It is survive and advance time. The first round of play is over. Sixteen teams have been eliminated which means that the NCAA Tourney field has been reduced from forty-eight to thirty-two teams. The sixteen first round winners have earned the right to advance to tangle with one of the sixteen seeded teams on Sunday with a spot in the Sweet Sixteen on the line.
Wake Forest Bracket
Columbia 2 – William and Mary 1 (OT) – Ryder Bell scored from thirty yards out in the thirty-first minute to give William and Mary the early advantage. The contest remained 1-0 at halftime. Columbia picked up the pace of their attack in the second stanza and reaped the benefit of it when Zach Morant knotted the score at 1-1 in the seventy-seventh minute when his header found its way into the back of the net out of a corner kick served in by Nike Azuma.
The teams were tied at the end of regulation. Kynan Rocks netted the game winning goal in the one-hundred and third minute when he alertly collected the rebound of teammate Alex Bangerl’s header and tapped it into the back of the net.
Columbia secures its first win in NCAA Tourney play since 1990 and improves to 12-2-3 overall. Columbia head coach Kevin Anderson stated, “It was a great accomplishment by our group and something we’ve been working at for a long time.” He added, “A lot of credit goes to everybody, not just this particular group of guys.” The Lions advance to face number one seed Wake Forest.
William and Mary out of the Colonia Athletic Association concludes the 2017 campaign with a 11-5-5 overall record.
Butler 2 – Lipscomb 0 – Sophomore forward Brando Guhl found the back of the net for Butler in the eighth and seventy-seventh minutes. Junior defender Kieran Geldenhuys contributed the assist on both goals to propel the Bulldogs past Lipscomb.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Eric Dick had four saves in goal to anchor a very solid defensive effort on the part of Butler. The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last eight contests to improve to 13-4-2. Coach Paul Snape’s squad now advances to face number sixteen seed VCU in Richmond.
Lipscomb closes out a very successful season with an 11-8-2 overall record.
Pacific 2 – Cal State Fullerton 1 – This one was played under rainy conditions in Stockton.
Junior defender Bob Groenendijk collected and sent the rebound of Diego Villapudua’s shot into the net in the fifty-fourth minute of play to give Pacific a 1-0 advantage. Senior forward Spencer Vue made it 2-0 Pacific in the eighty-fourth minute when he sent the rebound of Anthony Oredain’s shot into the back of the frame.
To their credit, Cal State Fullerton continued to press the attack to try to get back into it and narrowed the margin to 2-1 when Bass Sarr drove the rebound of his own header into the net in the eighty-sixth minute. Pacific responded to the Titan goal by tightening up their play on the defensive side of the ball for the remainder of the match and that concluded the scoring for the evening.
Curtis Goldsmith had a four same evening in goal for Pacific while sophomore Paul-Andre Guerin who had a solid evening in goal had five saves in a losing cause for Cal State Fullerton.
Pacific under the guidance of Ryan Jorden improves to 13-4-1 and travels to face two-time defending national champion and number nine seed Stanford on Sunday.
Cal State Fullerton has earned a berth in the NCAA Tourney three out of the past four seasons under the direction of George Kuntz. The Titans conclude another productive season with a 10-8-4 record.
Coastal Carolina 1 – Mercer 0 – Senior forward Frantzdy Pierrot who has come up with big goals all year for the Chanticleers did so once again when he sent a one-timer into the back of the frame in the twenty-second minute of play after receiving a lobbed pass from Martin Melchor to net the lone goal of the contest.
Braulio Linares-Ortiz had four saves in goal to record the shutout for Coastal Carolina. Jeremy Booth had a five save evening between the pipes for Mercer.
Coastal Carolina improves to 13-6-1 and advances to face in-state foe Clemson out of the Atlantic Coast Conference in what should be a very competitive second round contest.
Brad Ruzzo’s Mercer team concludes the 2017 campaign with a 7-9-6 record. Mercer’s senior class ends a very successful four-year tenure in Macon with a 45-29-10 overall record that included NCAA Tournament berths in 2016 and 2017.
Seattle 3 – Washington 2 (OT) – This was without a doubt one of the more exciting and hotly contested first round matches.
Kyle Coffee started the scoring when he converted a header with a double assist from Justin Fiddes and Blake Bodily in the twenty-fourth minute to draw first blood for Washington. Seattle then knotted it at 1-1 in the thirty-ninth minute when freshman forward Habib Barry scored after receiving a through ball from junior midfielder Sergio Rivas. The teams entered intermission with the score tied at 1-1.
Seattle took a 2-1 lead in the sixty-third minute when Rivas found the back of the net from twenty-five yards out after receiving a well-played flick from Medo Youssef. Washington’s Elijah Rice tied the contest at 2-2 when he created a turnover and followed it up with a shot into the back of the frame in the eightieth minute.
Freshman midfielder Gabriel Ruiz’s shot from fifteen yards out found its way via a deflection into the top right side of the frame to net the golden goal for Seattle in the ninety-eighth minute of overtime. Ruiz’s goal was set up by a nice move and pass from senior midfielder Alex Roldan.
