It was an interesting first round of play with several unexpected outcomes. Offense firepower was on display with the winners of ten of the contests scoring three goals are more. The winners advanced to the second round of play on Sunday.
Campbell 3 – James Madison 1 – This is the second year in a row that James Madison out of the CAA faced a team from the Big South Conference. Last year JMU topped High Point on the road to begin a run in the NCAA Tournament that took them to the Elite Eight.
This year the tables were turned as Campbell out of the Big South traveled to Harrisonburg and defeated JMU. Campbell will now seek to make a similar run of their own as they advance to face number one seed Virginia on Sunday in Charlottesville.
Matt Lock, Bissafi Dotte and Thibaut Jacquel scored in the second half of play in Campbell’s first ever NCAA Tournament win in Division I play. Lock controlled and sent the rebound of teammate Alex Egeonu shot into the back of the frame in the fifty-fourth minute. Dotte converted a header out of a corner kick served in by Eren Elbustu in the seventy-seventh minute and Jacquel scored after receiving a pass from Ian Rees in the eighty-first minute. Lewis Long IV precluded the shutout when he found the back of the net in the eighty-eighth minute for James Madsion.
Samuel Lechuga had one save in goal for Campbell while T.J. Bush had three saves between the pipes for James Madison.
Syracuse 3 – Rhode Island 2 – This very hard-fought NCAA Tournament match could have gone either way.
Rhode Island scored first in the thirty-first minute with forward Filippo Tamburini providing the goal out of a corner kick served in by defender Peder Kristiansen. Syracuse responded in the thirty-third minute to knot the score at 1-1 compliments of a header from freshman forward Luther Archimede with sophomore midfielder Ryan Raposo credited with the helper. Raposo then made it 2-1 Syracuse when he sent a shot into an empty net with senior forward Severin Soerlie contributing the pass and a move that set up the goal. The teams went into the half time break with the Orange up 2-1.
Rhode Island continued to push and their efforts were rewarded in the seventieth minute with a goal from Noam Kolakofsky. The contest looked like it was headed to overtime but that changed when Archimede was taken down in the box in the eighty-seventh minute of the contest and Syracuse was awarded a penalty kick which Raposo decisively drove into the back of the net to score his fifteenth goal of the year and give Syracuse the edge they needed to win.
Christian Miesch had five saves in goal for Syracuse. Stefan Schidt had a single save in goal for Rhode Island.
Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre stated, “Tonight was a typical NCAA Tournament game – a lot of emotion, two teams going tooth and nail. We knew this was going to be a difficult game and it went down to the wire. Goals change matches and we scored the last one tonight.”
Syracuse improves to 8-6-5 and advances to face St. John’s out of the Big East Conference on Sunday. Rhode Island concludes a very successful 2019 season with a 14-4-3 record.
Missouri State 1 – Denver 0 – Missouri State secures their first ever NCAA Tournament win and advances to face number nine seed UCF in Orlando. Forward Matthew Bentley came up big once again for Missouri State when he alertly sent the deflection of defender Kyle Hiebert’s header into the back of the net in the seventy-second minute of the match to give the Bears the edge they needed to top a determined Denver team. Michael Creek had a single save in goal to record the shutout for Missouri State. Will Palmquist had four saves in goal for Denver.
Missouri State head coach Jon Leamy stated, “This was an awesome night for the university and our fans, to come away with a win in front of this amazing crowd that stuck it out was really special. I thought the team did a great job of handling the rain and Denver’s attack and we were able to find a goal there in the second half.”
Denver head coach Jamie Franks stated, “I’m really proud of the effort of my guys tonight. Playing against an opponent that has scored over fifty percent of their goals off restarts, it’s unfortunate to give up the goal we did because overall, I thought we did pretty well with them. You miss one moment, you miss one block, you miss one header and that’s the game. The margin of error is really small.”
The Bears improve to 18-0-1 and establish a program record for the most wins in a single season. Denver concludes the year with a 6-12-3 overall record.
Coastal Carolina 3 – NC State 2 (ot) – Seasons end abruptly in the NCAA Tournament with the difference between a win and a loss often very slight. That was the case in this contest which took place Friday night in Raleigh. It was an exhilarating win for Coastal Carolina out of the Sun Belt Conference and a frustrating loss for NC State out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Wolfpack took an early lead when midfielder David Loera skillfully placed a shot into the back of the frame in the twenty-second minute of play with midfielder Tyler Gabarra providing the helper. Midfielder Emile Rzepecki respond for Coastal Carolina when he sent a bending ball into the net out of a free kick from just outside the box to even things up at 1-1 in the thirty-seventieth minute. The teams went into intermission with the score 1-1.
