NCAA Division I Cross Country, Field Hockey & Soccer playoff run down
The GIST: It was an epic weekend for DI’s fall sports, with three teams bagging national championships and even more in their respective trophy hunts. Here’s who wrapped up their seasons with bragging rights and who’s knocking contenders out of their path.
👟 Cross country: Saturday marked the end of the road for DI runners with NC State’s Wolfpack hoisting the trophy for the gals — becoming the first back-to-back champs since 2010. On top of their team title, ’Pack standout Katelyn Tuohy nabbed individual honors with a time of 19:27.7. Speedy.
- The fellas team title was a bit more complicated, requiring a tiebreaker for the first time in championship history. With a 3-2 edge, Northern Arizona continued their dynasty, reigning victorious over runner-up Oklahoma State and notching their sixth natty in seven years.
- Stanford’s Charles Hicks took the men’s individual trophy, setting a course record at 28:43.6 to become the first-ever champion Cardinal. Tired just thinking about it.
🏑 Field hockey: After vanquishing Penn State and No. 3 Maryland in Friday’s semifinals, yesterday’s fockey final was a fight between the top two seeds: the No. 1 UNC Tar Heels and the No. 2 Northwestern Wildcats. After going down on a goal by UNC’s Ryleigh Heck, the defending champ Wildcats found an equalizer with just over two minutes left.
- But it was a short-lived reprieve as the Heels, who outshot the ’Cats 15-2, notched a game-winner at the end of regulation thanks to Erin Matson, capping their undefeated season with their fourth title in five years and 10th overall. Carolina Blue confetti all around.
⚽️ Women’s soccer: Yesterday’s Women’s College Cup round of 16 brought the drama, with the No. 3 Virginia Hoos ousting No. 2 Penn State in double-overtime, and No. 3 Arkansas needing penalties to end unseeded Memphis’ impressive Cinderella story. Also making the post-Thanksgiving quarter-finals? All four No. 1 seeds and Nos. 2 Duke and UNC. Battle of the best.
⚽️ Men’s soccer: In the fella’s College Cup, round two’s 16 ranked-unranked matchups caused bracket chaos yesterday. Four ranked squads — No. 3 Syracuse, No. 10 FIU, No. 12 UNCG and No. 15 Tulsa — required overtimes or penalties to squeeze through, and they were some of the lucky ones.
- Not one, not two, but seven unseeded teams ended the natty hopes of squads like regular-season favorite No. 2 Washington and No. 6 Clemson to advance to next weekend’s third round. Bracket? Busted.