Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
There’s a distinctive ACC feel to the 2013 College Cup as three schools from the storied Atlantic Coast Conference earned a trip to PPL Park in Philadelphia.
The final four teams in the 2013 Division One Men’s Soccer NCAA Tournament includes third-seeded Notre Dame, fifth-seeded Maryland, eighth-seeded Virginia, and Conference USA’s New Mexico, who are seeded seventh in the tournament.
Arguably the upset of the quarterfinal round came at the expense of No. 2 seed Washington, who had been one of the top teams in the national all season. The Lobos of New Mexico traveled up to Seattle and walked away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory. Lobos midfielder Ben McKendry scored the lone goal of the game in 37th minute with a tap-in.
Virginia earned a return to the College Cup for the first time since 2009 with a 2-1 victory against UConn, who knocked UCLA out on penalties in the third round of the tournament. Ryan Zinkhan put the Cavaliers up a goal in the 12th minute but the visitors from Storrs, Conn. scored six minutes before halftime through Kareem Morad.
However, it was the Cavaliers who would prevail as freshman stud Jordan Allen sent home an acrobatic overhead kick in the 63rd minute.
Maryland, the lone returning team from last year’s College Cup, took down one of the top teams in the nation, California, on the road in Berkeley. The game was a rematch of an early season matchup between the two schools, one that saw Cal walk away with a 3-2 overtime win. This time, the Terrapins had the last laugh as freshman Michael Sauers scored a long-range effort in the 86th minute to send the visitors to Philadelphia with a 2-1 victory.
Finally, Notre Dame booked their first-ever trip to the College Cup when they knocked out Michigan State from the tournament with a 2-1 victory at home. Evan Panken and Patrick Hodan each scored on either side of halftime for the Fighting Irish and though the Spartans cut the deficit in half in the 59th minute through Jay Chapman, Notre Dame pulled out the victory.
What did you think of this weekend’s action? Surprised to see Cal and Washington knocked out? Think the ACC is easily the strongest conference in the nation?
Share your thoughts below.