The first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament opened Thursday night and in one of the early games, the Providence Friars defeated Penn on penalty kicks. Penn scored first just over nine minutes into the game but Providence notched the equalizer in the twenty-third minute. Neither team scored again and, after two overtimes, the Friars won on penalty kicks by a 3-1 margin. Providence will travel to College Park to face the Terrapins in the tournament's second round.
The Friars come in to Ludwig field with a record of 12-5-4 and were ranked twenty-third in the last RPI. The only common opponent for the two squads this season is Virginia. The Cavaliers soundly defeated the Friars 4-0 on September 24. Maryland and Virginia played to a 3-3 tie. Virginia hosted both games.
Providence finished the season with a 2-4-1 record against tournament teams. They defeated Quinnipiac and St. Johns. In addition to UVA, they dropped regular season games to Georgetown and Marquette - teams they faced a second time in their conference tournament. Providence advanced to the finals of the Big East Tournament after notching a scoreless tie against Georgetown but again advancing on penalty kicks. The Friars lost to Marquette 3-2 in the championship game.
North Carolina advanced on the other side of Maryland's bracket defeating South Florida 1-0. The Tar Heels will travel west to face twelfth ranked UC Irvine in their second round match.
In other local (or local-ish) results, Connecticut defeated Quinnipiac 2-1 and will face sixteenth ranked UMBC. Delaware fell 2-1 to St. Johns while Navy ousted VCU 3-0. The Midshipmen will travel to Wake Forest for their second round game.
For those interested in how Maryland's two conferences fared, the B1G split its matches with Northwestern falling to Bradley while defending champion Indiana was knocked out by Akron. Penn State and Wisconsin won to join Michigan State in the round of thirty-two. Clemson was the only other ACC team playing in the first round. The Tigers fell to Elon on penalty kicks.
Maryland's game against Providence is scheduled for what looks to be a cold five pm kickoff Sunday at Ludwig Field.