Home Alumni College Cup bid on the line as Bulldogs face Elite Eight matchup at North Carolina

College Cup bid on the line as Bulldogs face Elite Eight matchup at North Carolina

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The Drake men’s soccer team visits No. 5 North Carolina for an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight matchup against the Tar Heels on Friday, Dec. 4, at historic Fetzer Field. 

The Bulldogs will be tested by the 2008 national runners-up for the first time in school history in a 5 p.m. CST start. Live stats and video streaming will be available at www.ncaasports.com.

The winner of Friday’s match, which marks the third overall meeting between the Bulldogs and a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference, advances to the College Cup in Cary, N.C. The winner of that game will face the Akron/Tulsa showdown champion on Dec. 11. 

Drake advanced to the Elite Eight with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory against Boston College Nov. 29. Senior Luke Gorczyca (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) scored the game-winning goal in the 69th minute (68:52).

Read an account of the entire game online and view features about the team on KCCI-TV and WOI-TV.  

The Kansas City Star recently published a story about the Drake team’s six starters from five Kansas City-area high schools. Read “KC pipeline fuels Drake soccer success” online.

Both North Carolina and Drake played two common opponents this season — Evansville and Boston College. The Tar Heels defeated the Purple Aces, 4-0, on Sept. 6, before falling 2-1 to the Eagles on Oct. 17. In addition to defeating Boston College last week, Drake earned 1-0 and 2-1 victories over the Purple Aces on Oct. 10 and Nov. 15, respectively, while falling 1-0 at Evansville on Oct. 23.

Drake is making in its second consecutive NCAA Tournament after qualifying for the event for the first time in school history a season ago. The Bulldogs are 3-1 all-time following their 6-4 victory at Boston College. A year ago, Drake nearly pulled the upset at St. Louis as a goal with four seconds left in double overtime earned the Billikens a 1-0 triumph.

In his 12th season on the Drake sidelines as head coach, Sean Holmes owns a 103-101-24 mark (.504), including 181-127-26 (.581), overall in his 17th year as a head coach. He was named head coach in 1998 after serving as top assistant coach at Evansville.

Under Holmes, the Bulldogs have posted an 103-101-24 record and have built a legacy of excellence on Drake’s campus and in the Missouri Valley Conference. He led the Bulldogs to a school-record 13-5-1 mark in 2008, including six-consecutive shutouts to open the season while Drake finished second in the MVC and made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.

North Carolina (15-2-3), led by head coach Elmar Bolowich in his 21st campaign, is coming into play off a 1-0 home triumph over Indiana on Nov. 29. Sophomore Billy Schuler paces the Tar Heels in goals (9), scoring (22), shots (53), shots on goal (30) and game-winners (7), while ranking second in assists (4). Senior Brooks Haggerty directs North Carolina in net, having posted 44 saves and owning a 0.57 goals against average.

Bolowich led the Tar Heels and maintains a 263-140-23 record (.644).