The star of Maryland’s victory over UC Irvine, freshman goalkeeper Zack Steffen from the Philadelphia Union’s youth academy. (By Tony Quinn)

December is the time to crown champions in college soccer, and four teams from the Washington region remain in contention.

Both Virginia and Virginia Tech have reached the women’s College Cup this weekend at WakeMed Soccer Park in the Raleigh suburb of Cary.


Friday’s Semifinals

Florida State (22-1-3) vs. Virginia Tech (19-4-3), 5 p.m. ET

Virginia (24-1-0) vs. UCLA (21-1-2), 7:30 p.m.

Sunday’s final will kick off at 3 p.m.

All matches are live on ESPNU.

Combined record of the semifinalists: 86-7-8.

Three of the four No. 1 seeds are alive. UCLA upset the other favorite, North Carolina, 1-0 in extra time.

Tech is making its first semifinal appearance. UVA has not gone this far since 1991.

Video of Virginia’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Michigan is available here.

Video of Virginia Tech’s 3-0 quarterfinal victory over Duke is available here.


The men are one stage behind the women, with the quarterfinals set for this weekend (all times are Eastern):

No. 8 Virginia (12-5-5) vs. Connecticut (12-2-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville.

No. 4 California (14-4-2)  vs. No. 5 Maryland (15-3-5) on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Berkeley.

No. 3 Notre Dame (14-1-6) vs. No. 11 Michigan State (14-5-3) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in South Bend.

No. 2 Washington (16-1-4) vs. No. 7 New Mexico (13-5-2) on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Seattle.

We’re expecting live online streams for all matches via the home team’s website. Details to come.

The winners will advance to the College Cup at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., next week.

For details and quotes from the Maryland and Virginia victories and Georgetown loss Sunday, my print-online story is available here.

Georgetown’s home defeat to Michigan State marked the end of all-American Steve Neumann‘s tremendous career (41 goals and 34 assists in 86 games). The MLS draft awaits. Coach Brian Wiese‘s thoughts on his departing senior:

“You take for granted when you get somebody like that for four years who was so instrumental even as a freshman and sophomore. He became such a big part of what we did, how we operated, how we lived and breathed with the ball. He is a gifted player with the ball – he sees things other people don’t see. He has a great feel for things and brings an improvisation to the game when it needs it. I’m obviously very biased, but he is going to have a long professional career.”

Virginia scored three goals against Marquette, despite being shorthanded for 89 minutes and 3 seconds. Yes, a red card in the first minute. Watch the play, as well as all of the goals, by clicking here.

Unfortunately for Virginia sports fans, the men and women will play at almost the same time Friday. Had the men scheduled their match a day later — as the other three quarterfinal hosts did — supporters could have attended the women’s game Friday and driven 200 miles home for the men’s action Saturday. (And then back to Cary if the women advance to Sunday’s final.) But in October, when Virginia officials submitted a bid to the NCAA to host a quarterfinal, they chose Friday night, a spokesman said. The university is apparently locked into that slot. Another athletic event might have played a factor in the date selection: The men’s basketball team plays next door at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Regardless, Virginia is the only school with both the men’s and women’s teams still in championship contention.