More than 20 players with Chicago Fire development remain alive in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship following the tournament's opening two rounds of play over the weekend.
This year's semifinals and final will be held December 8 and 10 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. Read more below on how the opening weekend results played out for alums of the Chicago Fire Academy, Indiana Fire Academy and PDL squad and what it will take to get them closer to the 2017 College Cup trophy.
For brackets, broadcast schedules and more information on the 2017 NCAA College Cup, visit NCAA.com.
No. 1 seed Wake Forest
Top overall seed Wake Forest took down Columbia 1-0 in their tournament opener on Nov. 19. Junior midfielder Brad Dunwell -- who played 20 games and assisted four times for the Demon Deacons -- went 90 minutes in the midfield during the win. They'll now look to up-end Butler in the third round of play on Saturday, Nov. 25.
No. 2 seed Indiana
Big Ten Defender of the Year Grant Lillard gave the Hoosiers a lead they would not relinquish in heading home the first of what turned into a 3-0 rout of Old Dominion on Sunday. Lillard, defenders Rece Buckmaster and Andrew Gutman, and redshirt freshman Spencer Glass each represented the Fire development pipeline in the win. They'll now face New Hampshire in the third round on Saturday, Nov. 25.
The Hoosiers entered the 2017 postseason loaded with key contributors from Fire development channels. Joining the above named players, Indiana Fire Academy product Thomas Warr picked up two goals and three assists in 17 appearances as a freshman forward. Other squad regulars with Fire ties include junior midfielder Jeremiah Gutjahr and freshman goalkeeper Jacob Gruber.
No. 3 seed North Carolina
ACC First-Team and Midfielder of the Year selection Cam Lindley and 2017 Third-Team All-ACC defender Mauricio Pineda both went the full 90 for the Tar Heels in their opening round 2-1 victory over UNC-Wilmington on Sunday, Nov. 19. Pineda scored the goal that stood up as the game-winner, smashing home his team's second in the 56th minute.
They'll now take on SMU in the third round on Saturday, Nov. 25.
No. 7 seed Michigan State
Junior Ryan Sierakowski opened the scoring just five minutes into his team's tournament opener, giving the Spartans a hot start in what became a 3-0 victory over Virginia Tech on Sunday, Nov. 19. Defender Connor Corrigan went 75 minutes in helping preserve the clean sheet. They're now set to face 10-seed Western Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Senior forward Mark Segbers was a key figure in the Badgers' opening pair of victories this postseason. Segbers assisted in his team's 4-1 opening round victory over Illinois-Chicago, before one-time Fire Academy competitor Michael Catalano scored the only goal in a 1-0 overtime victory over 12-seed Notre Dame on Sunday. The win gave the Badgers their first trip to the NCAA's round of 16 since 1995, setting them up for a tilt with fifth-seeded Akron on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Seniors Bennett Kim and Eric Dick and sophomore Derek Sutton went the distance in the Bulldogs' victories over Lipscomb (2-0) and 16-seed VCU (3-2) in the tournament's opening weekend, with freshman Joel Harvey additionally making a 28-minute cameo against Lipscomb. They're now set for a third round matchup against top-seeded Wake Forest on Saturday, Nov. 25.
That quartet was a part of six Indiana Fire products that made up this year's Butler squad, which also included redshirt junior Nolan Schloneger and redshirt sophomore Ryan Clark.