After making the NCAA tournament and clinching the Atlantic 10 title last year, early predictions were largely that UMass Amherst would carry momentum forward. The Minutemen, after all, received votes in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll and were tabbed third in the A10 preseason poll.
With five matches left on the 2018 regular season schedule, matters haven't exactly gone to plan for head coach Fran O'Leary's side. At 5-5-2 and coming off a three-game losing streak, replicating last year's successes has proven difficult.
While just one example, UMass reflects a trend in Division 1 men's soccer throughout New England. Last year's accomplishments have meant little in the greater complexion. Providence College and Boston College have both met their struggles, and inconsistencies have plagued UMass Lowell and Dartmouth.
To sort through the craziness, New England Soccer Journal has its normal swing of top 10 teams and players of the week. Things are heating up with conference tournaments three weeks out.