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School Soccer Week 11: Area Targets for the Win

School soccer Week 11 featured one legacy program working laborious to vary a story about itself, one other possible eliminating itself from nationwide title rivalry, and one other taking fairly probably the worst loss by any staff this season. How’s that for drama?

Because the sport barrels into the ultimate two weeks of the common season, right here’s a (non-comprehensive) rundown of who got here out of this weekend trying good and who didn’t.

 

 

School Soccer Week 11 Recap

Winner: Michigan

The Wolverines beat Penn State in Comfortable Valley, 21–17, on Saturday. With that win, they stored themselves alive within the race for the Massive Ten title and, by extension, the School Soccer Playoff. They’ll should beat Ohio State in two weeks to make both of these desires a actuality, and Michigan followers might be forgiven for his or her skepticism: Their staff has crushed the Buckeyes simply as soon as within the final 17 years. However this explicit win was an enormous step for Jim Harbaugh’s program, which has struggled to win highway video games in opposition to powerful opponents. Saturday’s sport regarded like it might get away from U of M, which allowed Penn State to tie the rating late with a landing and a two-point conversion. A Michigan fumble deep in Wolverine territory then put PSU in place to win, however Michigan’s protection compelled a discipline aim and the offense got here by way of with a 47-yard landing.

Loser: The Massive 12’s SEC-bound legacy packages

You can make a case that both Oklahoma or Texas, the 2 blue bloods set to depart the Massive 12 for the SEC by 2024, had faculty soccer’s worst day. The Sooners misplaced at Baylor, 27–14, when what had been a world-beating offense sputtered to a halt in opposition to Dave Aranda’s Bears protection. It was an comprehensible defeat in a vacuum (Baylor is a high quality staff), however the prices will probably be important: OU’s first lack of the yr will most likely knock all of it the best way out of Playoff rivalry, on condition that the choice committee was already skeptical of the Sooners and had them ranked eighth with lower than a month to go. The loss may also solely increase the whispers about Lincoln Riley taking the open head coach place at LSU.

But what OU did on Saturday was much less embarrassing than what its Crimson River rival pulled off. Texas misplaced in time beyond regulation at house to Kansas, 57–56, after trailing by three touchdowns at halftime and mounting a comeback that turned out to be for naught. The loss to the saddest program within the Energy 5 conferences was Texas’ fifth in a row—their worst shedding streak since 1956. Steve Sarkisian’s first season is now a full-on disaster.

Winner: Florida State

The Seminoles are 4–6 and haven’t had the form of comeback season coach Mike Norvell would’ve most popular. However they’ve improved quite a bit since beginning 0–4, and a dramatic 31–28 win over rival Miami was just the kind of boost Norvell needed on the finish of a mediocre season. As an added bonus, it would throw Miami and head coach Manny Diaz (whose job standing has felt tenuous all yr) into some uncertainty a month earlier than Nationwide Signing Day.

Loser: Iowa State

The Cyclones misplaced to Texas Tech—a staff presently led by an interim head coach—on a 62-yard buzzer-beating discipline aim. ISU generated lots of preseason buzz as a Massive 12 title contender, however that is this system’s fourth lack of the yr, and every of them has are available in painful vogue. The ‘Clones misplaced to Iowa by 10 (in a sport they might’ve gained if not for a series of bad turnovers), to Baylor by two (after blowing a lead and lacking a late two-point strive), to West Virginia by seven (after fumbling a landing away on the aim line), and now Tech (on a prayer discipline aim as time expired). No staff has had a extra painful season of squandered potential than this one.

Winner: San Diego State

The Aztecs moved to 9–1 and stored themselves in competitors within the Mountain West’s West division by successful a tricky sport in opposition to Nevada, 23–21. SDSU’s Matt Araiza, who has put collectively maybe the best punting season in football history, can also be the staff’s placekicker. He knocked by way of three discipline objectives, together with the game-winner from 35 yards with lower than a minute and a half to play.

Loser: Dan Mullen

Mullen’s Florida Gators gained on Saturday, technically talking. The ultimate rating was 70–52 over Samford, an FCS staff that entered with a 4–5 document. That’s probably not the purpose, although. Florida was all the time going to beat a sub-.500 FCS staff. Mullen wants Florida to win and additionally undertaking confidence that he can proper the ship amid a 5–5 season. He’s just lately taken flak for not simply the Gators’ on-field losses, but additionally for his perceived disinterest in recruiting and his incapability to discipline the appropriate teaching workers. (He fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham final week, which wasn’t sufficient to stop a depressing defensive effort in opposition to Samford.) Program-building in faculty soccer is a notion sport, and Mullen is shedding it.


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