A Look At The Keys To Victory For The Eight Teams Remaining On The Road To The College Cup

Number eight seed SMU will face number one seed Virginia and number seven seed Stanford will tangle with Clemson on Friday. UC Santa Barbara will face number four seed Wake Forest and number six seed Washington will square off with number three seed Georgetown on Saturday. The four winners will advance to the College Cup the following weekend in Cary, North Carolina. 

Virginia (19-1-1) – Junior midfielder Joe Bell, sophomore forward Daryl Dike and junior goalkeeper Colin Shutler are among the names that are often mentioned, and deservedly so, when discussing the success that Virginia has had this year.

But don’t overlook the steady play and the contribution that junior midfielder Irakoza Donasiyano has had on the Cavaliers from the get-go. It is also noteworthy that freshman forward Axel Gunnarsson (1g, 4a) has added depth to the attack while junior defender Spencer Patton (4g, 1a) and sophomore midfielder Bret Halsey (1g, 2a) are among returning players who have upped the level of their play and their contribution significantly this year. 

Defense is a collective effort at Virginia but a team doesn’t record fifteen shutouts as the Cavaliers have this year without an athletic and composed duo at center back. Junior Henry Kessler and freshman Andres Ueland combine to give Virginia a center back combination that is among the best, if not the best, in the country.

SMU (18-1-1) – The Mustangs entered the 2019 season with a deep roster and a strong desire to make a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament than the 2017 and 2018 teams. The 2017 team that was 17-3-1 was eliminated in the third round and the 2018 team that was 10-5-3 was eliminated in the first round by Oregon State.

Senior forward Garrett McLaughlin (16g, 5a), senior back Eddie Munjoma (11g, 8a), sophomore midfielder Knut Alexander (7g, 12a) who has had a breakout season, and junior goalkeeper Grant Makela (0.82 gaa) are among a solid group of returning players who have played a key role in the Mustang’s 18-1-1 season to date and run to the Elite Eight.  

Newcomers have also made a key contribution. Kevin Hudson did a good job of strengthening his team adding a recruiting class that included four transfers who hit the ground running.  Sophomore Gabriel Costa (7g, 10a) who transferred in from Azusa Pacific University, junior defender Henrik Bredeli (2g, 3a) who transferred from North Carolina, junior defender Brandon Terwege (2g, 3a) who transferred from UCLA and sophomore forward Nick Taylor (0g, 3a) who transferred from New Mexico are among the reasons why this team has been so successful.  

SMU’s lone loss of the 2019 season was a 4-3 setback at home against Memphis. In that contest Memphis effectively counter attacked and converted two headers out of corner kicks including the game-winner in overtime to top SMU. The Mustangs will have to contain counter attacks and tighten up their defense out of set pieces in order to advance past Virginia in the Elite Eight.

UC Santa Barbara (15-4-4) – The Gauchos are playing with house money and enjoying it as the lone non-seeded team in the Elite Eight. UC Santa Barbara’s 2-0 loss to UC Davis in the championship match of the Big West Tournament in which the intensity of their play didn’t match the Aggies appears to have served as a very timely wakeup call.  Since that game the Gauchos have upped the intensity of their play securing a 3-1 win over California, a 4-0 win over twelve seed St. Mary’s 4-0, and a 1-0 win in Bloomington over five seed Indiana 1-0 in overtime. The Gauchos are playing their best soccer of the year. 

Credit UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg for making adjustments that have put his team in the best possible posture to win. The Gauchos will play Wake Forest in the Elite Eight without the services of senior defensive midfielder Sahid Conteh who was injured in the win over California and junior center back Hunter Ashworth who was awarded his eighth yellow card of the season in the win over Indiana. The potential exists for that to take a toll on UCSB’s ability to halt a very dangerous Wake Forest attack.  Defensive midfielders Mateo Restrepo Mejia and freshman Sam Fletcher and backs Noah Billingsley, William Gillingham, and Faouzi Taied are among those who will be tasked with containing a Wake Forest midfield that is among the best in the country. 

Wake Forest (15-4-2) – The Demon Deacons are playing with a renewed sense of energy and focus which is exactly what is needed to survive and advance this time of the year.  Wake Forest has been a bit tough to get a handle on this year in part because they have had injuries that have impacted the consistency of their play.  The Demon Deacons are at their best when knocking the ball around, maintaining possession, moving off the ball and finding a weakness they can exploit. This is a team that truly enjoys the game when they are clicking.

