NCAA men’s soccer tournament announced for Division 1

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The bracket for the NCAA men’s soccer tournament was unveiled Monday, and Maryland is the No. 1 seed.

Thirty-two teams play first round matches for the right to play at a seeded team in the second round.

The NCAA tries to restrict travel for the first few rounds, which leads to a non-scientific bracket. There are outliers, as Colgate has to travel to UCLA and New Mexico to Portland.

[ MORE: USMNT-Costa Rica preview ]

There is no secondary postseason tournament in D1 soccer, with 48 of the 206 men’s D-1 teams off to the tournament.

Here’s how the tournament begins:

Providence/Delaware winner at (1) Maryland
Creighton/Tulsa winner at (16) Kentucky

South Florida/Florida Gulf Coast winner at (9) North Carolina
Dartmouth/St. Francis Brooklyn winner at (8) Syracuse

Cal State Northridge/Pacific winner at (5) Stanford
Vermont/Rider winner at (12) Virginia

Loyola Chicago/Illinois-Chicago winner at (13) Notre Dame
UCLA/Colgate winner at (4) Louisville

South Carolina/Mercer winner at (3) Clemson
Boston College/Fordham winner at (14) Albany

New Mexico/Portland winner at (11) Washington
San Diego State/UNLV winner at (6) Denver

Akron/Villanova winner at (7) Indiana
Virginia Tech/East Tennessee St winner at (10) Charlotte

Michigan State/SIU Edwardsville winner at (15) Butler
Coastal Carolina/Radford winner at (2) Wake Forest

College Soccer Update: Maryland goes No. 1; Cuse, Notre Dame play Friday

Sasho Cirovski’s Maryland program has no problem landing blue chip recruits, so adding the nation’s leading scorer on a transfer just seems unfair.

You might remember Gordon Wild’s name from this space last year, as the German burst onto the scene with USC Upstate and netted 16 times as a freshman.

[ MORE: Pulisic starts again as BVB rolls ]

While USC Upstate certainly won’t love the development, Cirovski was waiting with open arms when Wild decided to seek a challenge bigger than the one provided by the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Wild didn’t need to sit a year after transferring to Maryland — a program which has produced Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Robbie Rogers, Clarence Goodson, and Maurice Edu amongst others — and his eight goals in seven games show his form is carrying over well.

— Still, all those things said, I’ll never understand polls.

Notre Dame was No. 1 last week, and fell to 6-1 over the next 7 days after a loss to Louisville.

Syracuse entered the latest Top 25 coaches polling period 7-0, having won at NC State and defeated No. 15 Boston College at home. Five of those wins were shutouts.

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So who’s No. 1 now? Not Cuse, but 5-0-2 Maryland. The Terps and Orange both have 11 first-place votes, while Notre Dame still managed a pair.

The Orange handled the issue well, belting Cornell 3-1 on Tuesday night to move to 8-0. Up next is a Friday date at Notre Dame. Must-watch.

— Keep an eye on Denver, which is following up a very good 2015 season with a 7-0-1 start. They’ve allowed four goals all season — three have come via penalty kicks — and the Pioneers basically brought everyone back from their 15-1-3 season in 2015.

— I had the pleasure of meeting some players this summer who come from a very unusual college system at LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds made an NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach T.J. Kostecky last season, and the man has an unusual directive for his players on offense: They don’t talk.

Kostecky is a preacher of “vision training”, in which the coach implores his players simply to “look around” and anticipate the game. His players say the quiet tactics take some time to get used to, but then become second nature.

[ MORE: Zidane, Simeone defend Neymar’s “antics” ]

Claudio Reyna is one of the disciples of this training, and vision training was a topic on Glenn Crooks’ radio show last week.

That reminded me to check in on LIU, which has two of the more gifted young players in the Northeast. Danish attacker Rasmus Hansen and Norwegian midfielder Simen Hestnes were All-Northeast Conference as freshmen, and they’ve picked up where they left off.

Hansen had two goals and three assists this weekend and Hestnes had a goal and two helpers as LIU Brooklyn knocked off No. 22 Rider 2-1 and Manhattan 4-1.

Three Stars

  1. Simon Hestnes, sophomore, LIU Brooklyn — See above.
  2. Christian Thierjung, senior, Cal — Scored five goals against Harvard.
  3. Mohamed Thiaw, junior, Louisville — Scored fourth goal of year in 1-0 upset of No. 1 Notre Dame.

