It's not always easy for defenders who don't score goals or deliver assists to get attention in college soccer, but when you are a key player in a defensive back line that's conceded just eight times in 14 games for one of the top teams in the nation like Keegan Rosenberry, it's hard to go unnoticed.
Rosenberry may be overshadowed by teammates like Steve Neumann and even super freshman defender Joshua Yaro, but he's been a key force at right back for the 10-3-1 Georgetown Hoyas this season with three assists and a Big East Defensive Player of the Week accolade to show for his consistent play. Last week, he came in 45th on a midseason list of the top 100 college upperclassmen by Top Drawer Soccer. The sophomore from Ronks, PA was the only Union Academy product in college to crack the top 100 list.
Maryland freshman goalkeeper Zach Steffen, who had his second clean sheet of the season against Marshall last week before suffering a frustrating 4-3 defeat to Wake Forest over the weekend, ranked 9th on Top Drawer Soccer's list of the top 100 freshmen. Penn State forward Connor Maloney, who is fourth on the Big Ten-leading Nittany Lions in minutes played and has five assists, was ranked 76th.
Temple sophomore Jared Martinelli picked a good time to snap his Jack McInerney-esque scoring slump, delivering a game-winner in the 88th minute to secure Temple's first ever American Athletic Conference victory over former teammate Quincy Thomas and Memphis in Ambler on Saturday. The Mechanicsburg native bagged five goals in the first four games of the season but had gone scoreless in eight straight games prior to Saturday. He has six goals and three assists on the season now for the 8-3-3 Owls.
Yale freshman Cameron Kirdzik had a game-winner of his own on October 12. The forward from Flemington, N.J. scored a 107th minute winner to beat Dartmouth 1-0, his third goal of the season for the 3-7-1 Bulldogs. La Salle sophomore Joe Farrell was also involved in the game winner that beat cross-town rival St. Joseph's last Friday. Farrell is second on the team with 5 assists - three of those assists have been on game-winners - and has added a goal for the 6-5-2 Explorers.
Virginia sophomore forward Darius Madison has seen an uptick in minutes in part because of four straight double overtime contests that have ended in draws for the Hoos. The Philadelphia native picked up yellow cards in the 0-0 draw with Duke on October 8 and the wild 3-3 tie with Maryland on October 11. He's third on the team with 3 goals and has a pair of assists on the year for the 6-3-4 Cavaliers.
Virginia's string of draws began just as Colton Storm and North Carolina ended a string of five straight draws to start their conference schedule. Storm hasn't missed a minute of action in back-to-back wins over Syracuse and Boston College that followed a 2-1 overtime loss at home to Clemson on October 8. The freshman from Mechanicsburg has made the right back position his own since coming back from an injury that limited him to under 40 minutes of play in the first seven games of the season.
Penn State got the better of Michigan State on Sunday in a key Big Ten match that saw three Union Academy alums take the field. Redshirt freshman Andrew Herr played 101 minutes for the Spartans and Connor Maloney saw the field for 95 minutes while Shane Campbell came off the bench for 32 minutes for the Nittany Lions. The 2-1 overtime win was Penn State's fourth straight in the Big Ten for the conference leaders. Maloney assisted on the game winning goal in both a 3-1 win over Michigan on October 11 and a 2-0 win over Indiana five days prior.
The season has gone from bad to worse for Billy McConnell's Hoosiers. The freshman defender from Richboro didn't played the last two games for the defending champs, a 3-0 loss to Louisville and a 1-0 loss to VCU but started in a devastating loss to Wisconsin on October 11. The Hoosiers have dropped five in a row to fall to 4-9-1 on the year.
Brandon Savino and Jelani Williams have also seen their St. John's team struggle. Savino assisted on the Red Storm's lone goal in an overtime loss to Xavier on Saturday that was their third straight conference loss. The Red Storm have fallen to 7-6-1 and 0-4-1 in the Big East. Savino, a sophomore midfielder from Glen Ridge, N.J., has a goal and an assist on the season while Williams, a sophomore forward from West Orange, N.J., is still seeking his first goal of the season off the substitute's bench.
Freshman defender Todd Pratzner didn't play in the overtime win for Xavier or the stunning 2-1 win over Georgetown a week earlier, but he started and played 58 minutes in a 3-0 win over DePaul on October 9. Xavier is 7-5-2 and 3-2 in the Big East.
Thomas Shiiba returned to the field as a substitute for Navy after missing six straight games on October 16 and assisted on the Midshipmen's second goal, his first assist of the season. Shiiba's brother Mark, a freshman defender, hasn't seen the field since September 24 for Navy, which has won seven straight to improve to 8-3-2 and keep pace with Army in the conference with a matching 5-0 mark.
Zach Herstek scored a goal in a 2-1 win over UMass on October 13, the first of his career for the George Mason freshman from Dillsburg. His teammate, Colton Amidon, is still looking for his first career goal.
In Division III play, Cam Alexander added a couple goals to his season tally in a 2-1 loss to Alvernia on October 13 and a 4-2 win over Albright last Saturday. The Lebanon Valley College sophomore has six goals and two assists on the year. Amherst College goalkeeper Thomas Bull has conceded just six goals on the year in 11 games and is 9-0-2 with 5 clean sheets.