For many years now the NCAA has coined the build up to a National Final Four as “All Roads lead to ____(insert city that the tournament will conclude in)”. After the Elite Eight matches concluded last weekend: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and UCLA will take to the road one more time, with the destination being WakeMed Park in Cary, NC. Two national semifinals will be played on this evening and the victors comes the opportunity to play for a National Championship on Sunday afternoon.
How time flies when we are having fun. It started with 64 teams two weeks ago and after 56 matches, the 2013 NCAA Tournament has been whittled down to just eight teams. And we have seen it all so far: classic 1-nil nail biters, 4-nil (and one 9-nil) shellackings, overtime winners and seven matches decided by penalty kicks. Through all that only eight teams, including all four Number One seeds, have won three straight matches and see themselves only 90 minutes away from Cary and the College Cup. Lets take a look how we got here and what to expect on Friday and Saturday.
The 2013 regular season and conference tournaments have concluded and the NCAA has whittled the competition down to 64 teams to battle it out to reach the College Cup in Cary, NC. We have seen a lot of great stories in that time: the introduction of some rising players, the return of familiar faces, a team that ran the table in the regular season but couldn’t reach the final of its conference tournament and a few underdogs that played the spoiler role.
But now its the business end of the NCAA season. And after the NCAA revealed the Road to the College Cup, here is OGM’s Preview Guide for the 2013 Division I NCAA Tournament:
After a six week (or so) hiatus, and since the USWNT is back in camp, the time was ripe to catch up on the NWSL happenings.
The 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season came to a close late on Saturday night as the Portland Thorns defeated the Western New York Flash 2-0 in Rochester, NY. And this championship match had everything that you would want from a final. From the build up where key players trying to get healthy for the final to great flowing action on the field to one moment of magic that separated the sides to one team overcoming a tough obstacle thrown at them. Read more
It’s all come down to one match. The National Women’s Soccer League Championship match will be contested on Saturday at 8pm ET in Rochester, NY between Portland Thorns and Western New York Flash, two teams that don’t have a whole lot of separation between them. And it is the Championship match-up that many invested parties hoped for: having the so-called “face franchise of the NWSL” face off against one of the most successful franchises in American Women’s Professional Soccer history (or it could be billed as the match that pits the heralded USWNT veteran vs the rising USWNT star…aka Abby vs. Alex). Regardless what you call it, it’s going to be a great contest. Here’s a breakdown of the Final as well as the second of three OGM All-NWSL Best XIs. Read more
88 regular season matches are in the books and now the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League season is down to four teams. In the next two weeks, three closely contested matches will be played to determine the first-ever NWSL Champion. Two points (and some goal differential) separated Western New York, FC Kansas City, Portland and Sky Blue in the regular season standings and after a crazy turn of events in the final hours of the season, the playoff hosting scenarios took a complete 180 degree turn. And honestly, it didn’t surprise me at all, because each of these four teams have been very close in comparison and it was going to go down to the wire to separate them. So let’s takes a look at some key factors for each team in their semifinal match ups on Saturday. Then it’s time to reveal this column’s first of three All-NWSL XI’s. Read more
At 11:45pm on this last Wednesday night, the race for the four playoff spots in the National Women’s Soccer League was over. That Wednesday night however, didn’t end on the terms that a few teams wanted it to end. But from one of the more packed weeks of NWSL play this season, teams never gave in no matter the situation. Every team played as hard as they were playing from week one, proving that while the player talent pool is growing there are no easy matches on any teams schedule. But the culminating week in the NWSL regular season won’t go to waste. While FC Kansas City, Western New York Flash, Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC all have clinched playoff spots, no seeds have been determined. So this coming weekend will be quite interesting. Also after the usual recap for this week, I will be making a few changes on this column for the playoffs so keep reading to the end. Until then, lets take a look back at Week 18 of the NWSL Regular Season. Read more
In the 16 weeks of the National Women’s Soccer League regular season it has been a battle to claim a playoff position. But in Week 17, the first team has reached the promise land of knockout round playoff soccer. FC Kansas City clinched a playoff berth late Sunday night, leaving only three places available for five playoff eligible teams. Some teams are in better positions than others as only two weeks remain in the regular season. Let’s take a look back at Week 17 of regular season play as well as updated playoff scenarios and some remarks from an NWSL team owner about the 2014 season. Read more
If there were two common themes that were learned during Week 16 of the National Women’s Soccer League, they would go along the lines of that no lead is safe, regardless if that lead is on the field or in the standings, and waiting out a storm could help you in the long run. As the NWSL heads towards a frantic final three weeks of the regular season, playoff positions are still being fought for. For the teams that are on the outside looking in, they aren’t throwing in the towel just yet which will make the next few weeks very exciting. Let’s take a look back at the five games from Week 16 of the regular season: Read more