Three of the four BIG EAST men’s soccer teams competing in the NCAA Championship won third-round games on Nov. 27 to advance to the round of eight next weekend. Connecticut, Louisville and USF will move on to the NCAA quarterfinals, while Rutgers fell 3-0 at No. 13 seed UCLA to end the Scarlet Knights’ NCAA run.
No. 3 seed Connecticut (19-3-2) defeated James Madison 3-0 at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. The Huskies will host Charlotte, which knocked off defending champion Akron, on Dec. 3 or 4 in the NCAA quarterfinals, marking UConn's 11th NCAA quarterfinal appearance and the first since 2007.
The shutout against James Madison marked a program record for the Huskies with 16 clean sheets, surpassing the previous mark of 15 set by the 2000 NCAA Championship team.
No. 12 seed Louisville (14-6-2) defeated No. 5 seed Maryland 4-2 on Sunday night on the road at Ludwig. The Cardinals advance to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season. The Cardinals will play No. 13 seed UCLA in Cardinal Park on Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.
Senior Colin Rolfe finished the night with one goal and three assists, tying his career-high for assists. Senior Nick DeLeon, redshirt-freshman Daniel Keller and junior Michael Roman each added goals as well.
No. 7 seed USF (13-3-4) battled to a scoreless draw against No. 10 seed New Mexico on Sunday night and the Bulls advanced on penalty kicks, 6-5. USF will face Creighton at 2 p.m. Dec. 3 in Omaha, Neb., for a chance to get to the Final Four.
Goalkeeper Chris Blais saved New Mexico’s final penalty kick in order to help USF move on in front of a program-record crowd of 3,592 at Corbett Soccer Stadium. New Mexico was unbeaten in 21 games before its matchup with the Bulls Sunday. Blais’ stop sealed USF’s first shootout since 2008 and sent the Bulls to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008.
The NCAA championship semifinals and final will be held at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. on Dec. 9 and 11.