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Denver, Providence & Five ACC teams advance to Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament

Play resumes Friday and Saturday night

Providence celebrates a win over Creighton in the NCAA Tournament on November 26, 2016
Providence College Athletics

Providence continued its unlikely run through the postseason with a 2-1 win over conference rivals Creighton on Saturday night to advance to the Elite Eight for the second time in three seasons.

Fresh off their upset of unbeaten top seed Maryland, the Friars again fell behind early on a ninth-minute goal from Joel Rydstrand, but leading goalscorer Julian Gressel leveled the score in the 21st minute with his 15th goal of the season.

With under eight minutes remaining and the game still tied 1-1, Gressel played provider, setting up freshman Danny Griffin for the game-winner. The goal was the sixth game-winner of the season for Griffin.

With the win, the Friars are now one win away from a return trip to the College Cup, where they lost to UCLA in double overtime in 2014. They’ll need to knock off another power program in North Carolina to do so though after the Tar Heels upended Syracuse in snowy upstate New York on Sunday.

Jeremy Kelly provided the offense off the bench with a goal in the 32nd minute set up by Cam Lindley while the Tar Heel defense - featuring senior right back Colton Storm (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) - limited the Orange to only one shot on goal.

Former Union Academy midfielder Jack Skahan registered one of nine shots on goal for the Tar Heels while Kenny Lassiter (Narbeth, Pa.) played 14 minutes off the bench for the Orange.

The match was one of two on Sunday between ACC rivals.

Fourth-seeded Louisville scored twice in the final 20 minutes to knock off 13th seed Notre Dame 3-1. Leading goalscorer Mohamed Thiaw put the Cards on top in the 17th minute but a giveaway by the defense set Irish leading goalscorer Jon Gallagher for the equalizer in the 54th minute.

That’s when Danny Reynolds and Tate Schmitt (who linked up for the overtime winner to beat UCLA last week) connected for the eventual game-winner in the 71st minute and Thiaw set up Cherif Dieye to ice the game late.

Louisville will next host defending champs Stanford after the Cardinal edged 2014 champions Virginia on a double overtime goal from Portland Timbers Academy standout Foster Langsdorf. The goal came off a long free kick from Adam Mosharrafa, which was headed into Langsdorf’s path by defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce.

Drew Skundrich (Lancaster, Pa.) led Stanford with six shots and two on goal while Andrew Epstein made four saves to keep Virginia in check.

Undefeated Denver continued their march through the postseason with a 2-1 win over Washington. Chandler Crosswait and Andre Shinyashiki scored goals in each half and the Dawgs comeback fell short after a 78th-minute goal from Steven Wright.

Pioneers head coach Jamie Franks (Medford, N.J.) improved his career record to 34-1-6.

The Pioneers will face 2016 finalist Clemson next after the Tigers got a surge of late offense from Austen Burnikel and Alex Happi to outlast Albany 3-1.

Unseeded Virginia Tech will face Wake Forest in the other quarterfinal after they topped Indiana in overtime on Sunday afternoon.

The Hokies took a lead on a Brendan Moyers goal in the 20th minute and got the overtime winner from Forrest White after Hoosier defender Grant Lillard’s 77th minute equalizer paved the way for overtime.

Goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard (Greenville, Del.) made nine saves to lead the Hokies to their first quarterfinal since 2007. Union Academy alum Billy McConnell (Richboro, Pa.) played 97 minutes in his final college game for Indiana.

Jon Bakero had a brace to lead No. 2 Wake Forest past SIU Edwardsville 2-1 and into the quarterfinals for the second straight year.

Click here for the bracket and game times.