Although it feels like the 2016 NPSL season just ended, we’re already entering the collegiate soccer postseason. The Mighty Oak are well represented across the nation. Here’s an update on former and current AFC Ann Arbor players and their 2016 postseason run.
University of Charleston
The University of Charleston Men’s Soccer (16-2-1, 9-2-1) team is a powerhouse program in Division II soccer. The Mighty Oak were thrilled to have four Golden Eagles join the club this past summer. One of those four players, Jermaine Windster notched an early goal in last Sunday’s Mountain East Championship match. A 2-1 finish proved to be good enough for Charleston’s Eighth straight conference championship. For Windster, Veit and Oliveira, this is their last chance at winning a national championship, something they’ve fallen just short of the past couple of seasons.
Following a 2-0 victory over West Chester Saturday evening, the University of Charleston men's soccer team is back in the NCAA Men's Soccer Division II Championship Sweet 16 for a third consecutive season. The round of 16 match will be held in Brookville, New York with LIU-Post as the host in a repeat of last year’s tournament match against Urbana Men’s Soccer.
University of Northern Ohio
The Racers secured the regular season WHAC Championship and this past weekend, also won the tournament championship with a 2-0 victory over Davenport. Pairings for the NAIA tournament will be announced Monday, but the team has so much to celebrate including an All-Academic nod for former AFC player, Dumisani Manyange.
Although the Crusaders season came to an early end with Saturday’s loss to Indiana Tech, the Crusaders picked up a number of postseason accolades with high recognition. The Mighty Oak was well represented with former striker, Amadou Cisse earning top honors as Offensive Player of the Year and fan favorite, Yuri Farkas, earning Newcomer of the Year.
Three Ann Arbor locals who play for The Mighty Oak also spend their college season together at Colgate University. The Pagani Brothers (Zach and Chase) along with goalkeeper Peter Tappenden secured a NCAA tournament berth with a thrilling victory against American University to secure the Patriot League Championship.
Matt Braem (aka Frenchy) and the Loyola Ramblers secured the regular season Missouri Valley crown with a 2-0 victory over Bradley last week. But after dropping this weekend’s tournament semi-final match, the Ramblers must now await the NCAA selection to see if they’ll receive an at large bid.
University of Michigan
At the end of October, on AFC Ann Arbor Day at Michigan Soccer Stadium, the Wolverines hosted No. 1 Maryland for the last regular season match of the season. The Wolverines knew the draw of the B1G tournament which meant they would likely see Maryland again in just one week and that’s exactly what happened. The regular season tilt ended up surprising most ending in a 3-2 double overtime victory for Marlyand.
Going into the tournament, Michigan knew beating Marlyand wouldn’t be easy, but was in fact, quite possible. The Wolverines battled with the Terrapins all match and a beautiful goal by former AFC Ann Arbor player, Tyler Anderson, brought new energy to the Wolverines as they looked to win in regulation. But in similar fashion, the match was headed for overtime where once again, Maryland was able to secure the golden goal winner which in this case, ended Michigan’s season.