Men's Soccer Semifinals Breakdowns
After sixty minutes of play, Indiana’s Eriq Zavaleta finally scored the only goal of the quarterfinal match between the Hoosiers and UNC. Indiana now moves on to face off against Creighton in the semifinal match. Indiana’s offense has been an impressive force this season but that was expected after Zavaleta’s freshman performance last season. What was unexpected was how well keeper, Luis Soffner, and the rest of the defense was going to be this season, especially in tournament play. Holding Notre Dame and Xavier to just one goal then not letting North Carolina even net one has proven to be a dominating factor in the NCAA tournament so far. But now the Hoosiers take on Creighton who has swept by Washington and bested Akron in a shoot out before meeting up with UConn. The quarter final match stayed scoreless until Creighton’s Jose Gomez scored the game winner with less than two minutes to go in the match. This was another close one for the Blue Jays, but a win none the less. After facing Akron and UConn, Creighton is prepped and primed for another powerhouse such as Indiana.
Both teams bring an aggressive and accurate offense to the pith that can find the net from anywhere around the box. Zavaleta leads the Hoosiers with 18 goals while Timo Pitter for Creighton has logged 10. Both defenses have stepped up in the tournament to the next level as well and have put a stop to some tough offenses. Will the Hoosiers move on past Creighton for a chance to bring home another crown to Indiana or will Creighton take the chance away from Indiana to face off against Georgetown or Maryland?
On the other side of the fence Georgetown takes on Maryland’s top scoring offense for a chance at the College Cup. Georgetown moved past San Diego 3-1 while Maryland finished off Louisville 3-1 as well. Maryland has tallied 60 goals on the season, 10 of which have come in the last three games in the tournament. Patrick Mullins leads the Terps with 16 but Georgetown’s Brandon Allen has logged 15 goals himself leading the Hoyas. Both teams have impressive offense; unfortunately for Georgetown, the Terps have just proven to be a little more accurate. Georgetown and Maryland haven’t had the chance to meet yet, but the Hoyas did take on Notre Dame twice this season, also an offensively strong team, but the Hoyas were unable to beat them. That doesn’t say much for the Hoyas defense but you can’t count them out yet. The pair of keepers, Tomas Gomez and Keon Parsa, for Georgetown has done their fair share of protecting the net. Maryland also brings a pair of keepers to fill the net for the semifinal match. They will rely on either Jordan Tatum or Keith Cardona, who has been their keeper for all previous tournament matches. Maryland has the more accurate offense with more players that can find the net but Georgetown isn’t afraid to take shots either and both defenses have done their part but will need to step it up against these offensive powerhouses. Will it come down to just one goal, a shootout, or will there just be an upset that puts one team out and sends the other to Hoover, Alabama?