Coastal Carolina went ahead 2-1 compliments of a Kasper Skraep header in the sixty-third minute with an assist from forward Tyrone Mondi. NC State pressed the attack and got new life when Loera scored in the seventy-fourth minute with junior midfielder Brad Sweeney and sophomore forward Kuda Muskwe putting together passes that set up the goal. The score remained 2-2 at the end of regulation. Coastal Carolina then got the break they were looking for when Mondi took advantage of a turnover to create the space he needed to push forward and slot a shot into the back of the frame for the win.
Coastal Carolina’s senior netminder Alberto Ciroi was the man of the match responding well to the pressure that he was placed under with several huge stops that were difference makers. Vinnie Durand had five saves in goal for NC State.
Coastal Carolina improves to 10-7-3 and advances to face number eight seed SMU in Dallas on Sunday. It was a disappointing “what might have been” loss due to the near misses for NC State but nonetheless the Pack closes out another promising season with a 9-7-3 overall record.
Kentucky 2 – Loyola Chicago 1 – This one was a tale of two halves. Loyola Chicago got the best of the run of play in the first stanza and took a 1-0 lead in the thirty-fifth minute of play with Andrew Mitchell finding the back of the net out of a set piece that was set up by passes from Justin Sukow and Aidan Megally. The teams went into halftime with the Ramblers up by a goal. Kentucky began to pick up the pace of their attack in the second half and the physicality of the contest increased but Loyola continued to do a good job of containing the Wildcat offense. Kentucky got new life and the breakthrough they sought in the eighty-second minute of play when they were awarded a penalty kick that Jason Reyes converted to knot the score at 1-1. The teams concluded regulation and one overtime period without further scoring. Kentucky secured the win when freshman forward Eythor Bjorgolfsson came off the bench to convert a header in the second overtime period with an assist from sophomore back Robert Screen.
It was a hard-fought win for Kentucky and a heart-breaking loss for Loyola Chicago.
Loyola Chicago head coach Neil Jones stated, “We’re disappointed in the result, but filled with pride as to the team that we had out there tonight and the fight that we had for the entire game.”
Kentucky head coach Johan Cedergren stated, “You could tell we were a little nervous in the first half, didn’t play as well as we wanted. We had some really harsh words at halftime as a squad because I do think that in postseason play you kind of do have to lay everything on the line. Either you play as hard as you can and then the result is what the result is or you let the occasion get to you.”
Kentucky improves to 13-4-3 and advances to face number five seed Indiana on Sunday. Loyola Chicago closes out a very successful season with a 10-6-2 record.
UC Santa Barbara 3 – California 1 – The Gauchos out of the Big West Conference top California out of the Pac-12 Conference to avenge a 3-0 loss earlier in the year.
Forward Rodney Michael got UCSB on the scoreboard and the Gaucho faithful on hand at Harder Stadium on their feet when he made a nice move off the dribble to create the space he needed to send a shot into the back of the frame in the seventeenth minute. Credit senior winger Thibault Candia with the helper on the play. California responded in the thirty-ninth minute with Christian Gomez scoring out of a free kick to pull the contest even at 1-1. The game remained tied at halftime.
UC Santa Barbara pulled away in the second stanza with Candia converting a penalty kick in the sixty-fifth minute and forward Will Baynham scoring out of a corner kick at close range in the seventy-third minute to conclude the scoring for the evening and send the Gauchos into the second round where they will face Saint Mary’s on Sunday.
Ben Roach had four saves between the pipes for UCSB. Drake Callender had three saves for California. The Gauchos improve to 14-4-4 while California drops to 8-7-3.
Wright State 3 – Notre Dame 2 – The Raiders made the most of their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament by securing their first ever win in NCAA Tournament play when they invaded South Bend and came away with the biggest upset so far in the NCAA Tournament.
Wright State broke the ice in the twenty-seventh minute when defender Alex Hummel drove a header in the bottom corner of the goal after receiving a pass from teammate Deri Corfe. The teams went into intermission with the Raiders up a goal.
Notre Dame came out firing in the second stanza with forward Jack Lynn, as he has often done, coming up with a big play for the Irish to knot the score at 1-1. It seemed at the time that Notre Dame was going to regain the momentum and take over the contest but that was not to be the case. Wright State continued to hold their own.
The Raiders then shocked the Irish with a goal from forward Zion Beaton in the seventieth minute that was set up by a nice move and pass from midfielder Stefan Rokvic followed by a goal from midfielder Deri Corfe in the seventy-second minute to make it a 3-1 contest. Forward John Rea scored for the Irish to narrow the gap to 3-2 in the eighty-fifth minute but that concluded the scoring.
