10-man Virginia advance, top seed UCLA knocked out in NCAA tournament


Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.36.17 PMDifficult as it is, winning a game when down a man isn’t terribly uncommon. Winning when down a man for 89 minutes against a team the caliber of Big East champions Marquette is a different story, but that’s the storyline that gave Virginia their first berth since 2009 into the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

The Hoos went down a man just 57 seconds into the game Sunday when Matt Brown was shown a red card for taking Marquette forward C. Nortey down from behind on a clear breakaway, but somehow clawed their way to a 2-0 lead through a pair of highlight reel goals from Scott Thomsen and Darius Madison (you can watch both and pick your favorite HERE) and answered right back a minute after Nortey’s strike cut the lead in half with a 53rd minute penalty kick to finish the scoring. The 2013 season has had its share of improbable scorelines, but Virginia’s 3-1 win might be the most improbable (not to mention gutsy) of them all.

No. 1 overall seed UCLA surprised the nation for the wrong reason on Sunday by blowing a 2-0 lead and losing to UConn in a penalty shootout that featured a rarity in soccer, a German (Leo Stolz) missing a penalty kick. Huskies junior goalkeeper and likely Generation adidas target Andre Blake made two saves in the shootout win, their second straight in tournament play, to extend UConn’s unbeaten streak to 17 games. Of the eight remaining teams, UConn is the only team that had to play in the opening round as an unseeded team. UConn and Virginia will be the loan quarterfinal game on Friday, as they are scheduled to face off in Charlottesville at 7 p.m.

Michael Harris’ famed flip-throw set up Ian Lange for the lone goal in Washington’s historic 1-0 win over Stanford to send the Dawgs to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history. Washington, the No. 2 seed, will host New Mexico in an 8 p.m. game on Saturday. Tyler Junior College transfer Oniel Fisher picked a prime time to score his first Lobos goal when he delivered the 53rd minute winner that held up in a 2-0 win over Penn State that sent New Mexico to their second quarterfinal in program history. Midfielder Michael Calderone assisted on both goals, which were scored three minutes apart.

Maryland will get a chance to avenge an opening weekend loss to Cal after both teams won 1-0 on Sunday. Reigning player of the year Patrick Mullins scored the winner for the Terps to beat UC Irvine off a brilliant run and cross from Tsubasa Endoh in his last game at Ludwig Field. The goal was his 16th of the season – one shy of his career high of 17 set last season – to go with eight assists.

Maryland is the only team left from last year’s College Cup field (Indiana and Creighton both lost in the opening round). Fellow 2012 semifinalist Georgetown fell victim to Michigan State’s stingy defense in a 1-0 loss that sent the Spartans to their first quarterfinal appearance since 1968. Goalkeeper Zach Bennett made seven stops to preserve the clean sheet against the potent Hoya attack as Adam Montague’s 28th minute strike held up for the historic win.

Michigan State, the 11th seed, face third-seeded Notre Dame in a 7 p.m. match in South Bend on Saturday. Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 4-2 and will look to repeat their 2-0 victory over the Spartans back on Nov. 5 in one of two season rematches in the round of 8.

The College Cup will be held at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on Dec. 13 and 15. You can buy tickets HERE.

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Notre Dame advances to first College Cup, joins two other ACC teams

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