Seattle head coach Pete Fewing stated, “We’re thrilled. Washington is very good and they punish you when you make a mistake.” Fewing added, “Our university gets behind us and the crowd was great tonight. They pushed us on tonight.”
Washington out of the Pac-12 ends the 2017 season with a 12-7-1 record. Seattle improves to 15-3-4 and avenges a regular season loss to Washington.
The Redhawks out of the WAC advance to face Akron on Sunday.
Wisconsin 4 – UIC 1 – The Flames jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage in the twenty-eighth minute and sent a shiver through the home crowd at McClimon Soccer Complex in Madison when defender Jacob Graiber sent a header into the back of the net out of a restart put in play by midfielder Oscar Gonzalez.
Senior Tom Barlow converted a penalty kick for Wisconsin in the forty-third minute to knot the contest at 1-1 and provide a little assurance for the partisan crowd on hand in Madison. The score remained tied at the half-time break.
The contest was all Wisconsin in the second half with Mike Catalano, Mitch Guitar and Barlow scoring to produce the 4-1 win for the Badgers. Wisconsin improves 11-4-5 overall and advances to the second round of play to face Norte Dame in South Bend.
Badger head coach John Trask stated, “We had a big crowd for a tough night, a cold night. Great event here at McClimon, thanks to all the fans and supporters of the men’s soccer team.”
The four Wisconsin goals were the most allowed by UIC all year. The Flames out of the Horizon League end a successful season with an 11-6-3 record.
Colgate 2 – Massachusetts 0 – The Raiders win their first ever NCAA Tournament contest to advance to face Michigan on Sunday.
Colgate got on the board in the eleventh minute of play when midfielder Jared Stroud corralled a corner kick that had initially been cleared by Massachusetts and fired a shot that bounced off the post into the center of the box where senior defender Karl Brown recovered it and sent a one-timer into the back of the frame. Stroud added what proved to be the insurance goal for Colgate in the thirty-eighth minute of play when he drove a shot into the back of the net from the edge of the eighteen-yard box.
Massachusetts picked up the pace of their attack but was unable to convert any of the scoring opportunities that came there way.
A bend but don’t break Colgate defense anchored by goalkeeper Jacob Harris had a solid evening of play to record their eighth shutout of the season. The Raiders out of the Patriot League won their sixth straight match to improve to 11-10-1.
Colgate head coach Erik Ronning stated, “I couldn’t be more proud of this group. They’ve gotten better every game and have continued to follow the game plan, believed and persevered.”
Massachusetts concludes a very solid season with a 15-4-3 overall record.
San Francisco 2 – California 1 – The Dons who have won nine of their last ten matches extend their win streak to seven straight contests and show a lot of grit with an impressive first round come from behind victory over the Golden Bears.
California took a 1-0 lead when they scored in the opening seconds of the second half. Midfielder Aravind Sivakumar netted the first goal for the Golden Bears with an assist from defender Ebstein Samuel. It seemed at that point that California had momentum and was going to take charge of the game but that did not prove to be the case.
Senior forward Bryce Kaminski scored from fifteen yards out a few minutes later to knot the score at 1-1 and give San Francisco new life. Midfielder Sean Bowman assisted by Leon Schwarzer then netted what proved to be the game-winner for the Dons in the seventy-ninth minute of play. The goal was Bowman’s tenth to date and fifth game-winner.
San Francisco out of the West Coast Conference continues what has been a brilliant if not improbable mid-season turnaround to improve to 10-8-0 and earn the right to hit the road again to face number four seed Louisville on Sunday.
California out of the Pac-12 closes out the 2017 campaign with a 11-7-0 record.
North Carolina Bracket
UNCW 1 – Presbyterian 0 – A game Presbyterian team gave it their all and made it a close contest. The match was scoreless at the conclusion of regulation.
Redshirt senior forward Julio Moncada scored the golden goal out of a corner kick for UNCW just forty-seven seconds into overtime with a double assist credited to forward Phillip Goodrum and freshman defender Hjalmar Ekdal.
Senior Connor Behrend who had several outstanding stops in goal for Presbyterian had an eight save evening. Ryan Cretens had one save in goal to secure the shutout for UNCW.
The Seahawks improve to 12-7-0 and advance to tangle with number three seed North Carolina in the second round of play. UNCW topped the Tar Heels 1-0 when the two teams squared off in Wilmington on September 1.
Presbyterian out of the Big South Conference under the guidance of head coach Jonathan Potter conclude their season with a 6-9-5 record.
SMU 2 – Central Arkansas 0 – The contest was scoreless at the conclusion of the first half of play but a Garrett McLaughlin goal coming out of a corner kick in the fiftieth minute gave the Mustang’s a 1-0 advantage. The goal was McLaughlin’s fourteenth of the season. Christian Boorom scored the insurance goal for SMU after receiving a pass from defender Eddie Munjoma in the seventy-eighth minute of the match.
SMU controlled the run of play for most of the contest. Michael Nelson had six saves in goal for SMU. Marc Olsen had five saves between the pipes for Central Arkansas.
