Sounders on Campus: Tourney Time

Three teams with Sounders on the roster are advancing to the NCAA tournament, and Aaron Kovar earns a major award.

The regular season and conference tournaments are complete and now all that's left is the NCAA tournament. And there's also the matter of conference awards, where the Sounders did very well for themselves.

In the Bracket

#1 Akron

Deandre Yedlin and the Zips earned 2-0 wins in the MAC tournament semifinals and final to earn their 9th MAC championship and retain their national #1 ranking. But that wasn't enough to secure a top seed in the NCAA Tournament and they enter as the 5th seed, which gives them a first round bye but is likely to add a chip to the shoulders of the Akron players and coach Caleb Porter. Their first match is November 18 versus the winner of the first round match between Niagara and Michigan.

#14 Wake Forest

Wake was upset by Virginia in their first match of the ACC tournament, but they retained a top 15 national ranking and earned a 15-seed in the tournament. They get a first round bye and then face the winner of Elon and Coastal Carolina on November 18 with Sounder Sean Okoli starting at forward.

#21 Washington

The Pac-12 doesn't have a conference tournament, but the Huskies finished off their regular season with a double overtime win over Oregon State with Michael Gallagher starting in defense and Ian Lange coming in off the bench. After barely missing the tournament in two consecutive years, Washington broke through and tonight they host Air Force in their first round match. If they win, they face 12th-seeded Creighton on Sunday. Creighton happens to be the school where Jamie Clark (no relation) coached before he took over at Washington.

The Huskies are in the same section of the bracket as Akron, so there would be a matchup of Sounders in the third round if both teams advanced.

Just Missed

The NCAA soccer tournament includes 48 teams, but conference winners get automatic invites, so being a top 48 team doesn't guarantee entry. That was true for Nick Palodichuk and Duke, who were ranked 45th by RPI and Jordan Schweitzer and Denver, who were 47th. Aaron Kovar and Stanford (50th) and Nick Raskasky and West Virginia (57th) also had strong seasons, but those seasons are over.

Awards

A number of Sounders made all-Conference teams, and there was an even more prestigious Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award for Kovar.

Class Conference Awards
Deandre Yedlin Sophomore MAC First Team
Sean Okoli Sophomore ACC Second Team
Aaron Kovar Freshman Pac-12 Freshman of the Year / Second Team
Jordan Schweitzer Freshman MPSF Honorable Mention
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