NCAA Men's Soccer Preview

Nov. 24, 2004

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Two of the six Big Ten teams that qualified for the 2004 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship advanced to the third round as Indiana and Ohio State each earned a spot in the Sweet 16 with victories on Tuesday.  Indiana finds itself in familiar territory while Ohio State is in uncharted waters having never made it past the first round in its other two attempts (2000, 2001). 

Defending national champion Indiana will remain in the friendly confines of Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium as the Hoosiers host 15th-seeded Boston College at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday.  Indiana entered the NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed and was awarded a first-round bye.  The Hoosiers faced Conference opponent Michigan in the second round, after the Wolverines defeated Akron, 2-1 in first-round action.  The match seemed destined for overtime as neither team registered any quality scoring chances until sophomore midfielder Kevin Robson found the back of the net at the 86:10 mark.  It was Robson's first goal of the season and second of his career.  Michigan ended its season at 11-8-4, while Indiana's hopes for a repeat remain intact.  Boston College defeated Connecticut, 1-0, to advance to the third round.

Ohio State is heading to third round for the first time in program history after advancing through the first two rounds of play.  The Buckeyes defeated Memphis, 1-0, in Columbus to earn their first NCAA Championship win in school history.  The team then bettered itself when it upset ninth-ranked and fifth-seeded Notre Dame, 2-1.  Ohio State took an early lead on a goal by senior captain Justin Cook, while freshman Ryan Kustos notched the game-winner in the 76th minute.  The Buckeyes will now face Duke in the round of 16.  The Blue Devils advanced to the Sweet 16 after a 3-0 win against Coastal Carolina and a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 12 seed Old Dominion.  The site and time of the match is yet to be announced. 

A record six Big Ten teams earned berths to the 2004 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship as Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State joined Indiana and Ohio State in the postseason.  It marked the first time in League history that six squads have been selected, as the previous record of four was set in 2001 when Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State all competed in the NCAA Championship.  Big Ten Champion Michigan State was the only Conference team to lose in the first round of this year's event, as the Spartans lost to Tulsa, 3-1.  Northwestern, making its first-ever appearance in the Championship, defeated Western Illinois, 4-1, in the first round but was knocked out of the tournament with a 3-2 loss against Creighton in second round action.  Penn State, the No. 10 seed, earned a first-round bye and awaited the winner of the Michigan State vs. Tulsa match.  The Nittany Lions suffered a heart-breaking end to their season as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie through two overtime periods before Tulsa advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks.

The 46th annual NCAA Division I Men's College Cup will be played December 10 and 12 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin are the only Big Ten teams to have won NCAA Championship titles.  The defending NCAA champion Hoosiers have won six titles, Michigan State claimed two back-to-back titles in 1967 and 1968 and the Badgers won their only men's soccer title in 1995.