September Roundup: Reds in the College Ranks
At the end of last season’s PDL campaign, many Lane United FC players returned to school to begin training for the fall NCAA season. Reds fans will be pleased to know that many of the players have been performing well, with Khiry Shelton and Conner Bevans especially standing out, for Oregon State and Gonzaga, respectively. Without further ado, below is a breakdown of how the Lane United players and their college teams have fared over the first month of the NCAA season.
Oregon State, featuring six 2014 Lane United players, has crept into the national top 25 in four different polls following a strong 7-1-0 start to their season, as of Friday. Standout Lane United forward Khiry Shelton produced two goals and three assists in Oregon State's resounding 11-1 victory over Eugene's Northwest Christian University, and already has an incredible 17 points on the season, best on the team. Rolando Velazquez and Mikhail Doholis have also scored for the Beavers. Matt Arbogast and defender Brenden Anderson have featured in most games, and Matt Bersano is also getting regular time in goal.
Shelton has not been the only Red to deliver a monster performance for his school; fellow forward Conner Bevans scored a goal and added two assists for Gonzaga against UNLV in a 4-2 home win on September 20, and was subsequently named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week in recognition of his efforts. Reds goalkeeper Chris Lowrimore has played every minute for the Zags so far this season, as well.
San Diego State, featuring Reds defenders Julio Alarcon and Casey Phillips, have started out hot, standing currently at 5-2, including victories over nationally ranked Clemson and Denver. Phillips and Alarcon started in both wins. Phillips added an assist in a 2-0 defeat of Pacific on September 14.
Pancho Vizcaino is likewise featuring for a very strong team, the St. Louis Billikens, who have defeated national No. 3 Creighton and No. 5 Louisville en route to a 6-1 start to the season. The Billikens this week stand at No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings, and are somewhere in the top 25 in all other soccer polls.
Lane United's German contingent of Martin Lukaschik and Christian Dietrich have performed well for Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, the latter heading in his team's only goal in a 3-1 loss to Colgate on September 19. Dietrich has played in every match, and Lukaschik in all but one match so far this season for the Knights.
The Cal Poly Mustangs feature four Reds: John Chronopoulos, Joseph Bolous, Jack O'Connor and goalkeeper Wade Hamilton. All have received regular playing time this season, and Hamilton has three clean sheets to his name over the team's first eight games. The standout performance was a shutout in a 0-0 overtime draw with UCLA on September 14; the Bruins had been ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.
Amer Sasivarevic has started all six games for Grand Canyon University as they've pushed to a 2-3-1 start ahead of Western Athletic Conference play.
At the University of Portland, Dirk van der Velde has played every game for the Pilots as they have started off their season with a series of narrow losses against top-level opponents.
Finally, Lane United's Brazilian forward Chico Sastre has been on fire for the Post University (Waterbury, CT) Eagles, racking up five assists in the team's first five games. On September 17, he added his only goal of the season so far in a win against Concordia College (NY). He is currently out for an uncertain amount of time with a leg injury sustained on September 24.