UC Irvine golden goal does in Stanford, Washington survives penalties
Super sophomore Jordan Morris’ season and most likely career at Stanford came to a sudden end Sunday night when UC Irvine’s Michael Sperber got behind the defense and delivered the game-winning goal in the 97th minute to send the Anteaters to the third round of the NCAA tournament. The goal was the first of the redshirt sophomore’s career and added the sixth-seeded Cardinal to the list four deep of seeded teams to fall in the second round.
Washington narrowly avoided joining their Pac 12 rivals with an early exit after missing their first three kicks in a penalty shootout with Furman, but goalkeeper Spencer Richey stepped up with a pair of huge saves and added a penalty kick goal of his own in the sudden death rounds to send the Dawgs through after nine rounds of kicks.
UMBC was the biggest giant killer of all, beating in-state rivals Maryland at Ludwig Field in College Park on Sunday night to become the first team from the America East Conference to advance to the third round of the tournament since Hartford reached the quarterfinals in 1996. Junior midfielder Malcolm Harris was the hero, breaking a scoreless tie in the 70th minute when he was in the right place at the right time to clean up a rebound off goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s leg. Harris nearly sealed the game late with a shot that went inches wide of the post, but the Retrievers defense stood tall under tremendous pressure to seal one of the biggest victories for any athletic program in school history. No division 1 team at the school has advanced this far in any tournament before.
The Retrievers will travel to 13th seed Louisville next Sunday to take on the Cardinals after they fought back from a 1-0 deficit to beat St. Louis behind a man of the match worthy performance from right back Tim Kubel. The freshman who was named ACC freshman of the y ear delivered a cross that Andrew Brody was able to finish to draw the game level less than three minutes after St. Louis scored in the 71st minute and then weaved his way through several defenders in the box before firing home the winner in the 87th minute.
North Carolina knocked off 10 seed Charlotte behind a brace from Tyler Engel in a game that was really only an upset on paper (highlights) and fifth seeded Indiana also fell to unseeded Xavier in a game where missed chances for the Hoosiers – a 10th minute penalty kick miss among them – was a running theme. The win puts the Musketeers into the second weekend of the tournament for the first time in school history, where they will face 12th seeded Creighton, 1-0 winners over Oregon State.
Providence’s 3-0 win over Dartmouth was the most lopsided scoreline of the day Sunday – the round ends tonight with one more game between Clemson and Coastal Carolina – and Virginia’s offense was clicking on all cylinders against UNC Wilmington as the Hoos scored three goals for just the second time all season in a 3-1 victory that sets up an ACC tournament rematch with No. 1 Notre Dame (the Irish won that meeting earlier this month 3-0).
The defending national champs held on in the soaking rain to beat Ohio State, but will have to be sharper – and possibly hope for better weather next Sunday – to be the lone team from last year’s College Cup in the Elite 8 (New Mexico didn’t qualify and Maryland is out so it’s either going to be Virginia or Notre Dame).
Georgetown’s 2-1 win over Old Dominion gives the Big East four teams in the Sweet 16, second only to the ACC’s five (and possibly six if Clemson win tonight). Michigan State was the only seeded Big 10 team to not be upset Sunday as their stingy defense held Oakland in a 1-0 win for the Spartans (highlights).
Syracuse made the most of their first ever home NCAA tournament game Sunday, fighting back with a pair of goals in less than 10 minutes after conceding a penalty kick goal to Penn State’s Connor Maloney. The goals came from Emil Ekblom in the 74th minute and fellow Norwegian Oyvind Alseth in the 84th minute. The win sets up a rematch with Georgetown of the only other third round match in program history. The Hoyas advanced in that game on penalty kicks and made it all the way to the final, where they lost to Indiana.
1 Notre Dame vs. 16 Virginia, 7 p.m. in South Bend
3 Michigan State vs. 14 Washington, tbd, in East Lansing
8 Georgetown vs. 9 Syracuse, 1 p.m. in Washington D.C.
11 Providence vs. UC Irvine, tbd in Rhode Island
12 Creighton vs. Xavier, 2 p.m. in Omaha
7 Clemson/Coastal Carolina vs. North Carolina
13 Louisville vs. UMBC, 6 p.m. in Louisville
2 UCLA vs 15 California, tbd in Los Angeles