The beauty of tournament play was on display in yesterday’s 2nd round action in the men’s NCAA Soccer Tournament, as five seeded teams bit the dust. The highest seed to be shown the door by an unranked foe was 6 seed UCLA, who were beaten decisively by an inspired San Diego team 5-2.
In that same Midwest bracket, unseeded Syracuse picked off 14th seeded Virginia Commonwealth University, on a dramatic goal from Louis Clark in the 108th minute. The East bracket saw number 8 seed University of St. Louis fall in in another double overtime thriller to Fairleigh Dickinson University, when senior Jack McVey headed home the late winner.
The number 2 seed in the entire tournament, and for many the overall favorites Maryland, needed a goal in the last minute of regulation to survive against Brown. The Ivy crew actually took an early lead on a Bobby Belair goal, threatening to spoil Maryland’s big plans. Patrick Mullins would equalize for the Terrapins, setting the stage for Dan Metzger’s 90th minute dramatics, sending Maryland onto the Sweet 16.
Two of the Southeast bracket’s seeded teams weren’t able to escape like Maryland, suffering unexpected losses. The number 7 seed Marquette went down 1-0 to Northwestern, while number 15 seed Wake Forest were knocked out by Coastal Carolina, courtesy of Jakub Stourac’s 99th minute strike. The only Southeastern bracket seed to have an easy go of things was Louisville, who cruised to a 5-0 victory over Winthorp.
The West was the only bracket to send all of their seeded teams on to the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t easy. The two highest seeds in the group UConn and Akron eked out close victories, while less fancied Creighton and New Mexico advanced more comfortably. Number 4 seed Connecticut got a 24th minute goal from Mamadou Doudou Diouf, his 14th of the year, and hung on to eliminate Northeastern. Akron, the number 5 ranked team in the nation , just about took care of Michigan 2-1, extending coach Caleb Porter’s collegiate career for at least one more week, before Porter heads off to MLS and the Portland Timbers.
Number 1 seed Notre Dame eschewed the drama with a handy 3-0 win over Michigan State. Midfield general Dillon Powers set up two of the goals as the Fighting Irish eliminated the Spartans. Number 9 seed North Carolina were fortunate to survive against UMBC. The Cinderella side, University of Maryland Baltimore County, extended the big time Tar Heels all the way to penalty kicks, before the clock struck midnight ending UMBC’s dream run. The last seeded team in that East bracket, Indiana, rode a hat trick from junior Nikita Kotlov to a 4-1 victory over Xavier.
Number 3 seed Georgetown headed up the Midwest bracket, and they just about advanced in a feisty match against Charlotte. The 2011 College Cup finalists figured to give the Hoyas all they could handle, and that turned out to be the case. In a physical game Georgetown got the only goal they would need from Brandon Allen. Tulsa, seeded 11th, were another from the Midwest bracket that were happy to move on. It took a 99th minute tally from Omar Mata to shake of the University of South Florida in yet another thriller.
Now it is on to the Sweet 16 on November 25, so check the brackets to see who your favorite team will be playing. Click Here