Joel Sundell had five saves in goal for Wright State and Duncan Turnbull had two saves in goal for Notre Dame.
Wright State head coach Jake Slemker stated, “It was an absolutely amazing performance by the guys. It means a lot to us, it means a lot to the team, it means a lot to the university. It was a pretty special night.”
Wright State out of the Horizon League improves to 11-8-3 and moves forward to face number thirteen seed Michigan on Sunday. Notre Dame concludes the 2019 campaign with a 10-8-1 record.
Maryland 4 – Iona 0 – This one was close for the first fifteen minutes of the match and then the defending national champions took control. Sophomore forward Justin Gielen scored the lone goal of the first half for Maryland in the twentieth minute of play from within the box after receiving a pass from Matt Di Rosa.
The Terps came out firing in the second stanza with forward Eric Matzelevich finding the back of the net in the sixty-fifth minute, midfielder Malcolm Johnson in the seventy-third minute and midfielder Luke Brown converting a penalty kick in the eighty-second minute.
Freshman Niklas Neumann had three saves in goal to notch the shutout for the Terps. Giuliano Santucci had six saves in goal for Iona.
Maryland improves to 11-7-2 and advances to face number four seed Wake Forest on Sunday in Winston-Salem. Iona out of the MAAC closes out a very productive year in which they earned the program’s first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 14-5-1 record.
Pittsburgh 2 – Lehigh 0 – Pitt continues to make program history with their first ever win in NCAA Tournament play after returning to the tournament field for the first time since the 1965 season. Lehigh came out on the front foot pressing the attack but the momentum shifted to Pitt when Edward Kizza scored for the Panthers in the eighteenth minute of play with a double assist from Arturo Ordonez and Alexander Dexter. Brice Washington added the second goal in the closing minutes of the first half after receiving a nice cross from freshman Josh Hesson.
Pitt head coach Jay Vidovich stated, “We are very excited to get our first victory in the NCAA Tournament. Hats off to Lehigh, who is coming off a championship, they were a great foe.” He added, “It was great to go into the half with a two-goal lead but we still feel like we squandered some chances there in the second half that we could’ve really put the game away.”
Pittsburgh continues to impress as they improve to 10-7-2 and advance to the second round of play where they will tangle with number three seed Georgetown. Lehigh, who won both the Patriot League regular season and tournament titles, ends a successful season with a 13-5-4 record.
Louisville 4 – South Florida 1 – Louisville avenges a 2-0 early season loss to South Florida with a larger than anticipated four goal performance and win when it counted the most in this first round contest.
Louisville got on the board when midfielder Bradley Sample scored out of a corner kick put in play by Leonard Getz in the twenty-first minute. Sophomore forward Pedro Fonesca then made it 2-0 just two minutes later when he scored from just outside the box after receiving a long pass from Sample. The contest remained 2-0 at halftime.
South Florida pulled one back and looked like they might make it a game when midfielder Josue Monge drove a header into the goal out of a throw-in in the sixty-eighth minute. But junior forward Izaiah Jennings scored less than a minute later and Louisville regained a two goal advantage. Cherif Dieye made a nice move off the dribble to create the space he needed to score from twenty yards out in the eighty-second minute to give Louisville a 4-1 lead. The goal was Dieye’s seventh of the season to date.
Louisville ups their record to 9-7-2 and takes to the road to face UC Davis on Sunday in what looks to be a competitive second round game. South Florida closes out the 2019 season with a 10-7-1 record.
West Virginia 5 – Butler 1 – The margin of victory in this one between the Mountaineers out of the MAC and Butler out of the Big East was unexpected. West Virginia had their most complete game of the year while Butler had trouble getting into a rhythm and had to chase the game.
Freshman forward Rodrigo Robles Grajera converted a penalty kick in the third minute of play to give the Mountaineers an early lead but Butler equalized with a goal from Rhys Myers out of a corner kick in the twenty-first minute of play. Andres Muriel Albino then scored for West Virginia in the thirty-sixth minute to put the Mountaineers back on top 2-1. The contest remained 2-1 at halftime.
West Virginia put the contest on ice when sophomore forward Josh DiMatteo scored in the eightieth minute, Robles Grajera netted his second goal of the evening in the eighty-first minute, and DiMatteo converted for the second time on the day in the eighty-fourth minute.
West Virginia coach Marlon LeBlanc stated, “It was a great performance. We went out, executed, and we had a great game plan for a very, very good Butler team that obviously deserved to be here, as well. But we were clicking tonight.”
West Virginia improves to 10-8-2 and advances to face number eleven seed Marshall on Sunday. Butler ends the 2019 season with an 11-6-2 record.
