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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Carolina Affair: College Cup 2011

The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated UNC-Charlotte in the NCAA College Cup final today by the score of 1-0 thanks to a superb Ben Speas "sombrerito" over the Charlotte goalkeeper. It was an all-North Carolina affair today after Charlotte dispatched reigning champions Akron and Creighton. UNC, meanwhile, defeated Indiana and UCLA (soccer heavyweights) on their way to a second NCAA Soccer Championship.

The match was an enjoyable affair in which Charlotte dominated most of the possession and created the majority of the chances. Giuseppe Gentile, Beaulieu, and Thomas Allen all had a myriad of options. I was particularly impressed by Gentile. We can expect great things from him in the future.

For the Tar Heels, Speas and Enzo Martinez were the shining stars in an otherwise highly-defensive affair for the Chapel Hill side. Goalkeeper Goodwin, UNC captain Urso and Jordan Gafa continuously blocked Gentile and Co.'s attempts on goal. They provided the defensive spine needed by the eventual-champions to unsettle the Charlotte onslaught.

College soccer is a different kind of animal in the American soccer scene. First of all, it obeys its own rules: TV timeout, countdown clock, 10-minute overtimes, clock stoppage for free kicks and goal kicks. This is enough to get some soccer enthusiasts like my wife to question the validity of a system that is supposed to be the #1 feeder for MLS and the national soccer team. Indeed, words of wisdom. And yet, as with many other NCAA gaffes (BCS rankings, college bowls), little can be done on this front. We should simply enjoy it for what it is: a truly American flavor of the game and one that has given us stars like Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride, Tim Howard. Where would we be without College Soccer?

Congratulations, UNC.


Alastair McCandless said...

Yes the NCAA is just terrible. But March Madness....how to explain the same organization creating the greatest month of basketball every year. An enigma wrapped inside a riddle, truly.

R. Mera Velásquez said...

Agreed. March madness is one of the best sport tournaments in the world.