USF men’s soccer advances past Cal in NCAA Tournament

University of San Francisco has one of the hottest men’s soccer teams in the country. The Dons have won seven-straight and eight of their last nine games after they beat Cal, 2-1, on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament.

Playing at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley, USF and the Bears played a scoreless first half. Cal’s Sam Ebstein scored seconds into the second half to put the Dons in a hole. A few minutes later, Bryce Kaminski buried the equalizer.

In the 71st minute, senior Sean Bowman netted the game winner, his fifth of the season.  He has the fifth-most match-deciding goals in the country.

“We never give up, we never gave in, and we kept fighting — got our goal back,” head coach Eddie Soto said in a message on the team’s Twitter page. “What can I say? … This is something I believed in with this group since Day 1.”

With the win, they’ll travel to Kentucky, to play the No. 4-seeded Louisville Cardinals on Sunday. The game kicks off at 2 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN3.

The Dons are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. They hadn’t emerged victorious in a tournament game since 1994, when they advanced past Fresno State.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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