If they get into a rhythm and are able to control the middle third, they are almost unstoppable. Bruno Lapa (9g, 3a) is a prime timer who is capable of taking over a contest.  Kyle Holcomb (9g, 0a) has emerged as a key threat up-top while Machop Chol (4g, 8a), Calvin Harris (6g, 3a) and Isaiah Parente (1g, 7a) add balance to the attack. Regardless, its guys like backs senior Alistair Johnson (2g, 5a) and junior Michael DeShields who are the heart and soul of this team.

Georgetown (17-1-3) – The Hoyas advanced to the national championship contest in 2012 and to the Elite Eight in 2014 but for the most part they have underachieved in NCAA Tournament play. In 2015 the number three seeded Hoyas fell in the Sweet Sixteen. In 2017 the number fourteen seeded Hoyas lost in the second round to SMU in overtime. In 2018 the thirteenth seeded Hoyas were upset by Michigan State in the third round.

The number three seeded 2019 squad may be different due to four factors. First, the Hoyas are playing their best soccer of the year on both sides of the ball as reflected in their 5-0 win over Pitt and 5-1 win over a Louisville team that they lost to 1-0 in regular season play.  Second, this is a very deep team with a lot of guys like sophomore forward Zach Riviere and midfielders Paul Rothrock, Jack Beer and Dante Polvara among others who are capable of making big plays. Third, this team does a very good job of creating and finishing scoring opportunities. Fourth, they have been very effective at matching the physicality of their opponents while continuing to play with the patience and composure they need to settle into a rhythm.   

Washington (17-3-0) – The Huskies have recorded seventeen wins this year for the first time since 1983 and have advanced to the Elite Eight for the second time in the history of the program with the first coming back in 2013. Washington has had trouble in the past finding a balance between big play ability on the offensive side of the ball and solid play on the defensive side of the ball but not this year.

Their attack led by midfielders Blake Bodily (12g, 6a) Lucas Meek (6g, 7a), Jaret Townsend (6g, 1a) and Dylan Teves (1g, 8a) has produced a total of forty-four goals while a solid defense anchored by backs Ethan Bartlow, Kasey French, Freddy Kleeman and Charlie Ostrem and most recently by freshman goalkeeper Sam Fowler but also at times by redshirt junior Bryce Logan has allowed a total of only twelve.

Washington matches up well with Georgetown so their Elite Eight match with the Hoyas is going to come down to which team is able to get into a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Neither team wants to have to fall behind and chase the game. 

Stanford (14-2-4) – The Cardinal have advanced to the Elite Eight five years in a row. During that time several of their key wins along the way have been on the road so the fact that they are traveling to face number two seed Clemson is not as big a hurdle as one might think.

Ironically, Stanford’s lone loss in the Elite Eight over the past four years was a contest at home last year in which they were defeated by Akron 3-2. In that contest Stanford uncharacteristically allowed Akron to jump out to a 2-0 lead at halftime. Although Stanford’s play on the defensive side of the ball is their calling card, the Cardinal struggle when they don’t take the game to their opponent.

Stanford can’t allow Clemson to settle into a rhythm and they can’t afford to take their foot off the gas if they hope to leave Historic Riggs Field with a win. 

Clemson – Clemson’s two losses this year were to number four seed Wake Forest 3-2 in overtime and number one seed Virginia 3-1 in the championship match of the ACC Tournament. In both of those games Clemson had a 1-0 advantage at halftime but were unable to hold onto it.

This is a very good Clemson team but in order to advance past Stanford in the Elite Eight they will have to put together two complete halves of play including the first and last five minutes of each half.  Stanford is as good as any team in the country in prevailing in close contests and will have an edge if the contest should require a penalty kick shootout to determine who advances.

Number two seeded Clemson will need to play with a sense of urgency while maintaining the composure and confidence that helped them advance past Charlotte and Providence in overtime to reach the Elite Eight.  



Twenty True Freshmen Who Will Likely Have An Impact On The Sweet Sixteen

Twenty True Freshmen Who Will Likely Have An Impact On The Outcome Of The Sweet Sixteen Contests. Only Eight Teams Will Remain Standing On The Road To The College Cup At The Conclusion Of The Weekend.

