Men's Soccer 2013 NCAA Tournament #5 Maryland / #12 UC Irvine Regional Breakdown

#5 Maryland / #12 UC Irvine Regional Breakdown

Maryland and UC Irvine are the seeded teams in this region and both should be feeling relatively good about their draw. The Anteaters could have a long road trip ahead of them, but there are certainly tougher roads to Philadelphia and the College Cup out there.


#5 Maryland vs. Penn/Providence

Penn is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. That year they beat Bucknell before falling to Maryland. This time around they will hope to play Maryland again, but come away with a different result. The Quakers have a decent offense with junior Duke Lacroix and freshmen Alec Neumann and Sam Hayward, but the defense has been terribly inconsistent. Penn has allowed two or more goals on ten occasions. With a 17 game schedule, that is way too many goals. Providence is not a particularly high scoring team and averages about a goal and a half per game, but they do have a handful of players who can find the back of the net. What the Friars lack is a true number one target up top.

Maryland got off to a slow start, winning only one of their first four games. After that, the Terrapins lost just one contest, a 4-3 shootout at home to Wake Forest. Patrick Mullins led the high scoring offense with 14 goals and seven assists. Sophomore Schillo Tshuma added six goals and Jake Pace finished the regular season with five. The Terps have had some defensive lapses. Penn or Providence may not be able to take advantage of it, but it is a concern down the line.


#12 UC Irvine vs. North Carolina/South Florida

Many thought North Carolina would eventually turn things around and turn into a competitor for an ACC title. It never happened though. The Tar Heels finished with a respectable 8-5-5 overall record and 4-2-5 in conference play, yet they never found consistency. The good news for UNC is that they have a good defense and a great keeper in Brendan Moore. One goal is often enough. North Carolina will host South Florida, who snuck into the tournament by winning the AAC tournament in a thrilling penalty kick shootout with Connecticut. Like UNC, USF has a good keeper. Brentton Muhammad outlasted UConn’s Andre Blake in the AAC tournament finale and has recorded eight shutouts on the year. If Edwin Moalosi or Stiven Salinas can find the back of the net, the Bulls have a chance to beat North Carolina.

Whoever wins will take a long trip out west to play UC Irvine. The Anteaters won the Big West South during the regular season and beat Cal State Northridge in the Big West tournament final. During their last two NCAA appearances UC Irvine has received a bye into the second round, but failed to win a game. Many of the upperclassmen were around in 2011 when they lost to Saint Mary’s. Experienced players like Enrique Cardenas, Cameron Iwasa, Christopher Santana and Mitchell Alvarez will not let that happen again.


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