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MLS on Campus: Surefire top draft pick at Notre Dame?

Dillon Powers - On Campus

Photo Credit: 
Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

Welcome back to MLS On Campus, our weekly look at the goings-on in the college game. Every Monday, we'll give you the week's best highlight, the standout players, which games to watch in the week ahead and, of course, our national Top 10 list.

This week marks the NCAA Tournament draw, as well as the first round of games. Check out the bracket HERE

Big Men on Campus

Notre Dame senior Dillon Powers  While Ryan Finley will get the headlines for his two goals in the championship game, it’s Powers (above) who is pulling the strings for the Irish. With a multitude of MLS scouts in attendance, the midfielder produced a virtuoso performance throughout the weekend, controlling both sides of the ball while scoring the game-winning goal last Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. With a game very similar to San Jose's Sam Cronin, Powers could be a Top 5 pick in January’s SuperDraft.

Creighton senior Jose Gomez – Gomez is a player who comes up big in big moments and he did it again this weekend. The MVC player of the year scored in both the semifinals and finals of the conference tournament to lead the Blue Jays to their 13th conference championship. An attacking midfielder with a low center of gravity who can beat you from range, Gomez could move into the first round of the draft with a good combine.

Rank Trending Last College Comment

1

1

Maryland
(17-1-2)

In a rematch of the water-logged showdown from a few weeks ago, the Terrapins again defeated North Carolina to take home the ACC Tournament Championship and solidify their status as the top team in the country. Sacho Cirovski’s men will need to tighten up the defense if they want to make good on their national championship aspirations. 

2

2

Akron
(17-1-2)

The Zips cruised through the MAC tournament without much of a problem, posting two shutout wins to set a new NCAA record with 47 straight conference games unbeaten. They strangely fell short of a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, meaning they will play all but the College Cup games at Cub Cadet Field where they are 9-0-1 with just one goal allowed in 10 games. 

3

5

Notre Dame
(16-3-1)

The Irish won their third Big East Championship in wild fashion over Georgetown as sophomore Nick Besler, brother of Sporting KC defender Matt Besler, equalized with just 30 seconds left on the clock before Finley grabbed the golden goal with just a minute left in double overtime. With the conference championship, Notre Dame actually earned the NCAA Tournament's top seed.

4

4

North Carolina
(15-3-2)

As long as the Tar Heels can avoid the Terps, they should be just fine in the NCAA Tournament. UNC has allowed just three goals this season to teams not named Maryland, but the question still remains: Who is their main scoring threat? Sunday’s loss could mean they will have to play a potential quarterfinal on the road should they make it that far. 

5

10

UCLA
(13-2-3)

After an early-season loss to Washington, the Bruins did what they had to do, winning five of their last six Pac-12 games, including a must-win season finale against San Diego State to give them their fourth conference title in five years. Senior winger Ryan Hollingshead grabbed another goal against the Aztecs to bring his tally to six goals and eight assists in 18 games this year.

6

6

Georgetown
(17-3-1)

The Hoyas were just seconds from their first ever conference title before conceding late to Notre Dame. With 28 combined goals in 21 games, the attacking trio of Brandon Allen, Andy Riemer and Steve Neumann will be a handful for any defense, and the Hoyas have the added bonus of a top seed – and home field advantage – for the tournament.

7

3

Connecticut
(15-3-1)

Sophomore goalkeeper Andre Blake kept the Huskies in the game last Friday night, but they couldn’t find an equalizer and fell to Notre Dame in the Big East semifinals. With one of the most complete lineups in the NCAA, UConn will be an extremely tough out expecially because it ended up claiming the final top seed despite the loss to the Irish.  

8

8

New Mexico
(16-3-1)

The Lobos’ run of seven straight shutout wins came to an end in the MPSF championship game, conceding with just 16 seconds left on the clock, then falling in penalty kicks to Air Force. UNM hit the tournament with one of the hottest freshman in the country, Vancouver Whitecaps Academy forward Ben McKendry. The Canadian youth international has scored in each of his last four games.

9

(NR)

Creighton
(16-2-1)

Don’t look now, but the Blue Jays are hitting their stride. With the experience of last year’s run to the NCAA semifinals in their pockets, Creighton has won 10 games in a row, including the MVC Tournament championship. The late run likely assures at least a couple home games in chilly Omaha for the Blue Jays.

10

7

Marquette
(16-3-1)

The Golden Eagles were less than a minute from penalty kicks in the Big East Tournament semis before conceding in the 110th minute to Georgetown. They’ll lick their wounds from the late loss, but still be overjoyed at their second NCAA Tournament appearance in team history and first since 1997. 

 

Highlight of the Week

The must watch highlight of the week comes from the Big East Championship, where Notre Dame stunned Georgetown with late goals in the second half and overtime.

Also, Columbus Crew fans should check out this ridiculous goal from Akron midfielder Wil Trapp in the MAC Semifinals. Trapp has two years left to refine his game with the Zips before a Homegrown contract surely awaits him.

What to Watch For:

NCAA Tournament

The road to the College Cup starts on Thursday with the first round of the NCAA Tournament and continues through the next month. The College Cup takes place in Hoover, Ala., on Dec. 7 & 9.