Five BIG EAST Teams Remain In the Hunt in the NCAA Men's Soccer Sweet 16

 

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The BIG EAST has five teams of the 16 remaining in the hunt for an NCAA men's soccer title. At least one BIG EAST team will advance to the quarterfinals, as Georgetown hosts Syracuse on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET. The Hoyas (18-3-1) earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Championship, while Syracuse was an at-large selection. The Hoyas earned a bye to the second round, where they defeated Charlotte 1-0. Georgetown earned a share of the BIG EAST Blue Division regular-season title and reached the BIG EAST Championship game, falling to Notre Dame by one goal in double-overtime. Georgetown is led by BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Brandon Allen, who has 30 points on 14 goals and two assists. Junior Steve Neumann has 26 points on seven goals and a team-high 12 assists. Tomas Gomez, in net for the Hoyas, has a 0.72 goals-against average. The Hoyas, ranked No. 6 in the most recent NSCAA national poll, were on a seven-game winning streak prior to the BIG EAST title game against Notre Dame. The trip to the NCAA Championship is the first since 2010, when the Hoyas lost on penalty kicks in second round.

 

Syracuse beat then-No. 11/18 Cornell and then VCU to advance to the third round. The Orange won at Cornell 1-0 before posting a 3-2 double-overtime win at No. 19/21 VCU, which was ranked No. 14 in the tournament. Syracuse earned the second seed in the BIG EAST Red Division and the Orange coaching staff was recognized by the league's head coaches as Staff of the Year after posting a big turnaround in 2012. Syracuse freshman Jordan Vale leads the Orange with 19 points on eight goals and three assists. It is the second NCAA Championship appearance for the Orange, and first since 1984.

 

Connecticut (16-3-1), the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Championship, defeated Northeastern 1-0 at home on Nov. 18. Northeastern had defeated Boston College at home on Nov. 15 to move into the second round against UConn. The Huskies advance to the third round, where they will host New Mexico on Nov. 25 at 1 p.m. ET. New Mexico defeated Virginia on Sunday evening to advance. Mamadou Diouf leads the Huskies with 30 points on 14 goals and two assists. Diouf scored the game-winning goal against Northeastern; it was his sixth gamewinner of the year. Sophomore Andre Blake, the two-time BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year, has played in net all 20 games for the Huskies, recording 11 shutouts and posting a 0.50 goals-against average, which ranks third nationally. The Huskies have made 15 straight trips to the national tournament.

 

Notre Dame (17-3-1), the tournament's top seed, defeated Big Ten champion Michigan State 3-0 to advance to the third round, where the Irish will host Indiana at 3 p.m. ET on Nov. 25. Michigan State had defeated Horizon League champion Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Championship. The game against the Hoosiers is a rematch from Sept. 26, when Notre Dame won at then-No. 11/10 Indiana 1-0. Offensively, the top-seeded Irish are led by BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Ryan Finley. The senior forward leads the league with 46 points on 21 goals and four assists and ranks third in the nation with 1.00 goal per game. ND is coming off its third BIG EAST Championship title after defeating Georgetown 3-2 in double overtime on Nov. 11. The Fighting Irish are ranked first in the NCAA RPI and third in the most recent NSCAA poll. Notre Dame is on an eight-game unbeaten streak and the Irish have only lost one game in the last 11 outings.

 

Louisville (13-4-1) defeated Winthrop at home convincingly on Sunday night, posting a 5-0 victory to advance to the third round where the Cardinals will face Northwestern. Winthrop had defeated SMU in the first round to advance. The Cardinals will face Northwestern at 7 p.m. ET. Louisville has four double-digit point scorers leading the squad's offense, highlighted by redshirt-sophomore Dylan Mares' 19 points (7g, 5a). The Cardinals are seeded No. 10 in the NCAA Championship. Louisville posted a 7-1 record in league play and is led defensively by BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year Andrew Farrell. This year's appearance in the NCAA Championship is Louisville's sixth straight. The Cardinals reached the national title game in 2010 and lost in double-overtime to UCLA in the quarterfinals last year.

 

USF lost at home to Tulsa in overtime 1-0 in the second round, while Marquette was edged by the same score by Northwestern.