Once again, high seeds were the dominant force during Sunday’s NCAA Tournament third-round action. Seven of the top eight seeds in the tournament survived the latest round, and comprise the quarterfinal field.
The lone upset of the day wasn’t really that – No. 10 Michigan won for the eighth game in a row, dropping South Carolina 3-1. Justin Meram and Soony Saad (above) both scored for the Wolverines, who will travel to College Park to face Maryland in the quarterfinals.
Michigan’s win was the lone bright spot for the Big Ten, which posted a 1-4 record in the third round, one week after going 5-0.
There was still plenty of drama to go around, however. No. 2 Maryland scored in the 88th minute, defeating No. 15 Penn State 1-0. Taylor Kemp provided the game winner, picking the perfect time to notch his first goal of the season.
Another high-seeded ACC school had trouble against a Big Ten opponent. No. 3 North Carolina was just seconds from getting knocked out, trailing 1-0 to Michigan State after Fire PDL strike Cyrus Saydee's 64th minute goal before Enzo Martinez tied the game with nine seconds left.
Scott Goodwin then stepped up to play the hero once again, as the ‘keeper stood strong and saved a penalty kick to secure North Carolina’s second straight shootout win.
UNC will play No. 5 SMU next, after the Mustangs held off William & Mary in Dallas. Houston Dynamo academy product Josue Soto scored in the 11th minute for the game's only goal.
No. 1 Louisville didn’t have it any easier. Hosting No. 16 Ohio State, the Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a Charlie Campbell goal in the first half. Austin McAnena found the equalizer for the Buckeyes, but Louisville’s Austin Berry answered back in the 63rd minute to round out the 2-1 victory.
UCLA needed two overtimes, but got the goal it needed against Dartmouth to advance 2-1 and set up a meeting with the Cardinals in the quarterfinals. Eder Arreola provided both goals for the Bruins, including a 110th-minute winner right before the final whistle.
Both Ivy League schools came up short out on the West Coast, as Brown lost to California 2-0. John Fitzpatrick scored the opener before the Bears turned the ball into their own net in the second half and were unable to mount a comeback.
Last year’s finalist Akron will host Cal next weekend, after holding off Indiana 2-1. The Zips scored two goals in two minutes in the second half to seize control – Michael Nanchoff finishing off a well-worked team move before Darren Mattocks took advantage of a goalkeeping error. Akron’s defense, backstopped by PDL goalkeeper David Meves, then held on to a one-goal lead after Andy Adlard pulled one back for the Hoosiers in the 82nd minute.
The quarterfinals take place next weekend, with the semis and final in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 10-12.
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