The Elite Eight portion of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament gets underway on December 1st. Fordham is the only unranked team to find itself in the elite eight – can the Rams pull of another upset en route to Talen Energy Stadium for the championship? Here is a ranking of the eight teams remaining in the tournament.
1. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons entered the tournament as the number one seed and remain the team to beat. They will be looking for sweet revenge on December 2nd as they take on Stanford, the squad that defeated them to claim a title last season. Forest has yet to let up a goal all tournament – will that remain the case when they face the Cardinals?
The Hoosiers have showed why they were the second seed in the bracket. So far, the team has put up five goals in two matches, while only allowing a single goal. Can the defense continue to keep up with their incredible offense?
Stanford took issue with the lack of respect heading into the tournament after claiming the title in 2016. The 9th seeded Cardinals struggled with an unranked Pacific team, but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Coastal Carolina. Their rematch with Wake Forest is the most anticipated game in the tournament so far.
Fordham is quickly becoming the cinderella story of the soccer bracket. After upsets of St. Francis and Virginia, most experts figured their run was over with the prospects of facing sixth seed Duke. Fordham took care of Duke in the biggest upset of the tournament and now faces UNC.
Akron’s offense may be the scariest unit remaining in the tournament. They have put up a total of six goals in two games, but will face their first ranked opponent, Louisville, in the elite eight.
6. North Carolina
UNC has lived up to the hype as a three seed after a shutout victory against an upstart SMU squad. They get their second chance to knock off a cinderella team when they take on Fordham.
7. Michigan State
The Spartans scored a resounding win over Virginia Tech, but looked vulnerable against Western Michigan. It’s their turn to play spoiler as they face number two Indiana next.
Louisville sits as the most unlikely team to win the championship based on their first two matchups in the tournament. Both wins came against unranked opponents, so fans will find out on December 1st if this team is contender or a pretender.