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NCAA Men’s College Cup Roundup

(Note: To see how the bracket breaks down for each local team, check out this nifty table courtesy of the NCAA website.)

Local Results

#5 Maryland 3 – Providence 1

College Park, MD. - The Maryland Terrapins proved once again why are they are the ACC Champions and one of the odds on favorite to win the College Cup by demolishing the Providence Friars 3-1 on downright frigid evening in College Park. Although the ball was frozen, as well as maybe a couple of Terrapin faithful in the stands, the Terps offense played as if the game was in Sao Paulo. What makes this team so compelling to watch is their movement in the midfield? For ninety minutes, the trio of Midfielders Dan Metzger, Tsubasa Endoh, and Mikias Eticha controlled the possession and were able to stretch out the Friars defense.

With a talented group of midfielders, it makes life much easier for Forward Patrick Mullins. The 2013 Herman Trophy winner showed why he is one of the best players in college soccer right now by showing off not only his hammer of a right footed shot, but his passing as well. His pinpoint precise pass into Michael Sauers helped give the Terrapins the lead in the 6th minute, a peach of a chip shot over Friars Goalkeeper Keasel Broome.

The Friars were able to even up the score early in the second half when midfielder Phil Towler scored off a volley 8yards from goal. But the Terrapins were able to once again take the lead when Providence Midfielder Nick Sailer was called for a dangerous challenge on Endoh inside the penalty box. Mullins was able to convert the penalty with relative ease. The Terps finished off the Friars in the 89th minute when Forward Jake Pace ripped a shot from outside the 18 to give them a two goal advantage.

Going into next week’s match the Terrapins will unquestionably have the advantage on offense and in the midfield. But their defense looked suspect against a very poor Friar’s offense. Their next opponent, UC Irvine, is coming off a victory against North Carolina, a squad that plays a very similar attack all costs style to that of Maryland. The Anteaters were able to register 8 shots against the Tar Heels, including a Golden Goal by Forward Christopher Santana with two seconds remaining in the game. West Coast teams though typically have difficulty traveling to the East Coast, with the temperatures and time difference, so that should help Maryland somewhat come Sunday.

Next Game: At home versus #12 University of California-Irvine (12/01 5pm)

 

#6 Georgetown 3 – Old Dominion 0

Washington, D.C. - The Georgetown Hoyas continue their run back to the NCAA College Cup Final by demolishing Old Dominion 3-0 at Shaw Field on Sunday. Although the result reads 3-0, Old Dominion was in the match for the full 90 minutes. Their pair of senior forwards, Tim Hopkinson and Ivan Militar, had three excellent shots on goal including a great shot by Militar in the 72nd minute that was only just barely saved by Hoyas Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez. Although the Monarchs started off the game slowly, s coach Alan Dawson made an excellent substition 30 minutes into the first half by bringing in Midfielder Gideon Asante. Asante added pace to the Monarchs offense and allowed Militar and Hopkinson to worry more about shooting rather than distribution from the midfield.

That being said this match showed that Georgetown is not a one year wonder. Coach Brian Wiese made a very interesting lineup decision at the beginning of the match by starting Midfielders Austin Martz and Tom Skelley over their top freshman players, Midfielders Alex Muyl and Bakie Goodman. The move seemed to pay off as Skelley helped set up the first goal of the game in the 12th minute with a beautiful cross into the box, which Defender Cole Seiler was able to convert in the far right post for his second goal of the season. Martz also added pace to the midfield and pushed the ball out to Midfielder Brandon Allen on numerous occasions, giving the team width and spreading out the Monarchs defense.

Still, Wiese decided to put Muyl and Goodman in midway through the first half. Although the pair did score the other two goals for Georgetown, in the 59th and 86th minute respectively, both had difficulties getting into the game in the first few minutes. One of the problems that younger players have when brought off of the bench is assimilating to the flow and pace of the game. Muyl, a product of the New York Red Bulls Soccer Academy, in particular would often choose to take on 2-3 defenders instead and lose the ball rather than making the pass to the open man.

Luckily Georgetown is one of the best defensive teams in all of Division I. During the regular season, 13 of the 19 games the Hoyas played resulted in shutouts. Although there are multiple players who can take credit for this feat, without question their best player on the backline is Joshua Yaro. Named the top freshman by TopDrawerSoccer.com earlier in the season, Yaro has blazing speed and was able to catch up on a couple of breakaways by Hopkinson and Militar in the second half, putting out any hopes of a goal.

What will be interesting to see in their next match is what sort of lineup Wiese comes out with. Part of the reason why he made these decision was because the Hoyas are susceptible to periods of playing careless with Muyl in the game. As a #9 he shows tremendous promise and will unquestionably be a major player for this team in the next few years. But against a much more polished Michigan State team, it may make more sense to go with a more proven group of players.

Next Game: At home versus #11 Michigan State (12/01 1pm)

 

#8 Virginia 2 – St. Johns 0

Charlottesville, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers opened their NCAA Men’s Soccer tournament campaign with a 2-0 victory the Red Storm of St. John’s. While the conditions at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville could best be described as frigid, the play on the field was anything but. Both teams should tremendous ability to play through the difficult conditions and were able to develop consistent possessions through their respective midfields.

The Cavaliers, who are making their 33rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament, had a considerable advantage in both size and speed. The Red Storm outshot the Cavaliers 9-8, but most of their shots were either off target or easily saved by Goalkeeper Calle Brown. Sophomore Defender Kyler Sullivan was able to use his strength to out maneuver the Red Storm forwards, including making a textbook box out on Forward Jelani Williams late in the second half.

Despite only having 3 shots on goal for the entire game, the Cavaliers were able to make the most out of their limited opportunities. In the 33rd minute, Junior Ryan Zinkhan finished off of a cross laid in by Defender Patrick Foos by heading the ball past Goalkeeper Rafael Diaz. Virginia added to their lead in the 68th minute when Midfielder Eric Bird drilled another header past Diaz, this time off of a corner kick by Defender Scott Thomsen. With a 2-0 lead, Virginia held the Red Storm at bay by moving North and South through the midfield, eating up precious second of the clock with each pass.

Although this was a quality win for the University of Virginia, their next match against Marquette will be much more difficult. The 2013 Big East Champions feature the Big East Co-Midfielder of the Year in Bryan Ciesulka and the Co-Goalkeeper of the Year in Charlie Lyon. Both Lyon and Ciesulka were also members of the All Big East First Team, along with Defender Axel Sjoberg and Forward C. Nortney. Nortney should prove be quite the difficult stop for the Cavaliers as the sophomore already has 17 goals in his short career for the Golden Eagles, 7 of which are game winners. Virginia will have to continue to play strong defense, and must receive a better effort from their forward pair of Darius Madison and Marcus Salandy Defour, who were able to get shots off in the St. John’s match

Next Game: At home versus #9 Marquette (12/01 1pm)

 

Other Local Games of Note

Connecticut 2- #16 UMBC 2: Connecticut wins on Penalties 4-2

#7 New Mexico 1- George Mason 0:

Wake Forest 2- Navy 1

 

Other Games From the Tournament

#1UCLA 4 -Elon 0

#2 Washington 4- Seattle 2

#3 Notre Dame3- Wisconsin 0

#4 California 3- Bradley 1

#9 Marquette 1- Akron 0

#10 UC Santa Barbara 0- Penn State 1

#11 Michigan State 1- Louisville 0

#12 UC Irvine 1- North Carolina 0

#13 Charlotte 0- Coastal Carolina 1

#15 California State University-Northridge 0- Stanford 1

 

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