Each Monday, the Insider will provide updates about the top NCAA programs in the Washington region. The season culminates in December with the College Cup semifinals and finals.
Women at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., Dec. 6-8.
Men at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., Dec. 13-15.
Five Men’s Teams to Watch …
1. Maryland (5-2-5) returns to the top of the area charts after earning away points against ranked ACC opponents in a four-day span: 1-1 at Notre Dame and 3-3 at Virginia (video here). The fifth-ranked Terrapins, unbeaten in eight straight, share the conference’s top slot at 15 points with No. 15 Wake Forest, Saturday night’s foe at Ludwig Field. Senior forward Patrick Mullins, the 2012 Hermann Trophy winner, has converted five of five penalty kicks, including two in two minutes of the first half against Virginia, to increase his season totals to eight goals and four assists. Next: Marshall (2-6-4) at home Tuesday.
2. Georgetown (9-3-1), ranked No. 9, fell for the first time in five weeks, a 2-1 decision at middling Xavier that ended a string of four consecutive shutouts. Sophomore forward Brandon Allen, from the New York Red Bulls academy, scored his eighth goal to increase his two-year total to 24. Next: No. 21 Butler (9-3-1) at home Saturday.
3. Since losing three of its first four, 23rd-ranked Virginia (6-3-3) has embarked on a 5-0-3 run and earned points in every home match since dropping the season opener. With 27 goals (by 12 players), the Cavaliers are among the nation’s scoring leaders. Next: at Virginia Tech (3-4-4) on Friday.
4. After scoring 22 times in the first seven matches, eighth-ranked UMBC (10-1-1) has posted just five in the past five outings, including a scoreless finish against two-win Albany on Saturday. Next: at Vermont (7-2-3) on Wednesday.
5. William & Mary‘s strange season continued — or didn’t continue — with a second postponement caused by weather (Wednesday vs. UMBC). The Tribe, which upset two then-No. 1 teams earlier, has played once in the past two weeks. Next: at Pittsburgh (0-6-4) on Tuesday.
[Special Insider shout-out to Army Coach Russell Payne, a former Glenelg High, University of Maryland, MLS and European-based goalkeeper who has guided the Black Knights (9-1-1) to their best start since 1975.]
Five Women’s Teams to Watch …
1. Top-ranked Virginia (14-0-0) is rolling through the nation’s best conference, the ACC, with eight victories. After defeating No. 9 Notre Dame in extra time Thursday, the Cavaliers won at No. 14 Wake Forest three days later, 2-0. The winning streak is the second longest in program history, two shy of the record set 23 years ago. Assuming a mid-week victory, UVA would seek a share of the mark Sunday at reigning champion North Carolina. Next: at North Carolina State (6-9-0) on Thursday.
2. Georgetown (11-1-2) lost for the first time — and in an emphatic manner: 4-0 at Big East leader Marquette. The Hoyas, who had conceded eight goals in the first 13 matches, will play three of their final four games at home. Next: St. John’s (7-3-3) at home Thursday.
3. Junior midfielder Ellie Zoepfl (Broad Run High School) scored in the 87th minute as 10th-ranked Virginia Tech (11-1-2) defeated Notre Dame, 1-0, to extend its unbeaten streak to seven and move into third place in the ACC at 6-1-1. Next: Wake Forest (8-3-2) at home Thursday.
4. Navy‘s streaks: 10 victories in a row, five straight in the Patriot League and 705 minutes 52 seconds without yielding a goal. Junior forward Morgan Dankanich has recorded 11 goals for the Mids (12-2-0). Next: Penn (7-1-3) at home Monday.
5. William & Mary (7-1-4) is unbeaten in 11 straight after a 2-1 victory over Towson. The Tribe has scored just 17 goals (seven by junior forward Emory Camper) but permitted eight. Next: College of Charleston (2-11-0) on Friday.