Andreas Ueland - Defender- University of Virginia - Bryne, Norway - Ueland (1g, 0a) has played every minute of every game. He joins defenders junior Henry Kessler, senior Robin Afamefuna and sophomore Bret Halsey and redshirt junior goalkeeper Colin Shutler as a key part of a Virginia defense that has allowed a total of only seven goals.  The number one seeded Cavaliers (18-1-1) host St. John's (14-4-1) out of the Big East Conference on Saturday, November 30 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  

Gino Vivi - Midfielder - UCF - San Joes, Costa Rica - Vivi (5g, 8a) is a playmaker who adds an additional dimension to the Knights' attack. Vivi was named the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year. He has big play ability as reflected in the fact that he has scored the game-winning  goal in overtime for UCF three times this year.  Most recently he assisted on both of UCF's goals in their 2-1 win in overtime against Missouri State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Number nine seeded UCF (15-2-2) travels to Dallas to square off with number eight seeded SMU (17-1-1) on Saturday, November 30.  

Aidan Morris - Midfielder - Indiana - Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Morris (2g, 8a) was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and was an All-Big Ten First Team selection. He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week twice. Simply put, Morris makes good things happen. Number five seeded Indiana (15-2-4) will host UC Santa Barbara (14-4-4) out of the Big West Conference on Sunday, December 1.

Joshua Penn (6g, 2a) - Midfielder - Indiana - Naperville, Illinois - Penn whose resume includes playing time with the U.S. U-19 and U-20 national teams has lived up to preseason expectation.  He was an All-Big Ten Second Team selection who adds an additional dimension to IU's attack. Three of his six goals to date have been game-winners.

Victor Bezerra - Forward - Indiana - Chicago, Illinois - Bezerra (8g, 3a) became just the third player in Indiana's storied tradition to generate a hat trick in NCAA Tournament play when he put three into the back of the net in Indiana's second round 3-0 win over Kentucky.  His leads the Hoosiers with a total of eight goals three of which are game-winners.

Roman Celentano - Goalkeeper - Indiana - Naperville, Illinois - Celentano has been the starter in goal for the Hoosiers for the past thirteen contests.  During that span of time he has had a 0.52 goals against average and posted eight shutouts. The Hoosiers have shutout their last five opponents including a 3-0 win over Kentucky in round two of the NCAA Tournament.  It is a given that the play in goal will have a huge impact on Indiana's on how far Indiana advances in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

Finn Ballard McBride - Midfielder - UC Santa Barbara - Sydney, Australia - UC Santa Barbara - Ballard McBride (9g, 2a) has added additional punch to the Gauchos' offense in the attacking center midfielder role.  A surging UC Santa Barbara team (14-4-4) which defeated California 3-1 for the first time since 2003 and number twelve seed Saint Mary's College 4-0 now travels to Bloomington to tangle with number five seed Indiana (15-2-4) out of the Big Ten Conference in the Sweet Sixteen. 

Owen Finnerty - Goalkeeper - Michigan - Walled Lake, Michigan - Finnerty was pressed into duty when Andrew Verdi, the All-Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year,  was injured in Michigan's contest with Wisconsin on October 25. He has posted four shutouts in his six starts including a shutout in Michigan's second round contest with Wright State in which the Wolverines advanced in a penalty kick shootout in which Finnerty had a key save.  Number thirteen seeded Michigan (11-4-6) travels to Winston-Salem where they will face number four seeded Wake Forest (14-4-2) out of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sunday, December 1 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  

Calvin Harris - Midfielder - Wake Forest - Middlesbrough, England - Harris (6g, 3a) earned a spot on the ACC  All-Freshman Team.  Three of his six goals to date have been game-winners.  He joins Bruno Lapa, Joey DeZart, Isaiah Parente, and Machop Chol in a Deacon midfield that is extremely talented.  Number four seeded Wake Forest advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by topping Maryland in the second round. The Demon Deacons will host number thirteen seeded Michigan (11-4-6) out of the Big Ten Conference on Sunday, December 1.  

Tomas Romero - Goalkeeper - Georgetown - Cherry Hill, New Jersey - Romero has been splitting time in goal with Giannis Nikopolidis who was named the Big East Conference Co-Goalkeeper of the Year.  Romero has started ten contests this year including the Hoyas second round win over Pitt.  He has a 0.39 goals against average and has recorded seven shutouts between the pipes.  Number three seeded Georgetown (16-1-3) out of the Big East Conference will square off with Louisville (10-7-2) out of the ACC at Shaw Field in Washington on Sunday, December 1.  

