College Soccer: NCAA Round of 16 (Your Running Commentary)

By IVES GALARCEP

The NCAA Tournament Round of 16 will feature two marquee rematches from the regular season as we draw closer to identifying the four teams that will head to Alabama for the College Cup semifinals.

No. 1 seed Notre Dame faces a very familiar foe in Indiana in one of Sunday’s more high-profile match-ups. The Fighting Irish scored a 1-0 victory in Bloomington in September in a match they thoroughly dominated, out-shooting the Hoosiers 9-1 in shots on goal.

No. 5 seed Akron takes on No. 12 seed Creighton in Ohio in a re-match of a meeting that ended up tied at Creighton back in August. The two teams head into their match-up riding lengthy winning streaks, with the Zips the favorites to win the rematch in Akron.

The Round of 16’s most intriguing match-up features defending champion North Carolina taking on Cinderella story Fairleigh Dickinson. FDU eliminated Atlantic-10 champions Saint Louis to book an improbable place in the Final 16 and they will look to pull another shocker against a Tar Heels team that needed penalty kicks to hold off another Cinderella story in UMBC in the previous round.

The most action-packed match-up of the Round of 16? Try No. 2 Maryland against high-scoring Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers knocked off another ACC power in Wake Forest last round, but beating Maryland will be a tougher task. The match-up features a battle of potential MLS first-rounders in Coastal’s Pedro Ribeiro against Maryland’s Patrick Mullins and John Stertzer.

If you will be watching today’s Round of 16 action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

You can find a breakdown of all eight matches, along with links to live streams for all eight matches, below.

Enjoy the action (Round of 16 preview is after the jump).

(1) Notre Dame vs. (16) Indiana

When/Where: 3pm, at Notre Dame (Streaming live HERE)

Last Meeting: Notre Dame won, 1-0, on Sept.

Players to watch: NOTRE DAME- Dillon Powers, Ryan Finley, Harrison Shipp, Nick Besler. INDIANA- Eriq Zavaleta, Nikita Kotlov, Harrison Petts, A.J. Corrado.

Outlook: The Hoosiers should enter the match with some confidence after routing Xavier, but it is tough to forget how the Fighting Irish dominated them the last time they met. This time around the sides are playing in South Bend, and Notre Dame’s midfield should control play again. Look for the home team to cruise, though Indiana’s offense should have a little more to say than the last time these teams met.

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(9) North Carolina vs. Fairleigh Dickinson

When/Where: 5pm, at North Carolina (Streaming live HERE (updated link))

Players to watch: NORTH CAROLINA- Mikey Lopez, Danny Garcia, Robbie Lovejoy, Scott Goodwin. FDU- Jacob Lissek, Antony Moore, Jack McVey, Nico Wright.

Outlook: FDU has been playing excellent team defense to frustrate opponents, and North Carolina’s recent offensive struggles could leave the champions vulnerable to FDU’s approach. That said, North Carolina’s creative tandem of Danny Garcia and Mikey Lopez should be able to break through FDU’s midfield to create chances and help the champions avoid the upset.

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(3) Georgetown vs. Syracuse

When/Where: 1pm, at Georgetown (Streaming live HERE)

Players to watch: GEORGETOWN- Brandon Allen, Tommy Muller, Ian Christianson, Jimmy Nealis. SYRACUSE- Jordan Murrell, Jordan Vale, Alex Bono, Lars Muller.

Outlook: The Hoyas are such a versatile team, capable of attacking either with direct play or more patient build-ups through the midfield. Brandon Allen is a handful and will seriously test an Orangemen defense that has been bailed out quite a bit by freshman goalkeeper Alex Bono. Georgetown should win the battle in midfield and cruise to victory.

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(11) Tulsa vs. San Diego

When/Where: 6pm, at Tulsa (Streaming live HERE)

Players to watch: TULSA- Omar Mata, Cristian Mata, Mark Pais, Tony Roca. SAN DIEGO- Patrick Wallen, Dan Delgado, James Cohn, Christian Duke.

