Photo by Myrtle Beach Mutiny
Several PDL players helped keep their teams’ conference title-hopes alive, and one led their team to the very top last week.
Leading the way was Wingate and Myrtle Beach Mutiny forward Jon Ander Ibarrondo, who can easily be called Wingate’s MVP as his five goals and assist led the Bulldogs to three wins last week and the South Atlantic Conference crown.
Joining Ander as this week’s top performers are Long Island Rough Riders forward Arthur Bosua, Chicago FC United forward Jeff Farina, SIMA Aguilas midfielder Rafael Santos and Michigan Bucks forward Francis Atuahene.
Wingate had three matches in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament last week and won all three to win their fourth conference title in team history and continue their title defense in the NCAA Tournament. It wouldn’t have happened without Myrtle Beach Mutiny forward Jon Ander Ibarrondo, who was the driving force in all three matches. Ander first scored a goal and assist to lead the team past Newberry in the opening tournament match, and then scored a brace against both of Lincoln Memorial and Queens to lead the team to the very top in 2017.
The Columbia Lions won a pair of matches over the past week by a combined score of 9-0, and Long Island Rough Riders forward Arthur Bosua was a huge part of the strong performances. In the team’s 3-0 win over Sacred Heart midweek, Bosua assisted the fifth-minute game-winner. Later on Sunday, Bosua powered in four of the Lions’ six goals against Harvard in a massive shutout Ivy League victory.
Notre Dame pulled off a pair of ACC Tournament victories this week, taking down Pittsburgh in the first round before dispatching No. 3-ranked North Carolina in an upset quarterfinal victory, and Chicago FC United forward Jeff Farina contributed to both. Farina captured two goals and an assist in the Fighting Irish’s 5-0 win over Pitt, before assisting Notre Dame’s game-winner in the 2-1 win against the Tar Heels over the weekend.
Virginia Commonwealth played St. Bonaventure twice in the past week, once in a losing effort and then again in a win on Sunday, but SIMA Aguilas midfielder Rafael Santos played brilliantly in both. After scoring the lone goal for VCU in the 2-1 loss in midweek play, Santos came up huge on Sunday with a pair of goals and an assist in the Rams 4-1 revenge victory over the Bonnies.
It was a strong week for the PDL’s No. 1 junior as well, as Michigan Bucks forward Francis Atuahene guided Michigan through their Big Ten Tournament first-round match against Northwestern with ease. Atuahene put the opening goal of the match in himself in the 24th minute, before assisting the game-winner in the 56th and a late insurance goal in the 79th.
Carolina Dynamo forward Jon Bakero showed why he was ranked as the No. 1 senior on the PDL Top Prospect College Class Lists, as he guided Wake Forest to a comfortable win over Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Sunday. Bakero scored twice for the Demon Deacons, scoring the eventual game-winner in the third minute before sealing the match with the team’s third and final goal in the 48th minute.
Stanford coasted to an easy 4-0 win over San Diego State in its penultimate match of the season. Though Burlingame Dragons midfielder Corey Baird hasn’t been much of a scorer for the Cardinal this season, he had his shooting boots on for Sunday’s contest, scoring the opening game-winner in the seventh minute before finishing again in the 58th minute. The two add on to his lone goal in the team’s mid-week win over UCLA for a total of three this week, doubling his season total to six.