Daniel Wu - Defender - Georgetown - Cary, North Carolina - The guys in the back don't always get the ink that those up-top get but Wu has been a stalwart on the defensive side of the ball all year for a Georgetown team that has only allowed a total of nine goals.  He is part of a solid Georgetown backline that includes Dylan Nealis,  Rio Hope-Gund, and Sean O'Hearn.

Leonard Getz - Defender - Louisville - Fredrikstad,  Norway  - Getz (1g, 2a) has been a starter on the defensive side of the ball all year for the Cardinals. Getz's goal with thirty-nine seconds remaining in regulation enabled Louisville to tie Boston College in a game that Louisville subsequently won 3-2 in overtime.  Louisville (10-7-2) has advanced past USF 4-1 and UC Davis 1-0 to earn the right to face number three seed Georgetown (16-1-3) in the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday, December 1.  Louisville upset Georgetown 1-0 when the two teams played back on September 24.

Max Schneider - Midfielder - Marshall - Cologne, Germany - Schneider (2g, 4a) has contributed on both sides of the ball this year for the Herd. His effectiveness in the defensive midfielder role has played a role in the success that Marshall has had to date. Marshall topped West Virginia 2-1 and Washington defeated Boston College 2-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Number eleven seeded Marshall (16-2-3) out of CUSA  travels to Seattle where they will face number six seeded University of Washington (16-3-0) on Sunday, December 1 in the Sweet Sixteen.

Sam Fowler - Goalkeeper - Washington - Issaquah, Washington - Fowler has started in goal for eleven contests including Washington's 2-0 win over Boston College in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He has a 0.46 goals against average and has posted seven shutouts.  He is the first true freshman to start in goal for the Huskies since the 2012 season.  

Christian Soto - Midfielder - Washington - Des Moines, Washington - Soto (0g, 4a) contributes on both sides of the ball with a work rate that is second to none.  He is an important ingredient in a very good Husky midfield.  Number six seed Washington (16-3-0) will host number eleven seed Marshall (16-2-3) on Sunday, December 1 in what shapes up to be a very competitive college soccer game.

Ousseni Bouda - Forward - Stanford - Ouagadougou, Burkina Fasco - Bouda (5g, 5a) is a differnce maker. He has added additional firepower to Stanford's attack. Bouda is an All-Pac-12 First Team selection and was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.  Three of his five goals have been game-winning goals.  Number seven seeded Stanford (13-2-4) will host number ten seeded Virginia Tech (10-5-3) out of the ACC on Sunday, December 1.  

Gabe Segal - Forward - Stanford - Bethesda, Maryland - Segal (6g, 0a) joins fellow freshman Ousseni Bouda and redshirt sophomore Zach Ryan to add big play ability to Stanford's offense.  The number seven seeded Cardinal dogged a bullet when they slipped past Seattle in the second round of play in a contest that was determined by a penalty kick shootout.  Stanford will host number ten seed Virginia Tech on Sunday, December 1 in the Sweet Sixteen.

Daniel Pereira - Midfielder - Virginia Tech - Roanoke, Virginia - Pereira (5g, 4a) has been an iron man all year for the Hokies starting every contest and seeing plenty of playing time. He has had a banner freshman season for the number ten seeded Hokies (10-5-3) who advanced past New Hampshire 4-1 in the second round to earn the right to head west to tangle with an always tough number seven seeded Stanford squad (13-2-4) on Sunday, December 1 in the Sweet Sixteen. 

Esben Wolf - Midfielder - Providence - Copenhagen, Denmark - Wolf (5g, 6a) has started every game and is a key ingredient in a balanced Friar attack that has scored a total of forty goals so far.  He was named to the Big East All-Tournament Team.  Providence (16-6-0) has advanced past NJIT 2-0 and Penn State 3-2 and travel to face number two seed Clemson (17-2-1) at Historic Riggs Field on Sunday, December 1 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Philip Mayaka - Midfielder - Clemson - Nairobi, Kenya - Mayaka's (2g, 8a) touch on the ball and quickness make him a difficult man to contain when he has the ball at his feet in the middle third. He was named the ACC Freshman of the Year and was an All-ACC First Team selection.  He adds an additional element to a powerful Clemson attack that has found the back of the net a total of sixty-seven times this year. Clemson (17-2-1) will host Providence (16-6-0) out of the Big East Conference on Sunday, December 1 in the Sweet Sixteen.

