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Union Academy in College: Tournament Edition

Three teams with Union Academy alums will play for a chance to earn a spot in the College Cup at PPL Park; Darius Madison's strike wins it for 10-man Virginia and Zack Steffen is a beast in goal for Maryland.

Virginia forward Darius Madison has made a habit of stepping up in big games this season, but the one-time volley he uncorked on Sunday against Marquette is one of the main reasons why the Hoos are now one win away from playing in the College Cup at PPL Park.

Madison delivered the Goal of the Week-worthy strike off a cross from teammate Eric Bird to give Virginia a 2-0 lead in the 47th minute. The goal would hold up for a game-winner, Madison's second of the season, in a final scoreline made all the more remarkable by the fact that Virginia went down a man 57 seconds into the game. The sophomore's six goals are second on the team to Bird and he has added two assists on the season.

Virginia will play UConn, the only non-seeded team left in the tournament, on Friday night in Charlottesville at 7 p.m.

Freshman phenom Zack Steffen made five saves to preserve his eighth clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over UC Irvine to set up a rematch from the opening weekend against California. Steffen made a pair of saves and conceded a goal in a 3-1 win over Providence on Nov. 24. The Downingtown native will be looking to redeem himself against the Golden Bears in Berkeley on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Steffen mishandled a shot that led to a 3-2 California win in overtime on Sept. 1.

Steffen's Terps are the only team remaining from last year's College Cup. Indiana and Creighton both lost in opening round matches and Georgetown were knocked out of the tournament courtesy of a stellar defensive effort by Andrew Herr and his Michigan State teammates.

Herr, a redshirt freshman from Millersville, played the full 90 minutes in the game after starting and playing 106 minutes in a second round overtime win over Louisville on Nov. 24. Adam Montague scored the game-winner in the 28th minute and the Spartans held on to advance to the quarterfinals, where they will play Notre Dame on Saturday, for the first time since 1968.

With the loss, Hoya defender Keegan Rosenberry's season came to an end along with fellow Union alums Melvin Snoh, Brett Campbell and Jon Azzinnari.

Connor Maloney's standout freshman year at Penn State also ended with a 2-0 loss in New Mexico on Sunday. Maloney scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 24 to and finished his rookie season with a pair of goals and seven assists in 21 games, all as a starter. Shane Campbell played limited minutes off the bench in the UC Santa Barbara and New Mexico games and Michael Gonzalez didn't see the field.

Zach Herstek played 32 minutes in George Mason's 1-0 loss to New Mexico in the second round on Nov. 24. He delivered an assists and scored in the penalty shootout Mason won over William & Mary in the opening round on Nov. 21. Herstek finished the season with three goals and an assists in 18 games played and 13 starts. Teammate Colton Amidon finished the season with one goal in 16 games and 2 starts.

After missing three straight games, Colton Storm was back in the lineup for North Carolina in their two tournament games. Storm played 78 minutes in a 1-0 win over South Florida and 64 minutes in a 1-0 loss to UC Irvine. He finished his injury impacted freshman season with one assist in 13 games, earning 9 starts and playing 900 minutes.

Jelani Williams needed just three minutes off the bench to deliver an assist on the game-winning goal in St. John's opening round overtime win over Delaware on Nov. 21 and played 24 minutes as a substitute in the Red Storm's 2-0 loss to Virginia on Nov. 24. Brandon Savino played every minute of both games.

Thomas Shiiba played 44 minutes and 54 minutes in Navy's two tournament games, which included a 3-0 beat down of VCU in the opening round and a 2-1 loss to Wake Forest on Nov. 24. He ended his sophomore season with a goal and an assist in 16 games, starting 8 games and playing 814 minutes. His brother, Mark Shiiba finished the season with 157 minutes played in 9 appearances off the bench.