now sitting at a far more respectable 4-6-1, there is still a lot of work to be done, but the foundation has been laid, and Boston will be a team to keep an eye on over the next two weeks.

Image Courtesy: Georgia Southwestern University, Dalton State College, Boston University


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