Outlook: Brothers Omar and Christian Mata lead a dangerous Tulsa attack that has been able to break down some of the best defenses in the nation. San Diego’s defense has surrendered two or more goals a whopping 11 times this year. What San Diego can do is attack with the tandem of Delgado and Walden, but defense is what keeps you rolling in tournament play and Tulsa’s defense should make the difference as their offense runs wild.

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(5) Akron vs. (12) Creighton

When/Where: 4:30pm, at Akron (Streaming live HERE)

Last Meeting: The teams tied, 1-1, on Aug. 31st in Nebraska.

Players to watch: AKRON- Scott Caldwell, Reinaldo Brenes, Will Trapp, DeAndre Yedlin. CREIGHTON- Eric Miller, Jose Gomez, Timo Pitter, Jose Ribas.

Outlook: The Zips had their hands full in the last round against Michigan, but Creighton should offer an even tougher challenge. The teams played a very closely-contested match back in August, but nearly three months later the teams are much different teams. The battle between Akron’s Scott Caldwell and Creighton’s Jose Gomez should be a key to deciding a winner. The nod goes to Akron, which has been the best team in the nation over the past two months.

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(4) UConn vs. (13) New Mexico

When/Where: 1pm, at UConn (Streaming live HERE)

Players to watch: UCONN- Carlos Alvarez, Andre Blake, Mamadou Diouf, Stephane Diop. NEW MEXICO- Kyle Venter, Blake Smith, Devon Sandoval, Victor Rodriguez.

Outlook: The Huskies are the higher seed but this one is a much tougher match-up than the seeds suggest. The Lobos are a strong team with a dynamic attack that should test a vulnerable UConn defense that has relied on Andre Blake’s heroics far too often. Big forward Devon Sandoval is a handful up top, but Blake Smith’s work on the left wing will be key for UConn to stop. The best match-up will feature UConn forward Diouf against New Mexico centerback Venter, two players on the fringes of the MLS Generation adidas conversation. As good as the Lobos are, we’ll give the nod to UConn at home, with Andre Blake leading the way.

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(10) Louisville vs. Northwestern

When/Where: 7pm, at Louisville (Streaming live HERE)

Players to watch: LOUISVILLE- Andrew Farrell, Dylan Mares, Greg Cochrane, Paolo Del Piccolo. NORTHWESTERN- Tyler Miller, Chris Ritter, Joey Calistri, Grant Wilson.

Outlook: Northwestern has some quality players on the defensive end in goalkeeper Miller and centerback Ritter, but Louisville is hitting its attacking stride and will be tough to slow down. With Andrew Farrell expected to lock down Calistri, Northwestern will struggle for chance and the Cardinals should romp.

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(2) Maryland vs. (15) Coastal Carolina

When/Where: 5pm, at Maryland (Streaming live HERE)

Players to watch: MARYLAND- Patrick Mullins, John Stertzer, Schillo Tshuma, London Woodberry. COASTAL CAROLINA- Pedro Ribeiro, Ashton Bennett, Ricky Garbanzo, Justin Portillo.

Outlook: The Terps are the favorites but Coastal has enough firepower to turn this one into a shootout. Ribeiro is capable of dominating a game, but Maryland simply has more quality from top top bottom. Scouts will have their eyes on the Ribeiro-Stertzer match-up, but the match should be a showcase for Mullins, who should find plenty of chances against a vulnerable Chanticleer defense. The Terps win in what should be a high-scoring game.

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32 Responses to College Soccer: NCAA Round of 16 (Your Running Commentary)

  1. IGuessIWillSupportXolos says:

    I’d imagine Tyler Miller will be a top draft pick in the coming years. Wonder if he goes Generation Adidas after next season.

