On Monday, the NCAA announced the field and set the bracket for the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer championship and several former members of the Timbers Academy will get their shot in the big tournament.
To do so, however, a few of these former academy players may have to square off against one another.
Last Friday, Stanford University earned itself the number five seed in the tournament with a 2-1 overtime victory over local rival Cal Berkeley. Academy alumnus Foster Langsdorf scored the game-winning goal in the 98th minute with a snap header right in front of goal. In 17 starts for the Cardinal this season, Langsdorf has scored 12 goals and registered two assists. He was also recently named the Co-Pac 12 Player of the Year.
In the same match, Langsdorf's fellow Timbers Academy alumnus Sam Werner logged 41 minutes for Stanford, bringing his total minutes for the 2016 regular season to 1024. In all, Werner scored one goal and tallied three assists.
The win means that Stanford will now play host to the winner of Thursday's match between Cal State Northridge and the University of Pacific on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT.
Meanwhile, on the same side of the bracket as Stanford, the University of Virginia qualified as the tournament's twelfth-seeded team. Virginia, which is home to former Academy and T2 player Terrell Lowe, will play either Vermont or Rider University this Sunday at 10 a.m. PT.
In their final match of the regular season, the Cavaliers fell 1-0 to Louisville, the school's first loss since late September. Lowe started and played the full 90 minutes in his team's defeat.
Should both Stanford and Virginia win their respective second round matches, the two seeded teams will face one another in what would be a highly anticipated third round match-up, with Langsdorf, Werner, and the defending champions hoping to push past Lowe and the Cavaliers.
In first round action, Creighton University defender and former Timbers Academy player Peter Prescott will face off against the University of Tulsa, whose assistant coach Ryan Pore played for the Timbers from 2009 to 2011. Prescott started in all 20 games for Creighton this year leading the team in minutes played (1880) while also contributing a goal and two assists on the campaign. Fellow Academy alum Stefan Wutte also made two appearances for the Bluejays this year.
En route to the tournament, Creighton defeated both Xavier and Providence universities in its first two Big East Championship matches but fell 2-1 to 15th ranked Butler University this past Sunday. The loss to Butler meant that the Bluejays would not earn a bye to the second round, leading to this week's match against Tulsa.
The two teams will now meet at Creighton's home stadium in Omaha, Neb. this Thursday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. PT.
Should the Bluejays defeat Tulsa, it will advance to play the number 16 seed University of Kentucky on Sunday, Nov. 20.
The University of Portland Pilots, home to a pair of Academy alumni including freshman starter Gio Magana-Rivera and midfielder Reid Baez and led in part by former Timbers and now UP assistant coaches Leonard Griffin and Steven Evans, will travel to Albuquerque, N.M. for their own first round match-up against the University of New Mexico.
The Pilots finished their 2016 regular season strong with a 1-0 victory over visiting St. Mary's University. That win helped the Pilots clinch the West Coast Conference championship, the team's first such title since 2002.
For his part, Magana-Rivera finished his inaugural collegiate regular season with 14 starts and three goals from his position in midfield while Baez appeared in four games.
Finally, Academy alumnus Niko De Vera and Akron University will play host to Villanova at Cub Cadet Field on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. PT.
After winning the Mid-American Conference Championship with victories over Western Michigan and Buffalo, the Zips are now appearing in their 10th consecutive NCAA tournament and looking to make some noise as an unseeded competitor.
Against Western Michigan and Buffalo, former Timbers Academy alumnus and Camas, Wash. native De Vera earned his fifth and sixth consecutive starts for the Zips. The junior defender has registered a goal and two assists in nine starts so far this season. Junior Anthony Macchione did not make an appearance for the Zips in 2016 due to injury.
If Akron can defeat the Wildcats on Thursday, the Zips will advance to the second round to face seventh seeded Indiana University on Sunday, Nov. 20.