NORFOLK, VA—The Conference USA title race is down to two teams, ODU and New Mexico. The ODU Soccer Monarchs (9-4-1/6-2) travel to Columbia, SC to play the South Carolina Gamecocks (7-5-5/4-1-3) at 7 p.m., Saturday evening in Stone Stadium.
ODU is currently just one point behind C-USA leader New Mexico and three ahead of South Carolina. Simply put, if ODU wins, and New Mexico either ties or loses to Kentucky, the Monarchs will be the top seed in next week’s C-USA Tournament in Charlotte.
This is the first meeting between the two since 1999. ODU defeated the Gamecocks in 1983, 1-0 and 1999, 3-1. South Carolina won in 1984, 2-1.
Currently four C-USA teams are in the top 30 of the latest NCAA RPI rankings. New Mexico is 8th,Followed by ODU at 21, Charlotte at 26 and UAB at 30.
South Carolina is third in the league with six shutouts thus far this season. They have not lost a match since Oct. 6th against Tulsa. Since then USC has defeated Florida Atlantic, New Mexico and UAB, while tying Kentucky, Marshall and FIU. Junior defender Mahamoudou Kaba leads USC with five goals, followed by Jeffrey Torda with four. Kurtis Turner and Ryan Arambula lead the team with four assists each. Goalkeeper Marco Velez has a 1.05 goals against average.
ODU senior co-captain Tim Hopkinson currently ranks second in the league with nine goals, and leads the league in game winners with five, and third in total points with 22.Ivan Militar and Hopkinson are tied for ninth in saves with four each. Freshman Jesse Miralrio has three goals and three assists. Senior goalkeeper Sean Stowe has a 1.27 goals against average and a .742 saves percentage.
The C-USA Championships are Nov. 13-17 in Charlotte, NC.
This week's schedule
11/8 Tulsa at Florida Atlantic*
11/8 (17) UAB at Marshall*
11/8 (RV) Charlotte at FIU*
11/9 Kentucky at (23) New Mexico* 6 p.m.
11/9 (RV) Old Dominion at South Carolina* 6 p.m.
C-USA STANDINGS (PTS)
New Mexico 6-1-1 (19)
Old Dominion 6-2 (18)
South Carolina 4-1-3 (15)
UAB 4-3-1 (13)
Charlotte 3-3-2 (11)
Tulsa 3-3-2 (11)
Kentucky 3-3-2 (11)
FIU 2-5-1 (7)
FAU 1-6-1 (4)
Marshall 0-5-3 (3)