One Sporting KC Academy product is going home while the other is heading to College Cup. In a battle of two players who cut their team in the SKC Academy, Zach Wright led his North Carolina Tar Heels to a 2-1 victory over Matthew Lewis and the Fordham Rams in the 2017 NCAA Men’s Soccer Division I Championship Elite Eight. Wright and the Tar Heels are in to the College Cup for the second straight year where a matchup against Indiana awaits.
Wright was heavily involved in the action on Saturday, opening the scoring in the 61st minute with a scorching blast and providing the game-winning assist to Alan Winn in the 80th minute. The goal was Wright’s fourth of the season and 15th of his career, while the assist was his 11th of the season and 28th of his career. The Texas native was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week and was named TDS National Player of the Week for Saturday’s performance.
The match was a disappointing finish to an otherwise outstanding season for Lewis and the Rams. In his four-year career at Fordham, Lewis won two A-10 championships, advanced to three NCAA tournaments, was a three-time All Atlantic-10 selection and was voted 2017 A-10 Defender of the Year. The Rockhurst High School product was also named to the 2017 All-ECAC First Team and the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region Second Team.
North Carolina’s appearance in College Cup is their sixth in the last 10 years. They will play Indiana on Friday at 7:45 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. The match will broadcast live on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app. The winner will advance to the championship match and face either Stanford or Akron.