The conference tournaments are done and most teams have finished their seasons, but a select few now move on to the NCAA Tournament to take a shot at a national title. The bracket was announced this afternoon and it comes as no surprise that multiple Sounders Academy players will be on the field when the tournament kicks off this week.
#6 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin
(11/6 - 2-0 W @ Florida Atlantic Assist), (11/11 - 1-1 D v Western Mich)
The Zips finished their regular season with an away win at Florida Atlantic — the 27th consecutive victory for Akron over a conference opponent. Yedlin assisted on the first goal. The good news would continue as DeAndre was named to the All Conference First Team.
The Zips then moved on to the MAC conference tournament as the #1 seed, but in their first tournament match they faced Western Michigan and after giving up a game-tying goal in the 84th minute they eventually lost on penalty kicks. The loss meant that the MAC title would go to someone other than Akron for the first time in 5 years, but the the defending national champions were able to look forward to the NCAA tournament, where it was announced today that they wouldn't get a bye and will face Northwestern in the first round on the 17th.
#24 Duke - Nick Palodichuk
(11/4 - 2-0 W v Mercer Goal, Assist), (11/8 - 0-0 D v Clemson), (11/11 - 1-2 L v Boston College)
Duke also closed out the regular season with a 2-0 win as they beat Mercer at home. Palodichuk assisted on the first goal and scored the second as a Freshman on Senior Day. After the match we learned that Nick was named to the All-ACC second team. Given the depth and quality of ACC soccer this year, that's an impressive accomplishment for the player's first season.
The Blue Devils then moved on to the ACC tournament and ground out a scoreless draw with Clemson before winning in penalties (Nick didn't take one). But in the semifinals they fell 1-2 to Boston College in a match available on ESPN3. Today they were slotted into the NCAA tournament to face Georgia State on the 17th, so Nick's excellent first season will continue.
Wake Forest - Sean Okoli
(11/8 - 3-4 L @ Virginia)
Okoli was named to the ACC All-Freshman team, making him the third Sounder to make a Division I all-conference team in his first season. Unfortunately, his ridiculous scoring form from the last few weeks didn't carry into the postseason as Wake Forest was bounced in the first round of the ACC Tournament thanks to a 3-4 overtime loss to Virginia.
On the plus side, despite being considered a bubble team at best, the Deacons made it into the NCAA Tournament and will face South Carolina on the 17th.
College of Charleston - Troy Peterson
(11/6 - 1-2 L v Furman)
Before the Southern Conference tournament, Peterson was named to the Conference All-Freshmen team. Sensing a theme here? That's four now. Sounders are representing. But the Cougars weren't able to recover from an awful second half of the season and lost in their first round matchup with Furman to finish the season on a 10-game winless streak.
Oregon State - Brandon Brockway, Glen Paden
(11/11 - 0-3 L @ Washington)
Oregon State got blown out in their regular season finale with a 0-3 loss to the UW Huskies. Paden picked up his first start of the season in midfield. The Pac-12 doesn't use a conference tournament so that was the season for the Beavers. Paden finished with a respectable 12 appearances for the team, but all but one as a sub. Brockway went without an appearance, so he's eligible to red-shirt this season and retain a year of eligibility.
Florida International - Rodney Greiling
(11/4 - 3-2 W v Florida Gulf Coast)
A disappointing Florida Internaional season ended on a high note as they beat Florida Gulf Coast, who was receiving national rankings votes in the middle of the season. Unfortunately, Greiling wasn't in goal for the match as his first season for the Panthers ended poorly after a tremendous first few matches. We're looking forward to next season when Rodney once again competes with the sophomore Reyes for a starting job.
#13 Seattle Pacific - Evan Robicheau
(11/5 - 1-0 W v St Martin's) (11/10 - 2-1 W v Cal St Dominguez Hills Assist) (11/12 - 2-3 L v Cal St LA)
The SPU Falcons climbed up to 13th in the Division 2 national rankings with a tremendous regular season that saw only 3 losses. They finished the regular season with a 1-0 home win before hosting the West region of the NCAA Division II tournament. In the first round they beat Cal State Dominguez thanks to an overtime goal off of a Robicheau free kick. But in the regional final they lost to another Cal State, who'll go on to the national quarterfinals instead. Evan ended the season as a regular starter in the midfield with a goal and three assists.
#25 Barry University - Chase Hanson
(11/4 - 0-0 D v Lynn), (11/6 - 1-2 L v Rollins), (11/11 - 3-1 W v Rollins), (11/13 - 1-1 D v Lynn)
Hanson didn't start in Barry's first match of the SSC Tournament, but he came up big anyway. The match would remain scoreless all the way through to penalties and Chase would come up for the fifth PK needing to convert with Barry down 2-3. He was successful and the Buccaneers would go on to with the shootout 7-6 and advance to the SSC final. There Hanson was once again starting but they lost to Rollins in the final after conceding two first half goals. They had a rare opportunity for immediate revenge when they were matched up against Rollins in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament and they took advantage with a 3-1 win, though Chase didn't take the field. He was once again called on as a sub in the second round, when Lynn got their own revenge by taking a draw all the way and then winning 3-1 in penalties (before Chase had a chance to take one).
Hanson picked up a ton of playing time for a very good Division II team. We're looking forward to his sophomore season.
Santa Clara - Ryan Herman
(11/6 - 2-1 W v Saint Mary's) (11/11 - 1-0 W @ Gonzaga) (11/13 - 1-0 W @ Portland)
Despite finishing the season with five straight wins — including a head to head win over St Mary's — the Broncos finished the regular season a point behind the Gaels and missed out on the automatic bid in the WCC, which doesn't have a conference tournament. They were ranked at one point in the season, but didn't have a strong enough season to make the NCAA tournament as an at large team and their season is over. Redshirt Senior Kevin Klasila was the starter in goal for most of the season, so it looks like next season will be a competition between redshirt Freshman Herman and redshirt junior Larry Jackson, who backed up Klasila this season.
#19 Washington - Drew White
(11/11 - 3-0 W v Oregon State)
The Huskes finished the regular season with the aforementioned big win over the Beavers and climbed to 19th in the national rankings. But unfortunately the Huskies were kept out of the NCAA tournament despite a strong claim for the second year in a row. Their 19th place in the coaches' rankings evidently couldn't overcome their #44 RPI and UCLA became the only Pac-12 team to make it into the tournament this year.
Next season will be Drew's chance to don the purple and gold as a redshirt freshman.
OthersConcordia University had their final regular season match with Oregon Tech cancelled due to snow and then went on to win the CCC Tournament with a 2-0 win over Corban without a Nate Boatright appearance. They host an opening round match of the NAIA tournament against Great Falls this weekend.
Shoreline finished their season with a 0-1 loss to Edmonds, ending Jeremy Wentzel's first season.
Highline finished the regular season with a 2-0 win over Olympic with Darwin Jones scoring both of the goals, which comes as no surprise at this point. He finishes the season 5th in the 30-team conference with 15 goals. They moved onto the NWAACC tournament (hosted at Starfire) and defeated South Puget Sound 2-1 in the first round and then Walla Walla 3-1 in the quarterfinals with Jones picking up two goals and an assist. The semifinal is on the 19th versus Olympic and the final the next day if they advance.