SMU, South Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina knocked out of conference semis
Upsets are a regular feature of conference tournament season in college soccer and this year has been no exception. Six more teams in the top 25 were bounced from conference tournaments on Friday, joining the other eight teams that have already fallen.
No. 7 SMU was bounced from the American Athletic tournament by Tulsa on penalty kicks. Tulsa nearly won the game in regulation, taking a 2-1 lead on Bradley Bourgeois’ goal in the 62nd minute, but Jared Rice equalized in the 88th minute to send it to overtime. Idrissa Camara scored a 42nd minute equalizer for the Mustangs after Geoffrey Dee opened the scoring in the 21st minute.
Tulsa will play UConn in the final after the Huskies extended their unbeaten streak to seven with a 2-1 win over No. 14 South Florida.
Two goals in a span of 1:50 were the difference for UConn. Sebastian Brems opened the scoring in the 56th minute and Abdou Thiam made it 2-0 in the 58th. Nazeem Bartman pulled a goal back for the Bulls in the 79th minute on a free kick but that was as close as it would get.
Conference USA favorites knocked out; Ohio State and Maryland advance in Big Ten Tournament
Marshall continued its unlikely postseason run with another upset on Thursday, beating No. 17 South Carolina 1-0. Rimario Gordon scored in the 68th minute and Dominik Reining made six saves to keep the Gamecocks off the board and set up a Conference USA final match-up with Florida International.
FIU knocked off No. 11 Kentucky with a Daniel Gonzalez goal off a penalty kick rebound in the 21st minute.
No. 12 Ohio State had no trouble booking its place in the Big Ten final, dominating No. 18 Rutgers from the opening whistle to win 4-0. Abdi Mohamed put the hosts on the board inside the first minute and Danny Jensen, Christian Soldat and Alex Nichols all scored in the lopsided victory.
Ohio State will take on Maryland in the final after the Terps topped No. 22 Indiana on penalty kicks. Maryland took an early lead on an early goal by senior midfielder Tsubasa Endoh, but Phil Fives responded back three minutes later in the 13th minute to level the score.
Eryk Williamson, who set up the opening goal, came close to winning the game for the Terps in regulation when he fired a shot on frame in the last second that Colin Webb got a hand on to push out of bounds.
Akron and Seattle advance conference finals; Dayton will face VCU in A-10 final
Tenth-ranked Akron edged West Virginia 3-2 behind a Stuart Holthusen brace to set up a MAC final with Buffalo, which knocked off Western Michigan 2-1 in overtime.
Holthusen scored in the 49th and 68th minutes after Adam Najem staked the Zips to a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute and the defense held off a Mountaineers comeback. Russell Cicerone was the hero in Buffalo’s overtime win, scoring the golden goal in the 98th minute after Daniel Cramarossa’s late equalizer.
Seattle scored a pair of goals in each half to rout Cal State Bakersfield and book a spot in the WAC final against Utah Valley. David Olsen tied a program Division 1 record for goals with his 14th and 15th goals and Alex Roldan and Michael Roberts also scored.
Dayton and VCU will meet in the Atlantic 10 final on Sunday after winning semifinal matches on Friday. Kissima Bojang scored the winner for the Flyers in the 80th minute and Rafa Andrade Santos’ goal just before halftime punched VCU’s ticket.
Winthrop and High Point advance; PKs decide Southern Conference finalists
Max Hasenstab scored a hat trick in the second half to make it a 4-0 win for Winthrop over Campbell and send the Eagles to the Big South Championship against High Point, which came from behind to beat Radford 4-3 on an own goal in the 90th minute.
Furman and ETSU both advanced on PKs to the Southern Conference final. Furman knocked off Mercer on PKs after a scoreless draw and ETSU knocked off top-seeded UNC Greensboro on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
In other action on Friday, Georgia State and Hartwick advanced to the Sun Belt championship, Delaware and Hofstra to the Colonial Athletic championship, Lehigh and American to the Patriot League final, SIU Edwardsville and Drake to the Missouri Valley championship and LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis PA to the Northeast Conference final.