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NCAA Men’s Soccer Second Round Action – Next Stop On The Road Is The Sweet Sixteen

Four of the top sixteen seeds were eliminated in the second round including number four seed Maryland, number five seed Indiana, number six seed Stanford, and number ten seed Charlotte.  UMBC upset Maryland 1-0, Xavier topped 2-1 Indiana, UC Irvine upset Stanford 1-0, and North Carolina slipped past Charlotte 2-1. All contests at this point are difficult but several third round match-ups stand out as extra special including number nine seed Syracuse at number eight seed Georgetown, Xavier at number twelve seed Creighton, number fourteen seed Washington at number three seed Michigan State, and number fifteen seed California at number two seed UCLA.  The Coastal Carolina and Clemson match was postponed until Monday due to inclement weather.  You can expect another upset or two at the conclusing of the Sweet Sixteen match-ups which will take place on Sunday, November 30 at campus sites throughout the country.    

Notre Dame 2 – Ohio State 1 – This one was played at Alumni Stadium at Notre Dame in the rain.  Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute of the contest when defender Brandon Aubrey converted a penalty kick. Danny Jensen scored the equalizer for Ohio State out of a corner kick with Liam Doyle and Hunter Robertson credited with the double assist.  Freshman forward Jon Gallagher who hails from Dundalk, Ireland scored the game-winning goal for the Irish in the 69th minute of the match after receiving a through ball from fellow freshman Jeffrey Farina.  Number one seed Notre Dame improves to 12-4-4 and will host Virginia in the Sweet Sixteen.  The Irish and Cavaliers tied 1-1 when they played each other during regular season play on September 21 in Charlottesville but the Irish thumped Virginia 3-0 when they played on November 9 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.  Both defending national champion Notre Dame and Virginia advanced to the College Cup in 2013 but that dream is going to end for one of them in 2014 when they face each other on Sunday, November 30.  Ohio State ends the 2014 season with a 9-8-5 overall record.  

Virginia 3 – UNCW 1 – The visiting Seahawks from UNCW scored first when midfielder David Sizemore placed a shot into the lower left corner of the goal from inside the box in the 20th minute of play after receiving a cross from teammate Jamie Dell.  It looked like UNCW would take a lead into intermission but Sam Hayward knotted the score at 1-1 just prior to the end of the first half with defender Scott Thomsen setting up the goal after making a nice move down the side and serving in a well timed cross.   Virginia took a 2-1 lead in the second stanza when Jake Rozhansky collected a loose ball in front of the goal out of a free kick from outside the box in the 62nd minute of play and slotted it into the back of the net with Nicko Corriveau and Thomsen contributing the double assist.  Kyle McCord skied above everyone else and converted a header after receiving a cross from Matt Brown in the 74th minute to make it a 3-1 contest and conclude the scoring for the evening.  Virginia netminder Calle Brown and UNCW goalkeeper Sean Melvin both had a two save evening.  Virginia coach George Gelnovatch stated, "The guys did a great job getting an equalizer right before half which was very important.  I really felt like going into halftime after scoring that goal, we had them."  UNCW ends a successful season with a 13-5-2 overall record.  Number sixteen seeded Virginia improves to 11-6-2 and now must travel to face number one seeded and fellow ACC Conference member Notre Dame in the Sweet Sixteen.  

Syracuse 2 – Penn State 1 – All the scoring in this one took place in the second half.  Penn State forward Connor Maloney opened the scoring in the 60th minute of play when he converted a penalty kick.  Syracuse kept the pressure up and netted the equalizer in the 74th minute of play when sophomore forward Emil Ekblom received a pass from midfielder Oyvind Alseth and pushed the ball forward at speed creating the space he needed to place the ball into the back of the net.  Alseth netted what proved to be the game-winning goal ten minutes later coming out of a free kick put in play by Jordan Murrell when he served in a cross at close range from the end line that was deflected and found its wasy into the back of the net.  Syracuse had a 19 to 5 advantage in shots and a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks.  Senior Andrew Wolverton had eight saves in goal for the Nittany Lions.  Junior Alex Bono had one save in goal for Syracuse.  Penn State concludes a productive but up and down season with a 13-6-1 overall record.  Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre stated, "It was a big day for our program, just being able to host a postseason game."  He added, "Not just winning, but having the chance to play a home game and now I hope we can win some games and maybe we'll get a chance to come back here later in the tournament."    Number nine seed Syracuse improves to 16-3-1 and now travels to Washington to tangle with the number eight seeded Georgetown Hoyas at Shaw Field in what will be one of the premier match-ups in the Sweet Sixteen.    