Other notes

— The nation’s leading scorer remains Russell Cicerone of the University at Buffalo, and the 10-goal man is also second in assists with six. The playmaking wizard is a surefire top-end pick in the next MLS SuperDraft.

[ MORE: EFL Cup roundup ]

— The national lead for assists belongs, however, to talented Canadian forward Brian Wright. He has nine, and should be closely watched by MLS teams ahead of the draft as well.

— Other No. 1-ranked teams:

Men’s D2- Charleston
Men’s D3- Trinity (Texas)
Women’s D1- Stanford
Women’s D2- Grand Valley State
Women’s D3- Williams

This gorgeous, curving free kick gave Maryland a Big Ten tourney title (video)

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Mael Corboz made Maryland men Big Ten champions, and he did it with style.

The junior from New Jersey, a Rutgers transfer and former New York Red Bull Academy member, bent in this free kick from under 25 yards away to give the Terps a 2-1 lead over Indiana in the Big Ten championship game.

Corboz has 10 goals and 3 assists in 21 matches for Maryland this season after being an All-AAC member for the Scarlet Knights in 2013.

[ COLLEGE: 58-yard strike ends 2OT match ]

Maryland will head into the NCAA tournament with momentum, having found itself a scorer to replace Patrick Mullins (who was a first-round draft pick of the New England Revolution this year.

Notre Dame men upend Maryland to win first national championship


Notre Dame completed a brilliant season with a 2-1 win over Maryland in the 2014 College Cup on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

The match had its fair share of controversy, as a clear but uncalled handball against the Irish could’ve had them playing with 10 men for the majority of the match. Maryland star and potential No. 1 MLS Superdraft pick Patrick Mullins scored on the handball’s rebound for the Terrapins only goal.

Leon Brown scored in the 40th minute and Andrew O’Malley finished the comeback in the 60th minute to give Notre Dame the lead they’d protect for the final half-hour.

Brown’s goal came off a headed pass from Nick Besler, who joins his brother, Sporting KC defender and fellow ND alum Matt Besler, in lifting top team honors in 2013.

Notre Dame’s only hiccup in a 10-game run to end the season was a PK loss to Virginia in the ACC tournament, as they beat Wisconsin, Wake Forest, Michigan State and New Mexico in the lead-up to the final.

Maryland keeper Zack Steffen, a Philadelphia Union homegrown player, was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player of College Cup, while Chicago Fire homegrown product Harrison Shipp of Notre Dame was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player.

Potential MLS No.1 pick, heated rivalry highlight this weekend’s College Cup


Patrick Mullins has done an awful lot on what could be the path to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 MLS Superdraft. He won the 2012 Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best male player and just may repeat the feat this year. The 6-foot-1 forward has 16 goals this season and a boatload of career honors.

What he doesn’t have is an NCAA championship, and he can’t get it without knocking off heated rival Virginia on Friday in what amounts to their final battle as ACC foes.

2013 College Cup (in Philadelphia, Penn.)
(3) Notre Dame vs. (7) New Mexico, 530pm ET
(5) Maryland vs. (8) Virginia, 730pm ET
CHAMPIONSHIP: 3pm ET on Sunday

The Terps are the only returning school among the College Cup contestants, which is Atlantic Coast Conference-heavy with three of the four schools coming from the ACC. Maryland,  3-time champions, is hungry for its first title since 2008, while the Cavaliers have six titles to their name and would love little more than to deny Mullins the biggest accolade missing from his four years at College Park.

Mullins and teammate Schillo Tshuma went in the Top Four of MLS’ first mock draft lats month and are the headline prospects from the weekend. Notre Dame centerback Grant van de Casteele, Maryland winger Sunny Jane and New Mexico midfielder Michael Calderon and defender Kyle Venter are among the draft-rumored names on the pitch in Philadelphia.

Cheat sheet:

– Maryland beat Virginia 1-0 in the ACC title game last month and the two schools drew 3-3 at Charlottesville in October.

– This is Notre Dame’s first College Cup appearance.

– Notre Dame lost to Virginia in kicks during the ACC semifinals after the two teams played to a 3-3 stalemate. Virginia also beat the Irish 2-0 during the conference play.

– New Mexico’s lone College Cup appearance ended in a loss to Maryland in the 2005 championship game.