The 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship bracket was unveiled on Monday with 48 teams aiming for a berth in this year's College Cup from Dec. 7-9 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Among the field are 11 Sporting Kansas City Academy products, including Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Joey Piatczyc (pictured above), representing the following eight schools.
West Virginia University (13-5-0): The Mountaineers feature four Academy alums who helped the school to its first Mid-American Conference regular-season title. West Virginia will open against LIU Brooklyn in the team's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011.
- Senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc (Lee’s Summit): After missing the 2017 season due to injury, Piatczyc returned to lead the team in goals (7) and assists (9) en route to becoming the program's all-time assists leader and earning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honors.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Steven Tekesky (Raymore): Tekesky started every match for the Mountaineers with a 1.26 goals against average, recording 71 saves and five clean sheets as a All-MAC First Team selection.
- Junior defender Ryan Kellogg (Parkville): Kellogg contributed four goals and two assists in 18 appearances and collected All-MAC Second Team recognition this season.
- Junior midfielder Logan Lucas (Lee’s Summit): Like Tekesky, Lucas started every match in 2018 and logged two assists after appearing in six matches for Kaw Valley FC in the team's inaugural PDL campaign this summer alongside Kellogg.
Furman University (11-6-1): The Paladins lifted the Southern Conference Tournament championship trophy to secure an 11th all-time NCAA tournament berth and will take on the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the first round.
- Senior defender Jack Freeman (Olathe): A fellow member of Kaw Valley FC this summer, Freeman made 13 appearances for Furman this fall.
University of Notre Dame (10-6-2): The No. 7 overall seed and the 2013 NCAA champions, the Fighting Irish will receive a first-round bye in their 21st NCAA tournament appearance.
- Senior goalkeeper Ryan Krutz (Overland Park): In his first season as a starter, Krutz has a 1.40 goals against average with 32 saves and three clean sheets in 11 appearances.
U.S. Air Force Academy (15-3-0): The Falcons, winners of the Western Athletic Conference regular season, are back in the NCAA tournament for a second straight season and will host the University of Central Arkansas in the first round.
- Senior defender Zane Moxley (Olathe): After suffering a season-ending knee injury in 2017, Moxley returned in 2018 and started 17 games to garner honorable mention All-WAC accolades.
University of Denver (13-3-2): The Pioneers received the No. 15 overall seed and along with it a first round bye as Summit League Tournament champions.
- Freshman midfielder Alex Kaddah (Blue Springs): After a redshirt season in 2017 and five appearances for Kaw Valley FC this summer, 19-year-old Kaddah made six appearances off the bench for Denver in 2018.
University of North Carolina (13-2-1): The Tar Heels, two-time NCAA champions (2001 and 2011), will make their 26th NCAA tournament appearance as the No. 5 overall seed with a bye to the second round.
- Freshman midfielder Roman Knox (Shawnee): Knox, 18, made seven appearances for the Swope Park Rangers this year in the United Soccer League before reporting to UNC to begin his college career with a redshirt season.
University of Kentucky (15-1-1): The Wildcats, who pulled off the Conference USA double as regular season and postseason conference champions, enter their ninth NCAA tournament with seven straight wins and the highest seed in school history at No. 3 overall.
- Freshman midfielder Colin Innes (Olathe): Innes, 18, is one of 14 freshmen on a deep Wildcats roster, led by Conference USA Coach of the Year Johan Cedergren, and is amidst a redshirt season in his first year on campus in Lexington.
Virginia Tech (10-6-3): For a third straight year and seventh time in team history, the Hokies are dancing in the NCAA tournament after playing one of the hardest schedules in the country and earning a No. 12 overall seed.
- Freshman goalkeeper Connor Jordan-Hyde (Leawood): Jordan-Hyde, 18, was one of three Hokies goalkeepers to back up Mathijs Swaneveld, who led the ACC with 87 saves while playing every minute between the posts to date in 2018.
The 48-team NCAA tournament features champions from 24 conferences, who qualified automatically, in addition to 24 teams selected at-large. The top 16 teams were seeded and receive first round byes. All first-round games will be played Thursday, Nov. 15, on campus sites, while all second-round action will take place Sunday, Nov. 18.