Georgetown 2 – Old Dominion 1 (OT) – This one looked to be destined to be decided by a penalty kick shootout until  freshman midfielder Arun Basuljevic scored out of a long free kick with just five ticks remaining on the clock.  Basuljevic stated, "There was thirteen seconds left and I was kind of just looking for anything to fall to me.  Luckily enough it was bouncing around the box and I ended up swinging at it and hoping it would be on target."  The goal was Basuljevic's sixth of the 2014 season and his fourth game-winner. Old Dominion got on the board first when they scored out of an own goal coming out of a corner kick.  Junior forward Brandon Allen scored for Georgetown in the 74th minute of play to knot the score at 1-1 when he drove a shot into the back of the net from the top of the box with an assist from Rudy Tyler.  The goal was Allen's eleventh of the season to date.  Alex Tiesenhausen had eight saves in goal for Old Dominion.  Tomas Gomez had one save in goal for the Hoyas.  Georgetown outshot ODU nineteen to three and had a seven to three advantage for the evening in corner kicks. Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese stated, "We generated enough chances, I think that if we hadn't gotten the equalizer that would have been a tough one to swallow today. They're (ODU) hard to play against and they're good at what they do and I'm proud of the boys being able to find a way to find the tying goal and buying another week for the seniors." The always very competitive Monarchs from Old Dominion end the 2014 season with a 13-7-1 overall record.  Number eight seeded Georgetown out of the Big East Conference improves to 13-4-4 and will host number nine seeded Syracuse out of the ACC in the Round of Sixteen.  

Xavier 2- Indiana 1 – In one of the biggest surprises of the day the Xavier Musketeers traveled to Bloomington and topped the Hoosiers 2-1 with senior midfielder Will Walker converting the game-winning goal out of a penalty kick with just over sixteen minutes remaining in regulation.  IU missed an opportunity to take an early lead when they failed to convert a penalty kick in the eighth minute of play that was awarded due to an Xavier handball in the box.  Xavier drew first blood in the 29th minute of the contest when Matt Vasquenza received a long ball out of a goal kick that he drove into the back of the net from twelve yards out.  Indiana tied it at 1-1 in the 34th minute when freshman Grant Lillard drove a header into the back of the frame that was served in by Jamie Vollmer.  Xavier head coach Andy Fleming stated, "I want to congratulate Indiana on a strong season.  Todd (Yeagley) and I, this summer sat down and talked about our teams.  We were both hit hard by graduation and didn't know what direction the season would go.  I thought they did a very good job of getting a lot out of their team and certainly the body of work speaks for itself."  Indiana ends a very productive 2014 season with a 12-5-5 overall record.  Xavier recorded its first ever win over Indiana to improve to 15-5-2 and advances to face number twelve seeded Creighton at Morrison Stadium in Omaha.  The fifteen wins to date establishes a new school record for wins in a single season for Xavier.  

Creighton 1 – Oregon State 0 – Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half of play.  Creighton freshman midfielder Lucas Stauffer netted the lone goal of the contest in the 50th minute of the game when he placed a rebound into the back of the net from three yards out.  Sophomore forward Fabian Herbers and senior midfielder Timo Pitter were credited with the double assist on the goal.  Connor Sparrow had one save in goal for Creighton.  Redshirt junior Matt Bersano had five saves in goal for Oregon State.  Creighton improves to 15-3-2 and advances to the round of sixteen for the third time in the past four seasons under the direction of head coach Elmar Bolowich.  Oregon State ends a very eventful and successful season with a 12-8-1 overall record.  Oregon State head coach Steve Simmons stated, "It was another great challenge for us on the road.  We had the one breakdown on the goal, we made some adjustments to press the game a little bit but it was not enough."  Simmons added, "They are very good.  We knew that going in." Creighton will host fellow Big East Conference member Xavier in the Sweet Sixteen.  The two teams tied each other 1-1 when they faced each other in Cincinnati on October 18 in regular season play.  

Louisville 2 – Saint Louis 1 – The Cardinals avenge a 1-0 regular season loss to the Billikens with a 2-1 win when it counts the most in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  All of the scoring in this one occurred in the second half.  Saint Louis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the sixty-eighth minute of the match when Francisco Vizcaino headed in a rebound out of a corner kick put in play by Filip Pavisic. Louisville netted the equalizer in the 70th minute when Andrew Brody scored from close range after receiving a pass from Tim Kubel.  As in the case of a notable number of other second round matches, the game winning goal came in the final minutes of the contest with Tim Kubel netting the game-winner for Louisville with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.  Kubel's game-winner was deflected by Saint Louis netminder Sascha Otte but it still managed to find its way into the net.  Number thirteen seeded Louisville improves to 11-7-3 and advances to face UMBC which upset number four seeded Maryland 1-0 in the round of sixteen.  Saint Louis ends a very solid season with a 14-5-2 overall record.  Saint Louis head coach Mike McGinty stated, "It would have been nice to have more chances, but part of that was Louisville being good with the ball and not turning it over."  

