Notre Dame Region Men's Soccer 3rd Round Breakdowns

Notre Dame Region Men's Soccer 3rd Round Breakdowns


#1 Notre Dame vs. #16 Indiana

Both Notre Dame and Indiana just beat their second round opponent by three goals. Both teams have a leading scorer that at least doubles the goals as the next player on their team. And both defenses have made it this far without allowing more than 18 goals from their opponents. To say Notre Dame and Indiana is a match made in heaven would be an understatement. It is fate or destiny or the soccer gods saying, “It is time…again.”

These two teams have battled each other every year for the past ten years meeting twice in the second round of the NCAA tournament, first in 2002 when the Hoosiers swept the Irish 1-0, then again in 2005 when Notre Dame took home that win 2-0. They have even faced off this past regular season. Notre Dame beat Indiana earlier by a single goal made by defender Grant Van De Casteele. Ryan Finley, the Irish leading scorer, recorded four shots on goal against the Hoosiers in the regular season game while Eriq Zavaleta, IU’s leader, tallied none that match. Both teams are equally matched and they both have the skills to continue through to the College Cup and into the championship game, but who will it be?


#9 North Carolina vs. Fairleigh Dickinson

UNC taking on FDU is such a cliché of a match, truly a David vs. Goliath situation. It is a lot like the movies where a no-name team takes on the powerhouse of the league. This is that game for men’s college soccer for the 2012 season. FDU shouldn’t even be here after barely squeaking by in the Northeastern Conference tournament by penalty kicks and not just in one game. They made it to the NEC championship game off of penalty kicks and then won the crown off of penalty kicks. Their heads swelled after the NEC tournament and they took on St. Johns as if they were a force all season. FDU won 1-0 against St. John’s and made their way to a second round win against St. Louis, again in overtime thanks to a header by forward Anthony Moore.  Defending champions UNC, has pleased the crowd as a typical big name team does, with wins. Although they didn’t take the ACC title, falling to Maryland, they swept through their schedule with just three losses. The Tar Heels offense tallied 32 goals thus far and the defense has only allowed six.  There are few teams left in the tournament with stats like that. Statistically, UNC has nothing to worry about against FDU, but as the Knights have shown, it just takes one.


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