Sean Bowman of the University of San Francisco men’s soccer team. (Courtesy Chris M. Leung/USF Dons Athletics)

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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