Men's Soccer 2013 NCAA Tournament #8 Virginia / #9 Marquette Regional Breakdown

#8 Virginia / #9 Marquette Regional Breakdown

Marquette has had a great season, but the selection committee was not all that nice to them. Akron is always a dangerous team and nothing has happened to disprove that. Indiana is on a roll and hopes to make another improbable run to the College Cup. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles road could go through Charlottesville, Virginia and the Cavaliers have been playing great soccer at the end of the year.


#9 Marquette vs. Akron/Indiana

There are still some questions about the Zips. They only lost three games all year, but there were not that many great wins either. Victories over Wake Forest and Penn State were impressive, yet the MAC did not provide much competition. Akron is not lacking in talent though. Reinaldo Barnes, Aodhan Quinn and Saad Abdul-Salaam are all productive strikers. Adam Najem, Eric Stevenson and Robbie Derschang can score and setup the strikers from the midfield and Bryan Gallego and Andrew Souders form a great defensive duo. Indiana will head to Akron to take on the Zips after their impressive run through the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers knocked off Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State in a four day span. Despite the poor showings throughout much of the year, this is an Indiana squad that is still growing up and finally has everything coming together. Their experience is in the midfield with seniors Nikita Kotlov, A.J. Corrado and Jacob Bushue. If those three can control tempo and feed the young strikers effectively, Indiana could continue their recent winning ways.

The reward for winning in the first round is a late November trip to Milwaukee to face Marquette. Coming off of Big East regular season and tournament titles, the Golden Eagles are a hot team right now. Defenders Axel Sjoberg and Paul Dillon are among the best in the conference and keeper Charlie Lyon has had a superb sophomore season. Striker C. Nortey is the target man up front, but keep an eye on freshmen Coco Navarro and Louis Bennett II. How well those two perform under the pressure of the NCAA Tournament could be the difference between a trip to the College Cup and an early exit.


#8 Virginia vs. Delaware/St. John's

The game between Delaware and St. John’s will be a battle of the high scoring offense of the Blue Hens and the great defense of the Red Storm. Delaware is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, led by freshman midfielder Guillermo Delgado who netted 14 goals and added five assists. Jaime Martinez, Joe Dipre and Roberto Gimenez are also major scoring threats. St. John’s keeper Rafael Diaz and All-Big East defender Tim Parker will have their hands full.

Either squad will have their hands full with Virginia. The young Cavaliers have had some ups and downs this season, but they are playing pretty well heading into the NCAA Tournament. Junior midfielder Eric Bird leads an attack that is full of underclassmen. Darius Madison, Riggs Lennon, Todd Wharton and Jordan Allen have all proven to be capable offensively, but this is a different stage where the youngsters could be tentative.


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