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DON PETERSEN | Special to The Roanoke Times
Roanoke College freshman Marc Dinkel chose the Maroons in July.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
With the help of an ex-Virginia Tech signee and some former Timesland players, the Roanoke College men's soccer team is enjoying another good season.
Roanoke (9-1-1, 5-0-1 ODAC) is ranked No. 22 in Division III in the D3soccer.com poll.
The Maroons won the ODAC championship last year, which was Scott Allison's final season as coach. They are eyeing another NCAA Division III tournament berth this year under Allison's successor, Ryan Pflugrad .
"They're highly motivated," said Pflugrad, a former Maroons player who was an assistant at NCAA Division I member Denver the past six seasons. "They got a taste of it last year."
Marc Dinkel, a freshman who signed with Virginia Tech earlier this year, leads the Maroons in points (16) and assists (six) and shares the team lead in goals (five).
Dinkel, who is from Basel, Switzerland, did not meet NCAA Division I freshman eligibility standards. Pflugrad said he was lacking a core course the NCAA requires. The NCAA does not have freshman eligibility standards for Division III, so the Virginia Tech coaches recommended Dinkel in July to Pflugrad.
Pflugrad said the 22-year-old Dinkel, who has played for the Swiss under-17, under-18 and under-19 national teams, is a "special player."
Dinkel is allowed under NCAA rules to transfer to Tech next summer and play for the Hokies, but Pflugrad expects him to remain at Roanoke College.
Brian White and Robby Lentine also have five goals apiece.
Blacksburg graduate Tyler Carbaugh, the 2012 ODAC rookie of the year, has four goals and four assists.
Mark Strelow (Hidden Valley), who was sidelined by injuries early in the season, scored a goal Wednesday against Bridgewater.
"We're pretty dynamic," Pflugrad said. "We've got a good group of players to attack with."
But the career of senior midfielder Johnny Hughes (Salem) came to an end when he suffered a torn ACL in the fourth game of the season.
Roanoke will host Randolph (10-0-1, 5-0), ranked No. 25 in the D3soccer.com poll and No. 17 in the Division III coaches poll, at 7 tonight.
The Maroons have not allowed a goal in their past five games. Cole Sinclair (Blacksburg) and Will Dooley (Cave Spring) have both seen action at goalkeeper, each usually playing for one half.
"We have two very good goalkeepers," Pflugrad said.
Tech women to host Irish
The Notre Dame women's soccer team (9-3-1, 5-2-1 ACC), ranked No. 5 by Soccer America and No. 9 in the coaches poll, will visit Virginia Tech (10-1-2, 5-1-1), ranked No. 12 by Soccer America and No. 10 by the coaches, for the first time at noon Sunday.
The teams have not met since 2002, when they were Big East rivals. The Fighting Irish, who lost at No. 1 Virginia on Thursday, won the NCAA title in 2010.
Tech's lone loss this year came against defending NCAA champ North Carolina.
"It's going to be a very similar game, I would imagine, to North Carolina for us as far as the athleticism and their ability to put you under pressure," Tech coach Charles Adair said.
Ashley Meier, who missed the Hokies' last game on Oct. 3 with a concussion, might play Sunday. She shares the team lead in goals (seven).
The game will be broadcast on CSN Plus (including Cox Ch. 9), Comcast Network and ESPN3.com. The regular CSN channel will pick up the game in progress at 1 p.m.
RU women clicking
The Radford women's soccer team is in first place in the Big South with a 5-0 league mark. Radford, which is 9-1-1 overall, is seeking its third straight Big South title.
"Being back-to-back champions, we definitely have a bull's-eye on our back. We're getting everybody's best game," coach Ben Sohrabi said.
Senior goalkeeper Che Brown is ranked eighth nationally in save percentage (89.6 percent).
-- The Highlanders are raising money to help pay the medical expenses of former player Amy Nash Touchet, a 2002 RU graduate living in California who is battling stomach cancer.
Those interested in buying an "RU Amy Strong" bracelet can send a donation in any amount and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the "Amy Strong" fund at 5644 Howell Drive, Dublin, 24084.
W&L women ranked
The Washington and Lee women's soccer team, which last made the NCAA Division III tournament in 2009, cracked the D3soccer.com poll this week at No. 25. The Generals (11-1, 7-0 ODAC) have won nine straight games.
Coach Neil Cunningham said the strong start has been a pleasant surprise.
"We have a nice balance of upperclassmen ... and some good young players that are making a difference right away," he said.
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