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Men's DI Tournament First Round recap

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: November 18, 2016

The dust has settled on the first round of the men’s DI NCAA Tournament, with 32 teams left ready to meet on Sunday in the second round.

MORE: Division I men's bracket | College Scoreboard

Below is a look at some of the highlights from Thursday’s action.

Powers move on

With a handful of perennial college soccer powers slotted into the first round, the likes of Akron, UCLA and Creighton survived to play another day.

Two more goals from Nicholas Hinds propelled the Zips to a second round matchup against Indiana. Hinds, who came to Akron as a defender, has been on a scoring tear since the staff moved him into an attacking midfield spot.

Creighton avenged an earlier season loss to Tulsa, cruising to a 3-0 victory at home in Omaha. Two goals in the first six minutes were key here, as Mitch LaGro and Myles Englis both scored to provide the perfect platform for the Bluejays. Ricky Lopez-Espin added his 10th of the season in the second half.

Five goals were scored in the first half between Colgate and UCLA, as the Bruins eventually held on to win 4-2. Jose Hernandez and Zach Pagani both traded early goals, before tallies from Willie Raygoza and Abu Danladia opened up a two-goal lead for the hosts. Bruno Scodari cut into UCLA’s lead in the 38th minute, and neither side found the back of the net until Kike Poleo’s insurance strike with just over a minute left.

The pain of penalty kicks

Four of the 16 first round clashes were decided at the penalty spot, as Florida Gulf Coast(m), UNLV, New Mexico and SIUE advanced in that fashion.

The Eagles battled in-state rivals South Florida to the 2-2 stalemate in Tampa, before coming on top in the shootout. SIUE’s 1-1 draw with Michigan State went on to feature an intense 9-8 battle from the spot before the MVC side eventually emerged victorious.

The Wright stuff

Thursday’s most influential individual performance on Thursday came from Brian Wright. The Vermont senior led the way for the Catamounts, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist as they beat MAAC opponent Rider 4-1. Up next for Vermont is a trip to Charlottesville to face Virginia.

Dream seasons continue

Two programs that had long been afterthoughts secured spots in the second round on Thursday. Pacific’s Tariq Branche scored the first goal of his college career in the 77th minute, as the WCC school held off Cal State Northridge by a 1-0 score.

Substitute Nico Quashie played the hero role for Virginia Tech, which held on to a 1-0 lead for more than an hour. Quashie scored in the 28th minute against East Tennessee State. It was all the ACC side needed to progress to a second round match against Charlotte.

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