College: Schuler lifts UNC in OT, UConn roll on

UNC striker Billy Schuler

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The top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels are one step closer to their fourth straight College Cup. Powerful as they are, though, they needed a few extra minutes to get the job done in the Round of 16.

A sudden-death goal from All-American striker Billy Schuler in the 97th minute was enough to down Indiana and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. It was Schuler’s 15th goal of the year.

“The hard part for us is that some people perceive us as a No. 1 seed and want to come for us,” UNC coach Carlos Somoano said after the match. “We have to make sure that we don’t perceive ourselves as having a target on our back and that we’re always the aggressor and we’re hunting the opponent and we put a target on their back.”

UNC will now play St. Mary’s, who continued their Cinderella run with a 3-2 sudden-death victory of their own over Brown. Trevor Newquist was the hero on the day for the Gaels, nabbing the opener and the 98th-minute winner in Providence.

Second-seeded Connecticut showed why they are one of the favorites to win it all, thumping James Madison 3-0 at home. The Huskies spread the scoring around, with Carlos Alvarez, Mamadou Diouf, and Tony Cascio getting the goal.

They next square off against Charlotte, who topped defending NCAA champions Akron, 1-0, in Charlotte. The winning goal came in the 25th minute from standout freshman striker Giuseppe Gentile, .

Creighton, the 3rd seed in the tournament, got two early goals, from Bruno Castro and Andrew Ribeiro, and held on for a 2-1 win at home to UC Santa Barbara. Substitute David Opoku scored for the Gauchos.

The Bluejays next face South Florida, who snuck past New Mexico on penalties. After the match finished 0-0 in regulation and extratime, the Bulls won 6-5 in the shootout, handing the Lobos their first loss of the season.

Louisville pulled off the big upset of the day, scoring three times in the second half to beat Maryland, 4-2, in College Park. Maryland ace Casey Townsend hit his 17th of the season, but Louisville forward Colin Rolfe owned the day, scoring a goal and posting three assists.

The Cardinals have another tough test in the quarterfinals, where they will play UCLA. The Bruins made quick work of Rutgers, getting a 1st-minute goal from striker Chandler Hoffman en route to a 3-0 win over the Scarlet Knights. Hoffman later added a second after Victor Chavez gave UCLA a 2-0 lead just before halftime. Despite not starting, US youth international Kelyn Rowe had two assists on the night.