2019 College Cup - The Final Four - The Tale of the Tape - A Comparison of the Participants

Four teams remain standing. Virginia, Wake Forest, Georgetown, and Stanford have played their way into the 2019 College Cup in Cary, North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East Conference and the Pac-12 Conference are represented. The 2019 season began with 205 teams in the hunt for a spot in the four team College Cup and a chance to play for the 2019 National Championship. 

The Final Four
Overall Record 20-1-1 16-4-2 18-1-3 14-2-5
League ACC ACC Big East Pac-12

League Record

6-1-1 6-2-0 6-0-2 6-2-2
Regular Season Finish in League Play  First Coastal Division Second Atlantic Division  First Second
Record Away From Home 3-0-1 4-3-0 6-1-1 6-0-3


Years At The Helm

George Gelnovatch


Bobby Muuss


Brian Wiese


Jeremy Gunn


NCAA Seed 1 4 3 7
CSN Rank  Regular Season  End Poll First Twelve Second Nine
RPI 1 6 2 13
Average Shots Per Game 13.8 12.9 17.8 14.1
Shots On Goal %  .411 .454 .457 .397
Total Goals  41 44 53 36
Average Goals Per Game 1.86 2.1 2.41 1.71
Goals Allowed 9 15 11 14
Average Goals Allowed Per Game .41 .71 0.50 0.67

Most Goals Scored in Game

3 5 5 5

Most Goals Allowed In Game

2 2 2 3
Corner Kicks Taken  139 120 143 116
Corner Kicks Allowed 76 66 73 80
Total  Shutouts  15 9 12 11
Unbeaten Streak 9 2 15 3
Last Loss









Strength Defense Pressure Depth Defense
How They Beat You Consistency Possession Work Rate Resilience

Balance Stability 

Set Pieces Execution 

Where They Have The Edge Backline Midfield Forward  Goal

Top Goal Scorer

Daryl Dike

(7g, 8a) 

Bruno Lapa 


Jacob Montes (11g, 5a)

   Zach      Ryan  (6g,2a)

Number Players With 4 or More Goals

5 5 6 5
Key Distributor

Irakoze Donasiyano

(4g, 5a)

Isaiah Parente

(1g, 7a)

Paul Rothrock

(3g, 7a)

Logan Panchot

(0g, 8a)

Key Defender   Henry Kessler Alistair Johnston Dylan Nealis Tanner Beason
Keeper Colin Shutler (0.40 gaa) Andrew Pannenberg (0.69)

Giannis Nikopolidis (0.53 gaa)

Thomas Romero (0.44 gaa)

Andrew Thomas (0.66 gaa)
Don't Under-estimate Joe Bell Midfielder (6g, 4a) Machop Chol  Midfielder (4g, 8a) Achara Forward (6g, 4a)  Derek Waldeck Midfielder (4g, 8a)
Freshman To Watch Axel Gunnarsson (2g, 4a) Forward Calvin    Harris  (6g,3a) Midfielder Dante Polvara  (4g, 2a) Midfielder Ousseni Bouda  (5g,5a) Forward

Wild Card


Nathaniel Crofts Forward (6g, 3a)

Kyle Holcomb Forward (9g, 0a) Derek Dodson Forward (10g, 8a) Jared Gilbey   Midfielder (0g, 6a) 
A Key Element

Andreas Ueland Defender

Daniel Steedman Forward

Michael DeShields Defender

Joey DeZart Midfielder 

Sean Zawadzki Midfielder

Sean O'Hearn Defender 

Gabe Segal Forward

Keegan Hughes Defender

The Glue

Robin Afamefuna Defender

Alistair Johnson Defender Dylan Nealis Defender  Tanner Beason Defender

Cards Yellow Red

27/0 16/0 21/0 34/1
Last Trip To Final Four 2014 2016 2012 2017
Road Traveled

Cambell 2-0

St. John's 3-0

SMU 3-2

Maryland 3-0

Michigan 3-1

UCSB 1-0

Pittsburgh 5-0 

Louisville 5-1



Seattle 1-1

Virginia Tech 2-1

Clemson 1-1

Game #1 Friday, December 13 at 6 P.M. - Georgetown vs. Stanford 

Game #2 Friday, December 13 at 8:30 P.M. - Virginia vs. Wake Forest 

National Championship Game - Sunday, December 15 - Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

All three games will be televised on ESPNU 

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.