Reflections On The Second Round Of The NCAA Tournament

Survive and advance. Sixteen teams are left standing on the road to the College Cup in Cary, North Carolina. Three of the top sixteen seeds including number twelve seed Saint Mary's did not advance. UC Santa Barbara, Louisville and Providence were the non seeded teams that played their way into the third round.  

Indiana - The cupboard is never bare at Indiana. Regardless it is a tribute to the program that a team that entered the season without ten starters and with the lone returning starter a sophomore could have the type of season that the Hoosiers are having.  Defender Simon Waever was the only senior in the starting lineup in Indiana's 3-0 win over Kentucky on Sunday and he transferred in this year from Evansville.

It normally takes a while for a team to jell with so many newcomers in key roles. The conventional wisdom was that Indiana would struggle somewhat early in the season and then improve as the season progressed. They have improved as the season progressed but their learning curve was very short. In fact, a good case could be made that it lasted for only forty-five minutes. After trailing Pitt 2-0 at halftime in their season opener, the Hoosiers rebounded to score three unanswered goals to win 3-2. 

The Hoosiers will host UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, December 1 in the Sweet Sixteen.

UC Santa Barbara - The Gauchos selected the right time of the year to have their most complete game of the 2019 season so far. Who would have thought that UCSB would find the back of the net four times against a Saint Mary's team out of the West Coast Conference that came into their second round matchup with the Gauchos out of the Big West Conference having previously allowed a total of only eleven goals. 

Perhaps the fact that UC Davis out of the Big West shocked the Gaels in Moraga 4-2 back on September 24 was a sign that UCSB might do the same. The contest looked to be up for grabs at halftime with UC Santa Barbara holding a 1-0 advantage as a result of a header from close range from senior back Noah Billingsley. The complextion of the contest changed when Will Baynham scored in the sixty-fifth minute to give the Gauchos a 2-0 lead. Saint Mary's had to chase the Gauchos from that point forward and the Gauchos used their speed and athleticism to totally take control of the match with Rodney Michael scoring twice to make the final score 4-0.

The takeaway from this contest is that UCSB has the speed, size, and experience to create matchups that can cause problems for opponents. When this team is clicking they are very dangerous. The Gauchos advance to face Indiana in Bloomington on Sunday, December 1 in what has suddenly become a very intriguing matchup.

Louisville - The difference between a win and a loss can be slight. The Cardinals didn't want to have to play from behind and chase a UC Davis team on the road that has been rock solid on the defensive side of the ball.

In all of Louisville's losses this year their opponent sccored first. Their 3-2 win in overtime against Boston College was Louisville's only win of the year in which they came from behind to prevail. So it is not surprising that the Cardinals hunkered down on the defensive side of the ball after junior forward Izaiah Jennings scored out of a counter attack in the sixty-second minute to take a 1-0 lead over UC Davis. 

The Aggies were the aggressor throughout the contest as reflected in their eighteen to five advantage in shots and seven to one advantage in shots on goal but they were unable to breakthrough a very solid Louisville defense and an impressive shift in goal by junior Jake Gelnovatch who came up with the big stops that his team needed to have a chance to win.

Louisville advances to the Sweet Sixteen where they will face a Georgetown team that they upset 1-0 in overtime back on September 24.

UC Davis concludes a banner season in which they won both the Big West regular season and tournament titles. Dwayne Shaffer returns a solid core next year but will be without the services of goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley, forward Adam Mickelson, and midfielder Marte Formico among others due to graduation.

Virginia - Virginia continues to take care of business on both sides of the ball securing a 2-0 win over Campbell during which they held the Camels who have averaged 2.68 goals per game this year with fifty-nine goals to only two shots on goal.

The Cavaliers have a balanced attack that compliments their play on the defensive side of the ball. As a result the Cavaliers have the big play ability they need to prevail in the close contests that they lacked at times in the recent past.

Virginia always has talented players with great touch on the ball and impressive resumes but the very best teams to come out of Charlottesville under George Gelnovatch are the ones that combine skill with toughness. This team has both but Gelnovatch would likely be the first to say that despite the success the Cavaliers have enjoyed this year they have to continue to put together a full ninety minutes of play in order to stay alive in the NCAA Tournament.  

