Local teams Rider and Lehigh were eliminated in first round action of the NCAA tournament Thursday night, leaving Rutgers as the only team remotely in the area still left in the field.
Rider fell to defending national champions Virginia 2-0 on goals by a couple players who have been limited to injuries. Marcus Salandy-Defour, who missed all of last season with an injury and has been limited to 9 games this year, scored the winner in the 68th on an assist from midfielder Jake Rozhansky, who came off the bench to assist on the game-winning goal and add insurance in the 88th minute.
Goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell, a U.S. youth international, turned away five of Rider’s shots on goal in the Broncs first trip to the NCAAs since 1998. Virginia will take on Union Academy alum Sebastian Elney and the 10th-seeded Maryland Terps on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Lehigh took an early 1-0 lead on Hofstra through a goal from Mark Forrest, but was unable to hold the lead, conceding a 77th minute equalizer to Mario Ruiz and a golden goal in the 100th minute by Daniel Massey to lift the Pride to a second round match-up with third seed Georgetown at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Union Academy alumnus Doyle Tuvesson played 99 minutes for the Mountain Hawks and had one of their six shots on goal. He finished his sophomore season with 4 goals and 6 assists.
Rutgers advanced to the second round on penalties after a 1-1 draw despite LIU Brooklyn and former Union Academy goalkeeper Logan Keys’ best efforts. The redshirt junior made eight saves in open play to keep the Blackbirds in it and saved a penalty kick in the shootout.
LIU took the lead in the 32nd minute on a goal from Simen Hestnes, but Jason Wright set up Ahmad Faheem for a 76th minute equalizer to set up a 4 p.m. match with 4th-seeded Akron.
Union Academy alums Matthew Greer (Dartmouth) and Jonathan Wenger (Elon) both got a taste of tournament action on Thursday in games that ended favorably for their teams.
Greer put in a solid shift off the bench for the Big Green and came close to giving them a lead just after halftime with some quality combination play but only had two shots to show for his efforts in his 51 minutes of play. Alexander Marsh’s overtime goal ended up being the difference in a 1-0 win for Dartmouth over Hartwick that sets up a Sunday 2 p.m. match with Syracuse.
Wenger put in a 15-minute shift off the bench for the Phoenix in a lopsided 3-0 win over Winthrop. They take on second-seeded Clemson Sunday at 6 p.m.
The biggest upset of the night came against a Kentucky team that looked poised to make a deep run in the tournament.
Drake got a 75th minute goal from James Grunert to knock off Kentucky 2-1 in star goalkeeper Callum Irving’s final college game. Drake plays 12th-seeded Creighton at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Several other matches on the night saw the higher rated teams advance: Charlotte beat Redford 2-1, SMU topped Utah Valley 2-0, Boston College beat Vermont 1-0, Coastal Carolina shut down North Florida 1-0 and South Carolina advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Furman.
UConn overcame a 1-0 deficit and scored three times in the second half in the only afternoon game of the day. Kwame Awuah assisted on freshman Deandrae Brown’s equalizer and added goals of his own in the 76th and 83rd minutes. UConn will play 16-seed Indiana on Sunday at noon. Fellow American Athletic team Tulsa will be joining them in the second round thanks to Miguel Velasquez’s 95th minute winner that broke a 2-2 tie with Florida International. The Golden Hurricanes play 7 seed Notre Dame on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Dayton’s high-powered offense was held to a goal in each half, but the Flyers advanced on penalties against Oakland to set up an intriguing second round match with Ohio State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
UCLA and Santa Clara prevailed in the late games played in California. Jordan Vale scored for the Bruins in the 59th minute and the UCLA defense limited Cal Poly to three shots on goal in the 2-0 win. Freshman Jackson Yueill assisted the game-winner while an own goal made it 2-0 in the 77th minute.
Santa Clara scored twice in the first half and goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh made six saves to keep Cal State Fullerton off the board to send the Broncos through to the second round with a 3-0 win. Luis Urias, Carlos Delgadillo and Edson Cardona scored the goals.
Santa Clara won’t have to travel very far to take on 8-seed Stanford at 8 p.m. Sunday while UCLA will travel to Seattle to take on 11-seed Seattle at 9 p.m. Other Sunday match-ups include South Carolina and 15-seed UC Santa Barbara at 9 p.m.; unbeaten Denver, a 13-seed, hosting SMU at 7 p.m.; 5-seed North Carolina hosting Coastal Carolina; and 14th-seeded South Florida hosting Boston College at 1 p.m.
Top-seeded Wake Forest will welcome instate rival to Spry Stadium at 1 p.m. on Sunday for a game that almost doesn’t seem fair for the Demon Deacons to have to play in the second round as the top overall seed.