Zack Steffen may be the most highly touted goalkeeper to come out of the Philadelphia Union's development system, but so far this season it's been Duquesne keeper Sam Frymier who has been capturing national attention for his play in goal.
The sophomore, who like Steffen is from Downingtown, was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week this week after securing his fourth clean sheet of the season with nine saves against Incarnate Word on Sunday. His Dukes are now 4-0-0 in the early going.
Steffen, meanwhile, has been the victim of an inexperienced defense and an underachieving Terps squad that's 1-2-1 and has conceded nine goals in four games. One of those goals was on a soft rebound off Steffen's hands that made California a 3-2 overtime winner on Sept. 1. But the 6-foot-2 keeper's also shown why he's been on the U.S. youth national team radar with a couple of breakaway saves he's made, most notably last Friday night against Duke in front of a record crowd of 8,000-plus at Ludwig Field. Already down 1-0, Steffen's huge save gave way to an equalizing goal only minutes later and an eventual 3-1 victory in the last ACC matchup of two of the nation's fiercest rivals.
On the offensive front, Temple forward Jared Martinelli scored all three goals in a 3-0 win over Wofford at the Ambler Soccer Complex last Friday afternoon to bring his goal tally to four on the season and scored a fifth to beat Rider 1-0 on Wednesday. The sophomore from Mechanicsburg also has an assist to go with his five goals on the year. Naval Academy forward Thomas Shiiba, a sophomore from Swarthmore, also came up big over the weekend with the game-winner in overtime over Central Connecticut for his first score of the season for the 1-1-2 Midshipmen.
St. John's sophomore forward Jelani Williams assisted on the 74th minute equalizer for the Red Storm in a game they went on to win in overtime on a penalty kick over Akron on Friday. Penn State freshman forward Connor Maloney, of Harrisburg and PA Classics, assisted on the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Central Connecticut Sept. 1. North Carolina freshman Colton Storm also assisted on a gamer-winner, assisting on a Tyler Engel goal that ended up being the game-winner against Coastal Carolina in his only appearance so far this season on Sept. 2.
Quincy Thomas, a sophomore defender from Mohnton, has gone the full 90 in a couple of clean sheets for the Tigers over Cal State Fullerton and UMKC, but also has the blemish of a 4-1 dismantling by Cal State Northridge. Indiana freshmen defender Billy McConnell has had a harsh lesson in the cruelty of overtime in college soccer with three straight overtime defeats for the defending national champions Indiana. The Hoosiers are a disappointing 1-3-0 and McConnell, a starter, has been part of a defense that's already conceded nine goals, which is more than half the amount of goals the Hoosiers gave up all of last season (16).
James Madison goalkeeper Kyle Morton, a sophomore from West Chester, turned away three shots to preserve a clean sheet and 3-0 victory over Binghamton on Sept. 1 and made four saves in a 1-0 loss to UNC Greensboro on Thursday.
Freshman Brett Campbell (Georgetown) made his debut as a substitute in Georgetown's 3-0 win over West Virginia while teammate Jon Azzinnari still awaits his college debut and first-year midfielders Colton Amidon and Zach Herstek have appeared in all four games for unbeaten George Mason. Xavier defender Todd Pratzner has started three of four games for the Muskateers. Jonathan Wenger has logged just 10 minutes for Elon and Chad Craig is still awaiting his debut for the Phoenix.
Note: This is not a complete list of Division 1 players with ties to the Union Academy system. Have we overlooked a college player with Union Academy ties turning heads on the college pitch this season? Let us know.