UMBC 1 – Maryland 0 – In what is without a doubt the biggest upset in the NCAA Tournament to date, the UMBC Retrievers upset the Terps to halt Maryland's twelve-year streak of consecutive trips to the Sweet Sixteen.  UMBC junior midfielder Malcolm Harris also ended Maryland's eleven game unbeaten 2014 game streak when he recovered a ball that bounced off a Maryland defender and threaded it into the back of the net from five yards out in the seventh minute of the match to give the Retrievers the edge they needed to secure the win and advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in the history of the program.  Maryland got the best of the run of play in the first half but the Terps were unable to put the ball into the back of the net.  UMBC seemed to gain confidence and came alive in the second stanza and the momentum of the contest began to shift.  UMBC head coach Pete Caringi stated, "In the second half, we responded really well.  We played much more like we are capable of playing.  We put a little bit more pressure on them."  Caringi added, "I liked our chances the more we got into the second half."  Maryland finishes the season with a 13-6-3 overall record.  UMBC is unbeaten in their last eight contests and improves to 13-5-4.  The Retrievers will seek to keep a banner season alive when they travel to face the number thirteen seeded Louisville Cardinals.    

Michigan State 1 – Oakland 0 – This one was scoreless at the end of the first half of play and looked like it might continue that way until Spartan defender Zach Carroll drove a header from inside the box into the back of the net in the 67th minute of play out of a set piece.  Carroll stated, "We had a nice play to get a corner kick.  I picked my spot where I wanted to go and I was hoping the ball would clear Adam's (Montague) head, and luckily, he went up and it went over him."  Zach Bennett had six saves in goal for Michigan State.  Wes Mink had five saves in goal for Oakland.  Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing stated, "I think you have to give our guys a lot of credit. It was an emotional game with a fantastic crowd and we found a way to survive and advance.  At this time of year, that's what it's all about."  Number three seeded Michigan State improves to 12-4-5 and advances to the Sweet Sixteen where they will host number eleven seeded Washington on Sunday, November 30 in what shapes up to be one of the most competitive third round matches.  A determined and talented Oakland team ends a very successful season with a 10-7-3 overall record.  Oakland head coach Eric Pogue stated, "Our expectation was to win today.  I thought we played well enough to win, but if you don't score, you don't win and today wasn't our day.  

Washington 0 – Furman 0 – Washington prevails in a penalty kick shootout.  This one was scoreless at the end of 110 minutes of play.  The outcome wasn't decided until the ninth round of the penalty kick shootout when Washington goalkeeper Spencer Richey saved Furman's penalty kick to enable the Huskies to survive and play yet another day.  Washington prevailed in the shootout despite missing their  first three attempts.  Ian Lange, James Moberg, Steven Wright, Richey, Henry Wingo and Beau Blanchard converted their penalty kicks for the Huskies.  Things don't get any easier for Washington who now must travel to face number three seed Michigan State in East Lansing in what shapes up to be a blockbuster of a third round match. Both Furman netminder Sven Lissek and Washington's Richey were both outstanding between the pipes.  Washington had a 24-10 advantage in shots for the evening. 

Providence 3 – Dartmouth 0 – The Friars top the Big Green 3-0 to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the history of the program.  The contest was scoreless in the first half of play but Providence took control in the second stanza with Mac Steeves scoring in the 48th minute from six yards out.  Phil Towler and Jeff Kilday played key roles in setting up the score through a  nice combination of passes.  Sophomore midfielder Dominik Machado made it 2-0 when he scored in the 56th minute after receiving a cross from Thomas Ballenthin.  Machado netted his second goal of the evening in the 79th minute after making a nice move at the top of the box to create the space he needed to slot the ball into the back of the net to conclude the scoring for the evening.  Keasel Brome had four saves in goal for the Friars. Stefan Cleveland had two saves between the pipes for the Big Green. Number eleven seeded Providence out of the Big East Conference ups their record to 14-4-2 while Dartmouth closes out the 2014 campaign with a 12-5-2 overall record.  Providence will face a UC Irvine team in the Sweet Sixteen that upset Stanford 1-0.   

UC Irvine 1 – Stanford 0 (OT) In another second round upset, the Anteaters shock the number six seeded Cardinal compliments of a textbox give and go that resulted in a goal from redshirt sophomore Michael Sperber in the 97th minute of play.  The goal began when Sperber skillfully controlled a clearance and sent a pass to teammate Cameron Iwasa who then played a great through ball back to Sperber whose nice run off the ball put him in position to receive the pass and send it into the back of the net.  Sperber stated, "I envisioned the goal as soon as I intercepted the pass. I would have had to chip it over the keeper since he was coming out, so I went near post and it went perfectly under his arm.  UC Irvine out of the Big West Conference which also topped UNLV in a first round matchup improves to 16-5-3 and must now travel cross-country to face number eleven seeded Providence in the Sweet Sixteen. Stanford ends their season earlier than hoped with a 13-3-3 overall record but it was still a highly successful season.     

