Stanford's bid for a fourth straight NCAA Division I men's title ended when it lost to Akron, 3-2, Friday night in the quarterfinals at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
The defeat left Bruce Arena's Virginia team of 1991-94 as the only team to win
four NCAA Division I men's championships in a row. The Cavs featured Claudio Reyna, who played on the first three teams before turning pro after his junior season following the 1994 World
Stanford fell behind on a pair of first-half golazos scored by Canadian Marcel Zajac -- the first goals it allowed in the NCAA Tournament in more than 1,429 minutes since
since Dec. 5, 2015.
But the Cardinal rallied, getting goals from Tanner Beason from the penalty spot in the 57th minute and Zach Ryan with his team-leading 10th goal
11 minutes later.
“In the first half, we were just waiting for the game instead of taking the game,” said Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn. “I just really wanted to
encourage the players to go after the game and see what happens. In the first half, we waited and we got punished. In the second half, we were assertive, played some fantastic soccer, bossed the game
and thoroughly deserved to get back into it.”
But Akron didn't quit, pulling ahead in the 81st minute when Zajac headed Marco Micaletto's cross back to freshman Colin
Biros, who headed it in for the winner on a play that featured 34 passes by the Zips.
The victory sends the Zips to the Men's College Cup for the second year in a row and sixth time
overall. They will play the winner of Saturday's Michigan State-James Madison match in the quarterfinals.