NCAA Round of 16 recap: Akron upset by Charlotte, North Carolina survives in OT

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

There will be no repeat for Caleb Porter and the Akron Zips.

The defending champions were unceremoniously dumped out at the hands of unseeded Charlotte with a 1-0 defeat Sunday night. A first-half goal from A-10 rookie of the year Giuseppe Gentile proved to be the difference as Charlotte handed Akron its first regulation loss in NCAA play since 2008. Gentile buried Jennings Rex's cross in the 25th minute to capitalize on some lax defending.  

Charlotte was certainly the more physical side from then on, drawing five yellow cards while conceding 11 shots. The Zips thought they had drawn level through Matt Dagilis' headed goal but the fifth-year senior was whistled for a foul insIde the box.

The loss ends a tumultuous season for the Zips. Charlotte moves into the Elite Eight where they will look to continue their Cinderella story.

Keep reading for the the rest of round of 16 action.

 

#1 NORTH CAROLINA 1, #16 INDIANA 0 (OT)

Billy Schuler came through in the clutch once again for top-seeded North Carolina with a golden goal in overtime to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 victory. Kirk Urso created the scoring play in the 97th minute by forcing a turnover off Indiana's Chris Estridge at the top of the box. Schuler collected the loose ball and, after creating some space for himself, fired a shot past Hoosier goalkeeper Luis Soffner.

It was the 15th goal of the season and eighth game winner for Schuler. This was also he second close call of the NCAA tournament for North Carolina after a come from behind victory over Coastal Carolina. Indiana's best opportunity came just after halftime but Eriq Zavaleta's rebounded goal was waived offsides. Otherwise, the Hoosiers didn't force Scott Goodwin into a save all game as North Carolina extends their unbeaten run at Fertzer Field to 25 games. It's a streak head coach Carlos Somoano will hope to extend next weekend in the quarterfinals.

SAINT MARY'S 3, BROWN 2 (OT)

Saint Mary's unlikely run deep into the NCAA Tournament continued with a thrilling overtime victory over Brown in Providence. Trevor Newquist headed the Gael's into the Elite Eight in the 98th minute after a long throw-in led to turmoil inside the 18-yard box.

Newquist opened the scoring for a headed goal into the low-right corner midway through the first half. Brown equalized and took the lead in quick succession with Dyland Remick's rebound in the 50th minute and Sean Rosa finishing Taylor Gorman's cross 11 minutes later. Tom Mohoric knotted the score in the 63rd minute and St. Mary's survived a few late scares to make it into the extra period.

#12 LOUISVILLE 4, #5 MARYLAND 2

Maryland's late-season collapse was completed in the worst possible way as their defense once again went to shambles. Maryland came from behind twice but two late goals from Louisville booked the Cardinals into the Elite Eight. Nick DeLeon's opener was canceled out by Casey Townsend in the first half. Colin Rolfe put the Cardinals back up early in the second half but the Terrapins clawed their way back through Matt Oduaran.

There was no way back for Maryland, however, when Daniel Keller scored in the 78th minute. The victory was made official five minutes later when Michael Roman scored. The Terrapins ended their season with a 1-3-2 record while conceding 10 goals.

#13 UCLA 3, RUTGERS 0

Chandler Hoffman netted a brace and Victor Chavez added a goal of his own as the Bruins cruised in to the quarterfinals.

Hoffman's equalizer came just 41 seconds into the game with a goal at the near post. Chavez doubled the lead just before halftime and Hoffman wrapped up the victory with a second-half goal. The Bruins move on to face Louisville in a rematch of the 5-4 epic in last years quarterfinal. This time the Bruins will look to avenge that loss.

#3 UCONN 3, #14 JAMES MADISON 0

UConn was commanding in their shutout victory over James Madison as the Huskies were thoroughly dominant on both sides of the ball. Carlos Alvarez scored early to give the UConn the halftime lead and Mamadou Diouf and Tony Cascio scored in quick succession to put the result beyond any doubt.

More impressive was UConn's defense, which allowed no shots on goal for the game. The Huskies have responded well after their overtime loss to St. John's in the Big East final with two convincing wins.

#7 SOUTH FLORIDA 0, #10 NEW MEXICO 0 (USF WINS 6-5 ON PKS)

There were no goals in 110 minutes but penalty kicks provided plenty of drama as South Florida handed New Mexico their first loss of the season. Chris Blais stoned Carson Baldinger in the seventh round of penalty kicks to advance the Bulls to within one victory of the College Cup. 

South Florida had the majority of chances in the game but could never find a breakthrough. The record books will show the result as a tie and New Mexico will be the only side this season with an undefeated record as the Lobos went 18-0-4.

#2 CREIGHTON 2, #15 UCSB 1

Creighton continued to roll deep into the NCAA tournament with a win over UCSB that was a lot more comfortable than the final scoreline would suggest. Bruno Castro converted a penalty kick after just eight minutes when Ethan Finlay was fouled inside the box. The lead was doubled 11 minutes later when Andrew Ribeiro was given too much time to slot his shot past Andre Grandt.

David Opoku got one back for UCSB in the 79th minute but the Gauchos forced goalkeeper into zero saves on the night with their only other shot on target coming when Greg Jordan headed a ball off the line. Creighton is a perfect 13-0-0 this season at home and will enjoy home-field advantage in the quarterfinals.

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What did you think of yesterday's results? Surprised by Akron's early exit? Is North Carolina still the favorite despite a couple of close calls? Do you see an unseeded team breaking into the College Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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6 Responses to NCAA Round of 16 recap: Akron upset by Charlotte, North Carolina survives in OT

  1. Shane says:

    “Tumultuous” season for the Zips, how so? They did well considering the players lost. They had record breaking crowds at home. Caleb Porter was named the US U23 coach. It was all good.

    Losing Ben Speas to UNC seemed a mistake on Porter’s part but it appeared mutual and without any hard feelings.

  2. Joe says:

    Creighton all the way.

  3. Shooter McGavin says:

    Played against Chandler Hoffman my entire soccer career. Happy to see him doing so well these past few years

  4. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Was at the USF/New Mexico match last night. (3,900 in attendance).

    I was unimpressed with USF. Defense looks shakey but the Bull’s English striker, Dom Dwyer, is fun to watch.

  5. Rory says:

    College soccer is starting to draw in some nice crowds. Louisville gets 3-5,000 a game, which would have been unthinkable just a couple years ago.

  6. Excellency says:

    Yeah, and the games are good quality, crowd atmosphere great – why no TV?

    They’re showing ancient Arsenal games from the 90′s on Fox soccer.

    They could be building audience for years to come if they showed the college games, especially playoffs. Every product development man knows you get ‘em while their young and keep ‘em. Not the TV execs, tho. They’re boobs, especially the sports guys.