NCAA soccer update
The GIST: After an intense three days, the first round of the Women’s College Cup is in the back of the net and the field is nearly set for the men. Let’s kick it.
The gals: Over a weekend of delicious do-or-die matches, 32 squads remain on the road to Cary, NC. But while all teams showed out this weekend, No. 1–seed Alabama brought the heat, posting nine enormous goals to knock out Jackson State on Friday.
- The standout players so far? Stanford midfielder Jasmine Aikey, who scored four times in the Cardinal’s 6–0 rout of San Jose State, and Arkansas striker Jessica De Filippo, whose hat trick helped the Razorbacks take down Missouri State 6–0.
- But South Carolina defender Jyllissa Harris scored the goal of the weekend. We’re pretty sure she tutors physics, because she defeated Newton's laws of motion with an Olimpico during the Gamecocks’ 2–0 victory over Wake Forest on Saturday. How ’bout that apple?
Upsets galore: Though most seeded squads survived the weekend, six unseeded underdogs — UCF, Brown, Memphis, Xavier, Vanderbilt and UC Irvine — sent top teams packing. The most surprising season to end? No. 2–seed St. Louis, who saw their pre-tourney 18-game win streak crumble in a 1–0 loss to Memphis, due to Saorla Miller’s clutch 64th-minute goal.
- Thanks to keeper Glo Hinojosa’s eight saves, the UC Irvine Anteaters shutout fourth-seeded USC 2–0 to punch their ticket to Friday’s round two…and the Trojans’ ticket home. Fight off.
The fellas: Speaking of tickets, 23 men’s teams nabbed their College Cup bids by winning their respective conferences this weekend. The men are also not immune to mayhem: Western Michigan upset MAC favorite No. 15 Akron 2–1 while unranked Rutgers somehow survived the Big Ten tourney over both No. 16 Ohio State and No. 6 Maryland.
- Other top squads, like No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Stanford and No. 8 Vermont, will learn their fates at 1 p.m. ET today, when the selection committee reveals the 25 at-large teams that will finalize the 48-squad bracket before Thursday’s opening round. Nerve-wracking.