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. Georgetown, ranked 11th, slid back into the local top slot after humbling No. 18 Butler, 4-1. In his return from concussion symptoms, all-American forward Steve Neumann scored twice and added an assist as the Hoyas (10-3-1) won for the fourth time in five matches (4-1-0). They have conceded eight goals all year. Neumann, sophomore Brandon Allen and freshman Alex Muyl have combined for 20 goals and 13 assists. Next: DePaul (4-8-2) at home Wednesday afternoon.
2. Fourth-ranked Maryland (6-3-5) continues to yield barrels of goals. On Saturday, the Terrapins gave up four … in the first half. Ultimately, they fell to No. 15 Wake Forest, 4-3, despite two more penalty kicks by Patrick Mullins. Eight of his 12 goals have come from the spot. “I know we made it entertaining for the fans and it was an exciting game but very disappointing as far as our responsibilities defensively,” said Sasho Cirovski, whose squad has allowed three or more goals five times and 24 overall. Next: Drexel (7-5-2) at home Tuesday night.
3. Virginia (6-3-4) extended its unbeaten streak to nine with a bizarre 1-1 draw at Virginia Tech: The No. 19 Cavaliers allowed an early own goal, played 63 minutes of regulation and 20 of overtime with a man advantage, scored the equalizer on Eric Bird’s goal in the 90th, missed a penalty in OT and held lopsided advantages in shots (37-2) and corner kicks (13-0). The shot total was an season high in the ACC. Next: at second-ranked Notre Dame (8-0-5) on Saturday.
4. Eighth-ranked UMBC (12-1-1) climbed atop the America East standings with a 1-0 home victory over New Hampshire, extending its unbeaten streak to four heading into the last three matches of the regular season. The Retrievers have conceded multiple goals once this year. Senior Phil Saunders recorded his 20th career shutout. Next: at Binghamton (3-7-4) on Saturday.
5. Freshman Mac Phillips recorded his third consecutive shutout (seventh overall) and sophomore Ryan Flesch scored his first career goal 46 seconds into William & Mary‘s 1-0 home victory over reigning CAA champion Northeastern. The Tribe (7-3-1) has won five of six. Next: Hofstra (7-4-2) at home Saturday.
Five Women’s Teams to Watch …
1. How notable was top-ranked Virginia‘s 2-0 victory at defending NCAA champion North Carolina? Since 1986, the No. 4 Tar Heels had lost by multiple goals once before (4-1 to Notre Dame in 2010). The Cavaliers (16-0-0) also became the first team to win three consecutive times in Chapel Hill. Sophomores handled the scoring: Brittany Ratcliffe in the 13th minute and Makenzy Doniak in the 84th. Virginia tied the program record for consecutive victories, set 23 years ago. Both teams played without their most important players: Virginia’s Morgan Brian and UNC’s Crystal Dunn suited up in the U.S. national team’s 4-0 friendly victory over Australia in San Antonio. “It was difficult not having Crystal and Morgan here,” U-Va. Coach Steve Swanson said. “The game lost something because of that, but we both understand that is their future and we support that.” Next: Miami (8-6-1) at home Thursday night.
2. Sixth-ranked Virginia Tech (13-1-2) is unbeaten in nine straight, tying the program record, after recording three goals in the first 26-plus minutes for a 4-0 victory at Pittsburgh. The Hokies, third in the ACC behind Virginia and Florida State, have conceded three goals during the streak. Twelve players are from the immediate D.C. area, including 10 from Northern Virginia. Next: No. 3 Florida State (13-0-3) at home Thursday.
3. Georgetown (13-1-2) is building momentum for the postseason after a second consecutive 4-0 victory, this one against Creighton. Junior forward Vanessa Skrumbis scored twice for the 15th-ranked Hoyas, who are unbeaten in 19 straight at home and are averaging 3.2 goals per match. Next: at Villanova (6-7-3) on Sunday.
4. Navy (13-3-0) recovered from a non-conference overtime loss to Penn with a 2-0 victory at Holy Cross to remain perfect through six Patriot League matches. Senior Elizabeth Hoerner has recorded eight shutouts. Next: Lehigh (4-8-2) at home Wednesday.
5. James Madison (13-4-0) has won five straight and 10 of 11 — the latest coming Sunday with a 3-0 victory over College of Charleston — and is in a three-way tie atop the Colonial Athletic Association. Next: at Northeastern (5-7-3) on Friday.