Wake Forest - The Demon Deacons came into this one having only won only one contest in their last five games. Their lone win during that five game span was a solid 3-1 victory on the road over Louisville.

Make no mistake this is a very good and well coached team. But beginning with a 1-1 tie with Loyola Maryland back on October 22, Wake Forest appeared to be playing a step slower, had gotten away from "Wake Forest" soccer, and didn't seem to have the same level of intensity.

The Deacons needed a good win in their opening game in the NCAA Tournament and got just what the doctor ordered with an impressive 3-0 victory over an always dangerous University of Maryland team.

The Terps pressed the attack right out of the gate but Wake Forest handled the pressure well and applied pressure of their own which resulted in a Bruno Lapa goal out of a corner kick in the twenty-fifth minute followed by two scores in the second stanza. The Deacons were focused and the crowd on hand was fired up. The Wake Forest midfield consisting of Lapa (8g, 3a), Calvin Harris (6g, 3a), Malchop Chol (4g, 7a), Joey DeZart (1g, 1a) and Isaiah Parente (1g, 7a) are tough to handle when they get into a rhythm.

The Demon Deacons will host Michigan out of the Big Ten on Sunday, December 1. 

Number nine seed  UCF advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a come from behind 2-1 win in overtime against a very good Missouri State team. Cal Jennings (17g, 4a) netted the game-winning goal for the Knights. This is the first time in the history of the program that UCF has advanced to the Sweeet Sixteen. UCF head coach Scott Calabrese who is in his third season at the helm of the program has done an excellent job of turning the program around. Jennings continues to give the Knights big play ability on the offensive side of the ball.

Number eight seed SMU advanced to the third round of play with a 1-0 win in overtime against a determined Coastal Carolina team with Garrett McLaughlin (16g, 5a) scoring the game-winner in overtime. SMU advanced to the Sweeet Sixteen for the third time in the five seasons that Kevin Hudson has been at the helm of the program.

UCF and SMU will face each other for the third time this year on Saturday with the higer seeded SMU hosting the contest.

It was a little surprising that UCF and SMU out of the American Athletic Conference were placed in the same bracket since the two teams faced each other two times during regular season play. Nonetheless, it sets up "UCF vs SMU number three" with this one being the one that counts the most. The two tied 3-3 back on October 6 when they faced each other in Dallas in regular season play. SMU topped UCF 1-0 when they tangled in the AAC Tournament final in Orlando on November 16. 

Chances are pretty good that Jennings and McLaughlin will play a key role in the outcome.


Virginia Tech - The margin of victory for the Hokies in their 4-1 win over New Hampshire was larger than expected. New Hampshire had previously allowed a total of only seven goals.

The take away from this contest is that how a team responds after their opponent scores is huge. The turning point in this contest occurred when forward Kristo Strickler responded to score the equalizer for Virginia Tech a little over a minute after Jacob Gould's goal in the sixteenth minute of play had given New Hampshire an early lead. It is amazing how many goals are scored within a few minutes of each other. Whether it occurs because a goal by an opponent serves as a wake up call or scoring a goal causes a team to temporarily take their foot off the gas makes no difference. What matters is that a quick response shifts the momentum.

Strickler converted a header out of a free kick in the thirty-fifth minute and James Kasak sent a blast in into the back of the net three minutes later to give Virginia Tech a commanding 3-1 advantage at halftime. Junior midfielder Camron Lennon added the final score for the Hokies in the severnty-third minute.

Number ten seed Virginia Tech earns a trip to the west coast where they will face number seven seed Stanford in the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday, December 1. 

Stanford - The Stanford and Seattle contest could have gone either way. There is a reason why teams practice penalty kicks. 

No one is better at winning the close contests than Stanford. The Cardinal advanced past a very good and determined Seattle team in penalty kicks after the contest was tied 1-1 at the end of 110 minutes of play. Defender Tanner Beason who missed eight conference games this year due to injury is back in the lineup for the Cardinal which increases their chances of making a sustained run in the NCAA Tournament. Beason scored Stanford's lone goal in regulation out of a free kick and converted his penalty kick attempt during the penalty kick shootout.

Andrew Thomas was huge in goal for Stanford stopping four of Seattle's five attempts during the shootout. 

Stanford advances to the Sweet Sixteen where they will host Virginia Tech out of the ACC on Sunday, December 1.