We’ve reached the final eight of the NCAA Men’s Soccer tournament, and what a ride it’s been. Generally at this stage of this tournament, the usual suspects are still around, and many of the teams that battled it out for a place to play against them in the second round are long gone. However, the surprise of the season, the University of San Diego, is still riding high in the tournament. After a stunning 5-2 win over UCLA in the second round, the Toreros upset Tulsa this past weekend 2-1 to earn their spot in the quarterfinals against Georgetown. They are the only unseeded team left in the competition.
There were two other great results this past weekend: Indiana’s upset of top seed Notre Dame, and Akron’s shock loss to Creighton on penalty kicks. Indiana is through to the final eight due to a game-winning goal in second overtime from wonder kid Eriq Zavaleta. Akron, on the other hand, thought they had their game against Creighton in the bag until an equalizer from the Bluejays was scored in the final minutes of regulation. With a penalty kick saved in the first overtime, the game went to a penalty kick shootout. Unfortunately, the Zips were unable to convert all of their chances and were sent home. This was Caleb Porter’s last match as Akron’s coach as he will now take over the top position with the Portland Timbers.
In the other matches, UNC won 1-0 over the other unseeded team in the tournament, Farleigh Dickinson. Georgetown won their penalty kick shootout against young and emerging Syracuse, while Maryland soared 5-1 against Coastal Carolina. Louisville and UCONN were also successful this weekend. Below are the quarterfinal matchups, all of which will be sure to entertain:
9 North Carolina vs 16 Indiana – November 30, 6 p.m. EST
3 Georgetown vs San Diego – December 1, 1 p.m. EST
2 Maryland vs 10 Louisville – December 1, 5 p.m. EST
4 Connecticut vs 12 Creighton – December 2, 1 p.m. EST
All of these matchups are sure to excite as four teams will move on to the College Cup in Hoover, Alabama. All games will be streamed online (check the home university’s websites for more information). Will you be watching any games? Any players you’re excited to see in the tournament, or at the next level? Let us know!