American, Mason Face Tests Today
Six Division I college soccer teams in the Washington area will play among themselves today. For two of those teams -- American and George Mason, both undefeated and ranked in the top 20 nationally -- the games will be their toughest so far this season.
This afternoon at 3, American (5-0) -- ranked eighth nationally in the Soccer America poll and 12th nationally in the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America poll -- will play host to Howard (1-3). George Mason (7-0) -- No. 16 in the ISAA poll and No. 18 in the Soccer America poll -- will play host to George Washington (3-2).
Maryland (4-2, 0-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference), which gave up only its second and third goals of the season Sunday when it lost to Virginia, 2-0, will play at Navy (1-2-1).
All three of the games could have bearing on the postseason NCAA tournament selections. Last year Virginia, George Mason and American were picked. The Cavaliers (7-0, 2-0) are ranked first in the Soccer America poll and second, behind Clemson, in the ISAA poll.
"George Washington, like American and Howard, will be vying for (an NCAA) playoff spot," said Gordon Bradley, George Mason's coach. "They're much improved. I've had them scouted."
At American, Pete Mehlert's statements about his opponent are similar. "We are definitely vulnerable," he said. "Next to Virginia, I rate Howard as good as any team in the region."
American's and George Mason's rankings are due largely to Michael Brady and Sam Sumo, respectively. Brady, an all-America striker from Coventry, England, has eight goals and three assists. Sumo, a freshman striker from Liberia, has 12 goals and two assists.
"It's no secret Sam Sumo is responsible," said Bradley. "He's a finisher. Obviously (George Washington Coach) Tony Vecchione knows that. They'll double-team him."
Vecchione probably isn't the only coach aware of Sumo. In a region that includes such scorers as Virginia's George Gelnovatch (seven goals, two assists) and Jeff Gaffney (five goals and one assist), Sumo (12 goals in seven games) is uncanny.
"I would say that it would be a very difficult test to keep up the high goal-scoring rate," Bradley said. "Certainly he will score his share. But coming off the weekend (when Mason defeated Radford, 4-0, and North Carolina, 4-1) he's suffering some knocks and bruises. The first few games, most coaches didn't know him. Because of his goal-scoring accomplishments, they'll pay him special attention."
Two other Patriots missed practice early this week because of minor injuries. Fred Thompson hurt an ankle and Mike Reynolds had a bad knee.
At AU, Brady has a virus and Steve Marland a bruised foot. But Sumo, Reynolds, Thompson, Brady and Marland are expected to play today. Frostburg 3, Catholic 2
Tony Chase scored all his team's goals, including the goal in the first overtime period that made visiting Frostburg State 2-3-1 and Catholic 0-5. Vince Cavanaugh and Dwayne Jennings scored for CU. Montgomery-Takoma Park 4, Allegany 1
Sean Gray scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Falcons (4-0) in Takoma Park. The Trojans dropped to 0-5. UDC 2, Eastern Mennonite 1
Ashford Gordon broke a 1-1 tie with 10 minutes to play in Washington. UDC is 2-1, Eastern Mennonite 1-3. Johns Hopkins 3, Georgetown 1
Grenville Jones twice scored unassisted in the second half to give the Blue Jays (3-1) a 2-1 lead in Baltimore. Dan Tavares scored with an assist from Andy Logan in the game's first 31 seconds to give the Hoyas (2-5) a 1-0 lead.