SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The College Cup has arrived in Soccer Heaven. After much anticipation, the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship field is down to four, with Michigan State, Akron, Maryland and Indiana set to battle for the National title this weekend in Santa Barbara.
Beginning on Friday night, Michigan State will take on Akron in the first semifinal set for 5:00 p.m. while Maryland and Indiana will follow at 7:30 p.m. The winners will advance to Sunday's National Championship game with kick-off at 5:00 p.m. All three games will air on ESPNU.
Tickets for this event are still available and can be purchased online here or by calling the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at 805-893-UCSB.
Michigan State (14-4-4) makes its way into the final four for the first time since 1968 after defeating Illinois-Chicago 2-0, No. 4 Louisville 2-1 (OT), No. 13 Georgetown 1-0 and James Madison 2-1. The Spartans will take on red hot No. 16 Akron (14-6-2), winners of eight in-a-row, including NCAA Tournament wins over Rider 3-1, No. 16 Syracuse 3-1, No. 1 Wake Forest 1-0, and three-time defending champion Stanford 3-2. The Zips, who won the National Championship the last time UC Santa Barbara hosted in 2010, defeated Michigan State, 2-1, in their only matchup earlier this season in East Lansing.
No. 11 Maryland (11-6-4) will see a familiar foe in Big Ten Conference opponent No. 2 Indiana (20-2-1) for the third time this season. The Hoosiers topped the Terrapins 2-1 in Bloomington in their first meeting, and the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw before Indiana advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks in a thrilling Big Ten Conference Tournament Semifinal. Both teams have cruised against their competition in the NCAA Tournament thus far, with Indiana sailing past UConn 4-0, No. 20 Air Force 2-0 and No. 13 Notre Dame 1-0 while Maryland took care of NC State 2-0, No. 6 Duke 2-0 and No. 3 Kentucky 1-0.