November 26, 2008 - WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – The NCAA postseason continues for three college-soccer players who were members of the 2008 Des Moines Menace.
Tucker Sindlinger and Byron Dacy are members of the No. 2 Creighton Bluejays, who have advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Ossie Michalsen plays for the fourth-ranked Akron Zips, who host a postponed second-round match this afternoon.
Creighton gets past Tulsa
Former Menace teammates faced each other last night in Omaha, where seventh-seeded Creighton topped visiting Tulsa, 2-1, at Morrison Stadium. Sindlinger, a sophomore midfielder/forward from Cedar Rapids, played 32 minutes and fired a shot on goal. Dacy, a junior forward playing for his hometown team, played 22 minutes.
Sindlinger and Dacy saw plenty of Eric Defreitas and Joe Salem, 2008 Menace players who each played the full 90 minutes for Tulsa, a team that is ranked fifth in the nation but did not receive a top-16 tournament seed. Defreitas and Salem each recorded two shots. Defreitas, a senior forward/midfielder from Coppell, Texas, was credited with a shot on goal in his final college match. Salem, a junior forward, has one more season of eligibility. The native of Copley, Ohio, was the Menace’s only representative on the 2008 Heartland Division first team, and a member of the Conference USA first team. He was joined by Defreitas and Menace goalie Dan Williams – a junior goalie at Kentucky – on the C-USA all-tournament team.
Riding a 14-game unbeaten streak, Creighton hosts Connecticut on Saturday. The Bluejays (15-1-2) have won at least one NCAA Tournament game six of the last seven seasons.
Creighton, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, snapped Tulsa’s 16-game unbeaten streak. The Golden Hurricane’s final record is 16-4-3, setting a school record for wins in a season. Tulsa, like Creighton, claimed its league’s regular-season and tournament championships.
Buckeye-state battle re-scheduled
Akron, the tournament’s fifth seed, hosts in-state foe Ohio State this afternoon at 2 p.m. (EDT). The second-round match was originally slated for last night but was postponed due to unplayable conditions at Lee Jackson Field. This afternoon’s game has been moved to nearby St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron.
A senior from Bergen Norway, Michalsen is a leader for the tough Akron defense and a member of the 2008 Mid-American Conference second team. The Zips (16-1-4), who clinched the conference’s regular-season and tournament titles, are undefeated in their last 16 matches.
The postseason has ended for 12 of the 15 former Menace players whose teams were part of the national tournament’s 48-team field.
Drake’s history-making season ends in St. Louis
Drake, whose roster featured six players with Menace ties, lost a last-second heart-breaker at St. Louis in the first round last Friday. In their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the Bulldogs were just seconds from going into penalty kicks against a Billikens team that has won seven national titles. Drake’s season ended amid controversy when a penalty gave St. Louis a free kick with four seconds remaining in the second overtime. SLU’s Kyle Hayes scored on the opportunity, lifting the home team to a 1-0 win and ending Drake’s historic season.
Nick Foster, a sophomore defender from West Des Moines Valley, earned Missouri Valley Conference honorable mention. Another former Menace Super-20 player, Hunter Kennedy earned was named to the MVC’s all-freshman team. Kennedy is a Cedar Rapids Washington grad and Iowa’s 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year.
Drake has four other players who have suited up for the Menace Super-20s: Jordan Kadlec (freshman goalkeeper from Cedar Rapids Kennedy), Michael Noonan (sophomore midfielder from Cedar Rapids Xavier), Thomas Ostrander (freshman midfielder from Fort Dodge St. Edmund Catholic) and Michael Thaden (freshman midfielder from West Des Moines Valley).