Tuesday, October 17, 2006

COM: Blogarithmic #157

From Soccer America

'Ragin' Cajun' is Player of the Year frontrunner
One Louisianan could follow another as Men's Player of the Year. Last year it was Maryland's Jason Garey from Gonzales, located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This year's surprise frontrunner is Notre Dame's Joseph Lapira from Lake Charles in Acadiana.

Garey went into his senior year as a legitimate Player of the Year candidate. Although Lapira had decent freshman and sophomore seasons, no one would have predicted he would break out like he has as a junior. He has scored in seven straight games -- all Irish victories -- to give him 19 goals, almost double the 10 he scored for the Irish in his first two years.

Nicknamed the "Ragin' Cajun" by Irish coach Bobby Clark when he attended the Irish soccer camp while in high school, Lapira has been on a tear since the second weekend of the season when he scored four goals in a 5-4 overtime win at Indiana. It was one of the greatest performances by a visiting player in the long history of IU's Armstrong Stadium, but the modest Lapira said afterwards he only hoped he'd score another goal or two during the season.

Three weeks later, Lapira began a streak of five games with two goals. Clark loves that Lapira makes chances for himself and teammates. Lapira, twice named the Soccer America Player of the Week, says the difference this year is that he doesn't get down when he misses chances early in games. Beyond that, he looks at things simply.

"I am just the furthest guy toward the net on our offense," Lapira told the South Bend Tribune. "I have a lot of great teammates who work very hard to get the ball to me. Anyone can do what I do."

If Lapira keeps up his scoring pace, he could become the first Division I player since Clemson's Wojtek Krakowiak in 1998 to hit the 30-goal mark in a single season. He could also accomplish what the more famous No. 10 on the Notre Dame campus, QB Brady Quinn, might not, and win Player of the Year honors.

Lapira has the slight edge on Boston College's Charlie Davies and West Virginia's Jarrod Smith with three weeks to go in the regular season.

19 Joseph Lapira, Notre Dame, Jr.
15 Saidi Isaac, Winthrop, Jr.
14 Charlie Davies, Boston College, Jr.
14 Jarrod Smith, West Virginia, Sr.
13 Steven Holloway, Monmouth, Sr.
13 Joshua Okoampa, Wis.-Green Bay, Sr.
13 Jeffrey Gonsalves, Rhode Island, Sr.
12 Patrick Nyarko, Virginia Tech, Soph.
12 Riley O'Neill, Kentucky, Sr.
12 Braden Fleak, Wright St., Fr.
12 Jeremy Gold, Col. of Charleston, Sr.

18 Kala Morgan, Middle Tenn., Soph.
16 Deana Everrett, West Virginia, Soph.
14 Holly Grogan, Middle Tenn., Jr.
13 Brittany Bisnott, Niagara, Jr.
13 Mary Parker, Detroit, Sr.
13 Michelle Enyeart, Portland, Fr.
12 Belinda Kanda, Alabama A&M, Soph.
12 Alberta Annan, Alabama A&M, Jr.
12 Kerri Hanks, Notre Dame, Soph.
12 Heather Hutyra, North Texas, Jr.

WOMEN: Navy puts 10 past Howard in first half
It was never going to be close: Navy, 15-0-0, going against Howard, 0-13-0, on Monday night in Annapolis, Md.

The No. 17 Midshipmen, the only unbeaten and untied team in women's soccer, put 10 goals past Howard in the first half before shutting down for the evening.

The 10-0 win extended Navy's winning streak to 16 games, tying No. 2 North Carolina for the longest streak in the country.

Ten different players scored goals. Freshman Cassie Barbaresi paced the Mids with a goal and her second three-assist performance of the season.

Franklin Pierce, ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division II men's poll, saw its 14-match unbeaten run to start the season come to an end with a 1-0 loss at St. Michael's in Northeast-10 action. Glenn Sherman scored the match's lone goal with a header off Sam Piotrowski 's corner kick. Freshman Jason Burnett made six saves to preserve his third shutout in as many starts this season for the Purple Knights.

Trinity (Texas) forward German Gomez tied a school record with four goals in a 7-0 win over St. Olaf. His first two scores came 89 seconds apart, putting him eighth all-time in Division III for quickest consecutive goals by one player. Gomez equalled his output for Trinity's first 12 games. The Tigers, ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA/adidas NCAA Division III, are 13-0-0.

NAIA men's team Iowa Wesleyan set a school record with its 11th victory of the season in a 4-1 triumph over Viterbo. Senior Cesar Naveda from Guayaquil, Ecuador, scored the first two goals to give him a team-high seven goals for the season. Ecuador is one of 12 countries represented on the IWC roster.

Canadian Katy Tafler scored her 26th goal of the season for Grand Valley State (13-1-1) in its 3-0 win over Quincy. Tafler, who leads all NCAA Division II women's players in scoring, broke the school record of 25 goals she set as a freshman in 2005.

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