Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #1 Notre Dame / #8 Georgetown Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Notre Dame vs. #16 Virginia

Notre Dame fought a scrappy Ohio State team in the second round, coming away with a 2-1 win in the soaking rain. Though Mother Nature has a way of evening things out, the Buckeyes looked like the better of the two teams for extended periods of time. Ohio State was relentless in pursuit of the ball, winning 50-50 battles and constantly pushing forward to create dangerous opportunities. In fact, the Buckeyes gave Notre Dame a taste of their own medicine by controlling the ball and dominating the run of play at times. The Irish were fortunate to take the lead on a penalty shot in the 30th minute and hold off a pesky Ohio State side in the second half. Notre Dame will have to clean up some of its mistakes in the next round and also close the gaps in transition, as the Fighting Irish have been susceptible to counterattacks this season.

Virginia was tested by a quality UNC-Wilmington team, falling behind in the 20th minute but equalizing just before the break on a goal by Sam Hayward. The Cavaliers built on their late first-half momentum by adding two more goals in the second half. Jake Rozhansky and Kyle McCord scored for the ‘Hoos, giving Virginia a comfortable and convincing 3-1 victory in Charlottesville. Virginia has yet to beat Notre Dame this year, tying the Fighting Irish at home and losing 3-0 at Notre Dame in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. Both teams enjoy solid defensive corps, but Virginia’s offense has been anemic at times. As a result, the Cavs will need a similar performance in the third round if they’re going to come away with a win in Indiana.


#8 Georgetown vs. #9 Syracuse

Both Georgetown and Syracuse came from behind to win their second round games with identical 2-1 scores. Additionally, the Hoyas and Orange dominated their opponents, outshooting them 19-3 and 19-5, respectively.

Things looked bleak for Georgetown the majority of the game, as an own goal in the first half and a botched open-netter by Brandon Allen had the Hoyas scratching their heads. However, Allen finally got Georgetown on the board in the 74th minute, and a late goal in the second overtime session by Arun Basuljevic completed their come-from-behind victory. Basuljevic literally scored in the dying seconds, depleting an Old Dominion squad that was set on going to penalty kicks.

Meanwhile, Syracuse limited Penn State to just one shot on goal. The Nittany Lions made that shot count, as Connor Maloney put Penn State up 1-0 in the 60th minute. The Orange’s Emil Ekblom answered in the 74th minute, putting the two teams on equal terms. Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton made an amazing save shortly thereafter, pushing a header over the crossbar despite moving in the opposite direction of the shot. Unfortunately, Syracuse’s Oyvind Alseth knocked one past him in the 84th minute, ultimately clinching the victory for the Orange.

Now these former Big East rivals will meet in the third round with Syracuse trying to avenge a defeat to Georgetown in the 2012 NCAA tournament. Both of these sides are ranked in the top five nationally in goals against average, so a defensive struggle could definitely ensue. As mentioned in the second round preview, Georgetown needs to get offensive production outside of Brandon Allen if they are going to be successful. They got this against ODU and it will have to continue with the country’s top defense coming in.


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