Clemson 2 – Coastal Carolina 1 – This one was postponed from Sunday till Monday evening due to inclement weather in the area.  Clemson prevails to secure its fist NCAA Tournament win since 2006.  Junior Paul Clowes gave the Tigers a 1-0 advantage and a big momentum builder just before the end of the first half when he collected the rebound of Diego Campos' free kick and placed it into the upper left corner of the net.  Campos gave Clemson a 2-0 lead when he scored from close range in the 57th minute of the contest after receiving a cross from Manolo Sanchez.  Alex Happi was also credited with an assist on Sanchez's goal.  Coastal Carolina closed the gap to 2-1 in the 62nd minute when Tom Gudmundsson converted a header served in out of a free kick by teammate Elis Bjornsson.  Coastal Carolina had a fifteen to eight advantage in shots for the evening but Clemson prevailed in the one statisic that really matters to secure a 2-1 win and advance to the Sweet Sixteen where they will host fellow ACC member North Carolina on Sunday.  Coastal Carolina concludes the 2014 season with a 16-6-1 overall record.  

North Carolina 2 – Charlotte 1 – A great crowd was on hand at Transamerica Field in Charlotte for this one despite  the rain.  North Carolina got on the board first in the twenty-seventh minute when senior forward Tyler Engel scored from close range that was set up by a pass from teammate Verneri Valimaa and an off the ball run by Andy Craven.  The Tar Heels took a 1-0 lead into intermission.  Charlotte came out firing in the second half and their pressure helped produce an own goal that tied the contest at 1-1. Engel netted the game-winning goal in the eighty-ninth minute of the contest when like the best finishers he alertly placed a rebound of teammate Craven's shot back into the left corner of the goal. Engel stated, "I saw the ball get out wide and in my head I just said get in the box, anything  can happen.  Andy (Craven) put a good ball in, the keeper had to make a save, it hit off the crossbar, lucky for me it bounced right to me and I just connected well and it went right in the back of the net.  UNC head coach Carlos Somoano stated, "I'm proud of our guys. Charlotte was a great opponent and congratulations to them on a great season."  He added, "We're looking forward to moving on."  The Tar Heels improve to 14-5-1 and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.  It was a heartbreaker for the tenth seeded Charlotte 49ers  who end a banner season earlier than hoped but with a very impressive 14-4-1 overall record.  Charlotte head coach Kevin Langan stated, "It was a tough one for us today. I could not be more proud of the guys on a phenomenal season."  

California 1 – SIUE 0 – The lone goal of this contest came in the seventh minute of play when Stefano Bonomo's cross deflected off SIUE goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo and senior defender Bobby Sekine redirected it into the back of the frame.  The goal was Sekine's second of the season.  Dal Santo had six saves in goal for SIUE and Alex Mangels had three saves in goal for California.  Golden Bear head coach Kevin Grimes stated, "It was a great team performance today. SIUE is one of the best teams we have played all year – this is the second time we have played them – so we knew how good of a team they were."  SIUE ends their season with a 8-9-4 overall record.  Number fifteen seed California halts a three game losing streak and improves to 11-6-1 and advances to the Sweet Sixteen to face a familiar foe in Pac-12 rival UCLA.  

UCLA 2 – San Diego 1 – There are no easy wins at this point in the season.  The Bruins avenge a 1-0 regular season loss to San Diego with a tougher than many thought it might be 2-1 victory in overtime over the Toreros to earn the right to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  Senior midfielder Leo Stolz scored both goals for the Bruins including the golden goal in the 97th minute of the match.  The game-winner came when freshman forward Abu Danladi set it up by beating his man and then dropped a ball back to Stolz who ran onto it and drove it into the back of the net with his left foot from the middle of the box.  San Diego got on the board first when sophomore defender Parker Price scored from close range in the 20th minute of play after receiving a pass from Josh Cintas.  Stolz netted the equalizer for the Bruins in the 55th minute of the match when he drove a shot into the bottom right corner of the goal out of a free kick from thirty yards out.  Earl Edwards had five saves in goal including several acrobatic saves that kept the Bruins from taking an early exit from the tourney this year.  Thomas Olsen had three saves in goal for San Diego.  UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo stated, "It was a very good game by both San Diego and our team."  Salcedo pretty much summed up the survive and advance nature of the NCAA Tourney when he stated, "There were a lot of highs and lows, but ultimately we found a way to win the game."  UCLA improves to 12-4-4 and advances to the Sweet Sixteen where they will host California on Sunday, November 30.  San Diego out of the West Coast Conference ends a productive season with a 11-6-4 overall record. 

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