Boston College 3 – Yale 0 – Boston College scored three goals in the first half of play and was able to power past a normally solid Yale defense that had previously only allowed an opponent to score more than once in one contest.
Midfielder Kristofer Konradsson made a nice cut on the dribble to secure the angle he needed to drive a left-footed shot just inside the near post to open the scoring in the sixteenth minute of the match. It looked like it was going to be a close contest but the Eagles took a 3-0 lead into halftime after midfielder Mike Suski sent a one-timer into the back of the frame in the thirty-ninth minute and freshman forward Stefan Sigurdarson scored for the eighth time this year in the forty-third minute. The teams went into intermission with Boston College holding a commanding lead that they never relinquished.
Yale head coach Kylie Stannard stated, “It’s always tough to end the season and especially when it’s been such an amazing ride. I’m incredibly proud of this team and especially the seniors.”
Boston College out of the Atlantic Coast Conference improves to 9-5-3 and will travel cross country to face number six seed Washington on Sunday. Ivy League Champion Yale ends a banner season with a 13-3-2 record which they will look to build upon.
Seattle 3 – Loyola Marymount 1 – Seattle traveled to Los Angeles and increased their unbeaten streak to fifteen contests. Seattle’s Connor Noblat scored the lone goal of the first half in the forty-first minute with a double assist from Julian Avila-Good and Hamish Ritchie. The contest remained 1-0 at halftime.
Duhaney Williams scored for LMU in the fifty-third minute to knot the score at 1-1. Gerardo Lopez and Narciso Cervantes assisted on the goal. It seemed like the momentum might shift to the Lions but Seattle regained control and the lead when Jesse Ortiz sent a bending ball into the back of the frame out of a free kick from twenty-two yards out in the fifty-third minute. Harrison Kurtz extended the Redhawks advantage to 3-1 when he scored in the seventy-ninth minute with a double assist from Declan McGlynn and Noe Meza.
Seattle head coach Pete Fewing stated, “I’m thrilled for the guys on this team. LMU does a great job and it was a good game tonight. I was really pleased with the response after LMU tied it up in the second half. It was a complete effort – we had guys come off the beach (and score twice).”
Seattle improves to 15-3-4 and advances to face number seven seed Stanford on Sunday. LMU concludes a very productive season in which they returned to the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2013 with a 11-6-3 record.
New Hampshire 1 – Fairleigh Dickinson 0 – Defense ruled in this one. The contest was scoreless at the end of the first half but freshman Bilal Kamal’s first collegiate goal in the second stanza was a big one. Kamal’s shot into the upper right corner of the net in the seventy-sixth minute of play gave New Hampshire the advantage that they needed to survive and advance.
Alejandro Robles had four saves in goal for a New Hampshire defense that has only allowed a total of seven goals to date. Jahmali Waite had six saves in goal for FDU.
New Hampshire improves to 15-1-3 and advances to the second round where they will face Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Fairleigh Dickinson which won the NEC Conference Tournament last weekend concludes their season with a 7-9-4 record.
Providence 2 – NJIT 0 – The Friars took the early lead behind a goal from Trevor Davock in the tenth minute of play. The one goal lead remained intact at halftime. Esben Wolf added the second goal in the sixty-fifth minute when he sent a shot into the lower right corner of the goal. Providence had a seventeen to eleven advantage in shots and a nine to two edge in shots on goal.
Austin Aviza had two saves in goal for Providence to record the shutout. Samuel Reisgys, the ASUN Goalkeeper of the Year, had seven saves in goal for NJIT.
Providence improves to 15-6-0 while NJIT closes out a stellar season in which they had a 10-5-4 record, won the ASUN regular season and tournament titles, and earned the program’s first ever invite to the NCAA Tournament.
Providence out of the Big East Conference advances to the second round where they will face number fifteen seed Penn State on Sunday.
Charlotte 3 – Mercer 1 – Mercer sent a scare into the fans at Transamerica Field in Charlotte when midfielder Joshua Harrison scored in the fourteenth minute of play to secure an early 1-0 advantage. Charlotte responded with goals from defender Luke Johnson in the twenty-third minute and midfielder Chance Pellerin in the thirty-ninth minute to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. Defender Patrick Hogan added the third Charlotte goal in the eighty-fourth minute.
Charlotte head coach Kevin Langan stated, “Down a goal in a playoff game can really unnerve you. I actually thought it settled us. After the goal we settled down well and got on top and scored two great ones.”
Elliot Panicco had five saves in goal for Charlotte. JR DeRose had one save between the pipes for Mercer.
Charlotte improves to 12-3-4 and advances to face number two seed Clemson. Mercer concludes a very successful season with a 14-6-0 record.