NCAA Men's Soccer Quarterfinals Preview
Dec. 1, 2004
PARK RIDGE, IL - Defending national champion Indiana will make its eighth Elite Eight appearance in the last nine years when it welcomes Tulsa to Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium for a 2 p.m. EST matchup on Sunday. The Hoosiers advanced to the national quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Boston College. Both teams entered the match with tough defenses, as the Eagles and Hoosiers were ranked second and seventh nationally, respectively, in goals against average. Sophomore Josh Tudela broke the scoreless tie at the 40:54 mark when he took a cross from junior Brian Plotkin and found the back of the net. It was Tudela's second goal of his career and first since last year's third round NCAA game against Virginia Commonwealth. The win improves Indiana's record to 16-4-1 and brings the all-time home NCAA mark to 44-3 at Armstrong Stadium. 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 and defeated the Wolverines, 1-0. Tulsa, making its third NCAA appearance in school history, advanced through the first three rounds with wins over Michigan State, Penn State and SMU. The Golden Hurricane defeated Michigan State, 3-1, and played Penn State to a 1-1 tie before advancing 4-3 in penalty kicks. Tulsa played its second consecutive double-overtime match of the championship against No. 2 ranked and seventh seeded SMU and defeated the Mustangs, 2-1.
It was a bitter-sweet ending for Ohio State and Big Ten Player of the Year Justin Cook. Despite the fact that the senior set the single-season and career shots records, Cook and the Buckeyes lost to Duke, 3-0, in Durham on Sunday, ending the team's NCAA Championship run in the third round. Ohio State concludes its season with a 12-7-2 overall record, which ties the school record for wins in a season. Ohio State qualified for the 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 its first NCAA championship win in school history. The team then upset ninth-ranked and fifth-seeded Notre Dame, 2-1.
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 championship, 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. Michigan defeated Akron, 2-1, its first game, but fell to Conference foe, Indiana in the second round, 1-0.
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.