  2. dan says:

    How exactly did the #1 team (Akron) pull the 5th seed?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Good question. An over-reliance on the RPI rating for one. Even then, it doesn’t make much sense.

    • adam says:

      Nobody knows, but hopefully it doesn’t matter (go Lobos).

      Tulsa @ Georgetown, UNC @ Notre Dame, Louisville @ Maryland, and New Mex @ Akron are my picks for next weekend’s matches…

  3. Matt says:

    Im curious as to whats going on with some of the Lobo players. Devon Sandoval for example was training with DC united and Real Salt Lake. The keeper was listed on some lists as the #2 keeper. the Center back is listed as one of the top center back prospects in the country yet none of these names show up on your list. Ive watched a ton of matches, and there isnt a single forward in the country that has the touch and creativity of devon Sandoval from the Lobos

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Venter is a top centerback prospect, but he’s an underclassman and not currently near the top of the Generation adidas conversation (he’s on the radar). As for Sandoval, he hasn’t really cracked the list of top forwards in the country. Training with MLS teams doesn’t really mean much, college players training with MLS teams happens pretty regularly. That said, if he actually impressed during training stints then maybe he will get an MLS Combine invite. That could be tough though considering just how many forwards there are
      And New Mexico’s goalkeeper? The position is considered very weak this year and if Andre Blake doesn’t come out there may not be a goalkeeper taken in the two-round MLS Draft.

  4. Tim Foisie says:

    Thanks for providing the streaming live links!

  5. Matt says:

    Is anyone else having issues with the streaming? its having to stop and load every like 2 seconds on the New Mexico and UConn game

    • JonH says:

      Same problem here.

    • AMPhibian says:

      +1

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Think a lot of people are having that problem. Maybe they have too many people trying to watch it. Syracuse-Georgetown stream is working just fine.

      • JonH says:

        I hate to sound ungrateful since they are providing a stream so we can actually see the games, but the Uconn v. NM game is almost 30 minutes behind real time. Not sure if they started it right on time, but the frequent cut outs of the stream is really putting the game behind. They just started half time on the stream, and the actual game is over 7 minutes into the second half.

  6. CUSE Fan says:

    Orange up 1 nil on GTown!!

  7. Billy says:

    Would not really be surprised if Creighton beat Akron today. I was at the Akron-Creighton game earlier in the year, and it was clear both teams were talented, if a bit disjointed. Of course, Akron has improved, but so has Creighton and they are peaking at the right time — they absolutely destroyed UW last weekend, playing their best soccer of year. They are not as solid defensively as last year’s College Cup team, but they have plenty of creativity in the midfield and some interesting options at forward.

  8. CUSE Fan says:

    Cuse-GTown heading to PKs.

  9. Matt says:

    what the heck is going on with the Lobos game? the Match tracker has been stuck for 30 minutes. NCAA.com isnt updating, the live stream died. this is absolutely pathetic coverage by everyone

  10. Ives Galarcep says:

    The UConn-New Mexico stream was a disaster, but the Syracuse-Georgetown stream was solid and the Notre Dame-Indiana streak is great.

  11. IGuessIWillSupportXolos says:

    Hey, Ives, when does Brandon Allen make the jump to RBNY (if he makes the jump)?

    After his sophomore season or after his junior season?

  12. Skeeter says:

    Yredlin for Akron.. bigtime

  13. dan says:

    Creighton Bluejays on to the final 8!

  14. Dave says:

    Barnes had a great game for CU. Akron had their chances in OT but CU goalie comes up huge.

    • dan says:

      And amazingly, the Creighton keeper in the PK shootout was NOT their keeper throughout the whole game. Coach switched keepers for the shootout. And the sub? Coach’s son.

  15. dan says:

    Great day for a Georgetown alum and current Creighton student

  16. Rob218 says:

    Terps put up 5 on Coastal Carolina. Commanding victory.

    M-A-R-Y-L-A-N-D MARYLAND will win!