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Hokies Advance to Final 4

Before this year, Virginia Tech's only NCAA tournament victory in program history came in a penalty kick tiebreaker four years ago. Now the Hokies are going to the final four.

Patrick Nyarko, a junior forward from Ghana, scored midway through the first half as 11th-seeded Tech shocked No. 3 Connecticut, 1-0, in a quarterfinal match today in Storrs, Conn., to advance to Friday's semifinals in Cary, N.C. They'll play Notre Dame or Wake Forest.

UConn had won eight straight, was 17-0-0 at home and had only been shut out twice all season. Nyarko's goal was only the third conceded by the Huskies in the first half this year.

By Steve Goff  |  December 8, 2007; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  College Soccer  
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Fire Gelnovatch.

Posted by: RK | December 8, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

UVA went to the final four last year, no?

Posted by: Goff | December 8, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go Hokies!!!!!

Posted by: Jerrinna | December 8, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yup, lost to UCLA and Sal Zizzo last year in the ice of StL. I just can't stand VT taking something else athletically from UVa. Cmon, just let us have men's soccer!

Posted by: RK | December 8, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to UConn on a fabulous season.

Congrats to Va. Tech on a great win today! Good luck against Wake Forest or Notre Dame.

Posted by: 12th man | December 8, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Nyarko is amazing! Go Hokies

Posted by: Zack | December 8, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'll be in Cary.

Posted by: sitruc | December 8, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Keep Al Groh and Gelnovatch. When Groh was named ACC Coach of the Year and got the extension through 2011, every Hokie smiled.

Posted by: sitruc | December 8, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Has Nyarko ever played for Ghana at any level? Can he get USA citizenship?

Posted by: 22201 | December 8, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful day in CT, play was a little shaky given the slippery field.

CT had a good season. VT is over-joyed. Tonight's WF/ND game should be a good one. Though I can't find audio/video coverage. Sitruc - see you in Cary.

Tomorrow UMass vs UIC should be interesting....

Posted by: JSF | December 8, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

A link to the soccer insider blog was actually on the front page of the Washington Post site under news columns and blogs!!!!

It's about time they started posting a link there. I hope they keep it it!

Posted by: JRstriker | December 8, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

RK, True UVA has not regained the form they had under Arena, but you guys still have a top program, and are in the hunt usually year in and year out. Based on the games I saw UVA play this year I'd say two big things went wrong. The biggest was the injury to Reyering, and the second is Villanueva has not nearly lived up to expectations.

Posted by: Ron | December 8, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

VT fans,

Must be nice to not have your best players go pro early year in and year out.

But seriously, if Nyarko is the guy on the left wing, he's a stud.

Posted by: Your friends from Central Virginia | December 8, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

We have another nailbiter, this time from Winston-Salem. They're going into OT.

Posted by: 22201 | December 8, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Tech and Wake will get to play each other again.

Posted by: sitruc | December 8, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

How was Jonathan Villanueva this season, Your friends from Central Virginia?

Posted by: sitruc | December 8, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse

On another subject, is there any truth to the Maciej Żurawski to galaxy rumors as reported in the Daily Mail?

Posted by: tpm26 | December 8, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Villanueva? Wish he would have gone pro last year. . . .

Posted by: Friends from Central Virginia | December 8, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JB | December 8, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

On another subject, is there any truth to the Maciej Żurawski to galaxy rumors as reported in the Daily Mail?


no idea. sorry...

Posted by: Goff | December 8, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Go Wake!

Good game tonight with ND, although Wake really dominated the first half. Golden goal be da Luz to send the Deacs to Cary.

I'm cautiously optimistic about our chances in Cary. Two Final 4s in a row. Let's hope this one turns out better than the ice bowl last year.

Posted by: Tom | December 9, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Michael Bradley with a hat trick early this morning! Will Freddy get the start this afternoon to try and match his fellow yank?

Posted by: Kurt | December 9, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Upset in Japan -- let's just say that I'm sure DCU could've represented better!

Posted by: RK | December 9, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Kurt, who else is having a good YA weekend?

Posted by: RK | December 9, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sure DCU could've represented better"

Cough. They sure showed it against Chivas.

Pachuca outplayed Sahel for almost the entire game, and looked great. Only a monstrous performance from Sahel's keeper kept them in it.

