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NCAA Tournament: Rayyan, Elmedkhar winners send Duke, Kentucky into Round of 16

Philadelphia Union Academy grads both in good form heading into the third round of the NCAA Tournament

Issa Rayyan does a flip after scoring the eventual game-winner for Duke in a second round NCAA Tournament match on November 18, 2018
Duke Athletics

Philadelphia Union Academy grads continued to put their stamp on the 2018 college soccer season on Sunday with goals coming from five different alums in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

ACC Rookie of the Year Issa Rayyan scored his fifth goal in his last six games in the 65th minute to lead Duke past Pacific and into the Round of 16 on Sunday night.

Rayyan, a Michigan native, pounced on a loose ball off a rebound and fired home the game’s only goal. He celebrated with a flip.

“These games are tough, they’re hard,” Rayyan said in a post-game interview. “This is the result that matters and here we are going to spend Thanksgiving together and look forward to the next game.”

Rayyan went the full 90 minutes while fellow Union Academy grad Seth Kuhn played 14 minutes in the match off the bench.

The freshman was one of a sevearl academy grads to get on the score sheet in tournament action Sunday.

Kentucky sophomore Kalil ElMedkhar had a brace in the Wildcats’ 4-0 win over Portland. Fellow Reading United alumnus JJ Williams had the other two goals in the match, scoring both times within minutes of ElMedkhar’s goals. ElMedkhar now has 11 goals on the season (4 game-winners) and 10 assists while Williams has 18 goals and 8 assists.

Maryland senior forward Sebastian Elney scored the second goal for the Terps in a 2-0 win over academy grad Ivy Brisma and NC State. The goal was the third of the season for Elney and the 18th of his career.

Justin McMaster had the second goal in top-ranked Wake Forest’s 2-0 win over Colgate. McMaster played 48 minutes off the bench in the game while fellow academy grad Joey DeZart started in the midfield and played 89 minutes.

Morgan Hackworth had Akron’s third goal and former Reading United goalkeeper Ben Lundt made five saves in a 3-1 win over 16th-seed Syracuse. Reading United alums Kamal Miller and Hugo Delhommelle saw their college careers end in the losing effort.

Notre Dame advanced on penalties after a scoreless draw with Michigan. West Chester native and Penn Fusion Academy alum Aiden McFadden and Union Academy grad Pat Berneski both converted penalties in the shootout.

Reading United defender and former Union Academy and Philadelphia Lone Star standout Lamine Conte had an assist on Haji Abdikadir’s 77th minute equalizer but No. 4 seed Louisville ended up falling in overtime to Michigan State.

No. 5 seed North Carolina, which made it to the College Cup last season, also suffered an early exit in a 2-1 loss to James Madison. Former Union Academy midfielder Jack Skahan played 82 minutes in the match while former Reading United forward Jelani Pieters played all 90 minutes.

Mountville, Pa. native Sean O’Hearn, a defender, played all 90 minutes in Geogetown’s 1-0 win over West Virginia. Outside back Andrew Aprahamian played 90 minutes in three-time defending champs Stanford’s 2-0 win over UC Irvine.

No. 15 Denver, coached by Medford, N.J. native Jamie Franks, was another early exit victim with a 2-1 loss to Air Force. All told, five national seeds — teams that all had byes in the first round — were eliminated on Sunday.

Round of 16 play opens on Saturday and continues on Sunday. The quarterfinals will be played at campus venues November 30-December 2 and the College Cup in Santa Barbara, California on December 7 and 9.