PHILADELPHIA -- The Brown and Cornell men's soccer teams each competed in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The Bears defeated Drexel, 2-0 in Philadelphia, while Cornell was edged at home, 1-0 by Syracuse. Brown advances to the round of 32, where it will take on Maryland on Sunday in College Park, Md.
At least two Ivy teams have now made the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship field for eight consecutive seasons, a streak that began in 2005, and at least one Ivy League team has advanced to the second round in each of those eight years. Last season, Dartmouth and Brown made the tournament, and the Bears advanced to the third round.
The No. 15 Brown men's soccer team tallied two goals in the first half to defeat host Drexel, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Vidas Field. The Bears improved to 13-2-3 overall, while the Dragons ended their season with a record of 12-4-3.
The Bears didn't waste much time generating offensive opportunities, taking four shots on goal in the opening eight minutes of play and scoring their first goal 16:54 into the match. Thomas McNamara found the back of the net when he headed in a Dylan Remick corner kick. McNamara out-jumped his opponent, and headed the ball into the upper right corner of the goal past Drexel goalkeeper Tim Washam.
With under four minutes remaining in the first half, Remick served a cross to the middle of the box from the left side. Sophomore Daniel Taylor jumped up and headed the ball in to give the Bears a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Senior Eric Robertson played phenomenal defense for the Bears this evening, deflecting a few big scoring opportunities by the Dragons to give the Bears their 11th shutout of the year. Sam Kernan-Schloss recorded his 10th shutout, improving to 13-2-3. Drexel's Washam also earned five saves in net to end the year at 12-3-3.
The Bears will now head to College Park, Md., to take on No. 2 Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 5 p.m.
Syracuse's Lars Muller scored in the ninth minute and Cornell couldn't equalize as the Orange ended the Big Red's storybook season with a 1-0 decision on Thursday evening at Berman Field. The NCAA first round matchup advanced the 13-6 Orange to meet VCU on Sunday afternoon. The Ivy League champion Big Red ends its season with a 15-2 mark.
Cornell owned a 17-10 edge in shots, but couldn't put one in the back of the net as Alex Bono completed the shutout with three saves and the defense blocked numerous other dangerous chances, including two in the final moment in the midst of a goalmouth scrum that put the Berman-record 1,504 fans on their edge of their seats. Despite the temperature hovering at or below freezing, the Big Red kept the crowd in their seats until the final horn, pressuring the Orange all evening.
Rick Pflasterer made three saves in goal and Ivy League Player of the Year Daniel Haber was dynamic offensively with a game-high six shots, while Nico Nissl had three shots.