Houston, the MLS champions, might have had a chance against Sahel, with their good possession, good goalkeeping, and strong defense. DC? No way.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | December 9, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Yep Bradley bagged three in a 4-2 win to keep herenveen in 4th. Clearly a result of nepotism. :-)

Posted by: DCaustinite | December 9, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Today's NCAA men's quarters have both audio and video coverage:

Is anyone following UIC-UMass? Are conditions in Amherst much better than they were in Storrs (not too far away) yesterday? I'm following OSU-Bradley. Conditions in Columbus are like those in Washington (cold and wet). Conditions in College Station, TX, where the women's final (FSU-USC) kicks off on BSPN2 shortly, are the best of all; if anything, a bit on the warm side for footie (79F), although a lot of people in the stands in Amherst and Columbus would gladly change places.

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

That is, not change places with each other, but with the fans in Aggieland.

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

USC leads FSU 1-0 at the half

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how the conditions were in Amherst. UMass is in the Final Four though...

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wake-VT is the 5:00 game that will be live on ESPN2 with Glenn Davis in the box. He sounds hoarse today.

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Is there any way to follow the U17 USA-Tureky match, short of waiting for the delayed telecast on FSC tonight? I don't see a gametracker or anything on the US Soccer site. I wonder whether relatively new faces will get a lot of playing time, given that they are playing on consecutive days.

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Who got off that flip throw for USC just before the second goal?

Maybe somebody will now think about getting USC a proper on-campus SSS. (They had to use the cavernous LA Coliseum earlier in the tournament, and they had to forfeit home-field advantage in the quarters when that venue was unavailable.)

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

USC is now National Champs in Women's Soccer. It didn't seem like either team was complete.

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

FSU had a nice run, even though they were off today. I suspect we may see Yamaguchi and Talonen with their respective national teams someday. (Then again, if they're not yet cap-tied to Japan and Finland, respectively, perhaps they can be persuaded to hang around after graduation.)

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Juan, I was joking -- lighten up.

Posted by: RK | December 9, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone following UIC-UMass? Are conditions in Amherst much better than they were in Storrs (not too far away) yesterday?

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 01:43 PM


Just got back from Amherst, it was significantly colder today than it was in Storrs yesterday.

The field for both matches were like ice skating. Very slippery. It impacted the ability to cut and seemed to impact UIC more.

Posted by: JSF | December 9, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Nyarko is the real deal and will probably go to the MLS following this season. For anyone that has seen him play his skill and technical ability separate him from the rest of the D-1 pack. He does things with the ball no other college player can do.

Posted by: Tom | December 9, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Nyarko is a fraud. He is undersized, slow and weak. He has poor vision and is not good with the ball at his feet. USL-2 wouldn't want him. He needs to stay at Tech.

Posted by: sitruc | December 9, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

well played sitruc!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 9, 2007 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Is there someone among us with a vested interest in seeing Nyarko remain in Blacksburg for another year?

Posted by: 22201 | December 9, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

UMASS!!! The cinderella of college soccer. Picked 10th in the A-10 preseason, and now in the final four. Good crowd today in Amherst also.

Posted by: Max | December 9, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Anybody know why the USA hasn't put in a bid to host the FIFA Club World Cup once its stint in Japan is over after 2008?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 10, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, did anybody spend any time watching the U17 matches? I thought there was some pretty compelling stuff going on there. Matinez seems awesome. Watts looked like a ball-hawk in the back. Edwards seemed quite solid in the nets. Renken looked composed and played some good simple soccer. Very effective. I like what I'm seeing there.

The guys who the announcers kept jocking but I just didn't see it were Jerome and Polak. Polak has some positives, no doubt. He surely got forward in the attack, showed good one on one defending and has great speed. But his passes were often off target, and he missed his defensive assignments too many times. Jerome has good size and foot skills, but his passing accuracy and vision were lacking. And I don't think his pace, which he relied on heavily, will be as dominant at the next level.

As a team, we still had a hard time playing with Brazil, conceding a large portion of possession. And the Turkey game was terrible. So one would infer that there's a large drop off after the first 11.

All in all, fun to watch, and I got some insights into some players who I'll look forward to seeing again.

Posted by: Matte | December 10, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget that the U23 (i.e., Olympic squad) will be seeing action in China this week.

Posted by: 22201 | December 10, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course not, 22201. I make sure all of my posts are completely unbiased and fair.

Posted by: sitruc | December 10, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I saw us v turkey and was discourage by how the us plyed. Although very happy to hear the player development plan. Even the younger players are stiff as the older players are.

Posted by: td | December 10, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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