SMU improves to 16-2-1 and advances to tangle with number fourteen seed Georgetown out of the Big East Conference. SMU head coach Kevin Hudson stated, “I thought we played well. It took us a while to find the answer. It’s a just result.” Hudson added, “Central Arkansas did well. They defended with some intensity, and it was a challenging puzzle to solve.”
Central Arkansas out of the Missouri Valley Conference ends the season with a 9-11-1 record and the program’s first ever berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Fordham 3 – Saint Francis Brooklyn 2 (OT) – This one heated up as the second half of play progressed. St. Francis Brooklyn jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the ninth minute when midfielder Leo Follar scored the lone goal of the first half when he sent the rebound of defender Dominick Falanga missed shot into the goal.
Fordham’s senior midfielder Jannik Loebe scored from thirty yards out in the seventy-second minute to tie it at 1-1 and open the flood gates in terms of goal scoring. St. Francis responded in the seventy-third minute compliments of a goal from senior forward Nadim Saqui to take a 2-1 lead.
Senior defender Matthew Lewis scored from ten yards out in the eighty-first minute for Fordham to tie the contest at 2-2 and send it into overtime where defender Joergen Oland scored for Fordham from eight yards out with a double assist from Connor Defilippis and Vincenzo Zuccala to secure the win and collect the program’s first ever victory in NCAA Tournament play.
Fordham improves to 13-5-2 and travels to Charlottesville where they will square off with number eleven seed Virginia out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers out of the Northeast Conference end another very successful season with a 14-5-1 record.
FIU 2 – Omaha 0 – The Panthers broke the ice just fifty-six seconds into the contest when Deshawon Nembhard directed a header into the right corner of the net from eighteen yards out after receiving a nice ball out of a free kick from senior defender Paul Marie. Jordan Machado headed in the second FIU score in the twenty-fifth minute out of a free kick served in by Marie.
FIU improves to 12-1-4 and advances to face Duke in Durham on Sunday. FIU head coach Kevin Nylen stated, “Survive and advance. I’m really proud of this group. Massive team effort tonight against a really good side in Omaha.”
Omaha out of the Summit League finishes their season with a 10-6-3 record.
Virginia Tech 2 – Air Force 0 – All the scoring in this one took place in a span of three minutes during the second stanza of play. Collin Verfurth scored for Virginia Tech out of a counter attack set up by a nice move and pass from Marcelo Acuna to give the Hokies a 1-0 advantage in the fifty-fourth minute of the match. Three minutes later Acuna gave Virginia Tech a two goal advantage when he recovered the rebound of his own missed shot and sent it back into the net as the best finishers have a habit of doing.
Ben Lundgaard had seven saves in goal for the Hokies. Senior John Wendt had two saves between the pipes for Air Force.
Virginia Tech improves to 10-9-0 and advances to face number seven seed Michigan State.
Air Force out of the WAC concludes an outstanding season with a 14-3-3 overall record.
Albany 0- Maryland 0 – Albany advances 5-4 in penalty kicks. This defensive battle was scoreless after 110 minutes of play. Maryland dominated possession for most of the game and had a fourteen to four advantage in shots but the Terps were unable to finish the scoring opportunities that came their way. Credit Albany with a stout bend but don’t brake defensive effort.
Brynjar Steinborsson converted the winning penalty kick in the shootout for Albany. Great Dane netminder Danny Vitiello had eight saves in goal. Maryland netminder Dayne St. Clair had three stops.
Albany is 14-4-3 and advances to face number ten seed Western Michigan on Sunday. Maryland out of the Big Ten ends their season with a 10-5-4 record.
New Hampshire 3 – Fairfield 0 – Graduate Student forward Robin Schmidt drove a rebound back into the frame from five yards in the thirteenth minute of play and sent a rocket into the back of the net from twelve yards with eight ticks remaining on the clock in the first half to give New Hampshire a 2-0 advantage heading into intermission.
New Hampshire’s Piippo Kristian sent the rebound of teammate Jack Doherty’s shot back into the frame in the eighty-fifth minute from eight yards out to make it 3-0 to conclude the scoring for the evening.
New Hampshire ups its record to 13-3-4 and advances to face number fifteen seed Dartmouth on Sunday. The Wildcats topped Dartmouth 4-2 when they faced each other back on October 17.
Fairfield out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference halts a ten-game unbeaten streak to conclude a very productive season with a 12-5-3 record.
Old Dominion 2 – N.C. State 0 – The Monarchs top the Wolfpack to earn the right to advance to the second round of play where they will square off with number two seed Indiana in Bloomington.
Freshman midfielder Brandon Perdue scored in the thirty-third minute of the contest after receiving a pass from freshman midfielder Hans Kroschwitz to give ODU a 1-0 lead which they carried into half-time.
Junior forward Max Wilschrey slotted a shot into the left corner of the net to produce the second goal of the evening for the Monarchs with an assist from junior midfielder Niko Klosterhalfen in the seventy-second minute.
Old Dominion improves to 13-5-2 while N.C. State concludes a successful season under the direction of first year head coach George Kiefer with a 8-6-4 record that the Wolfpack will no doubt seek to build upon next year.