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Dynamo Academy alumni take home conference honors and gear up for NCAA tournament

Several Dynamo Academy alums and their schools have wrapped up their conference tournaments are preparing for the big stage as part of the 48-team field announced for the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament.

Senior goalkeeper Pat Wall conceded just 16 goals in 19 games while leading Notre Dame to an 11-4-4 record and the No. 1 overall seed in this fall’s tournament. The Fighting Irish are aiming to become the first back-to-back champions since Indiana in 2003-04. Their tournament begins on Nov. 23 against the winner of Akron vs. Ohio State.

Northwestern forward Elo Ozumba played in 17 of the Wildcats’ 18 games this year and tallied four assists on his way to earning All-Freshman team honors in the Big 10. Northwestern heads into the NCAA tournament with a 9-3-6 record, and will take on Missouri Valley Conference champions Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the first round on Nov. 20.

Tulsa duo Bradley Bourgeois and Abe Matamoros earned conference honors en route to the Golden Hurricane claiming the American Athletic Conference tournament championship and a 11-5-3 overall record. Bourgeois, a junior defender, was named First Team All-Conference while Matamoros, a senior midfielder, earned Second Team All-Conference honors. The pair were also named to the All-Tournament team and Matamoros was named the tournament's Offensive MVP after tallying a goal and an assist in the semifinals and scoring the winning penalty kick in the final. Tulsa, who also feature junior midfielder Christian Camera, take on Brad Davis’ alma mater, St. Louis University, in the first round of tournament play.

Junior midfielder Bryan Celis led Kentucky in assists with six as the Wildcats snatched an at-large berth into the tournament. Celis and Kentucky (10-5-4) will host Oakland in the first round, with the winner advancing to face No. 3 seed Michigan State.

North Carolina goes into their 22nd NCAA postseason against James Madison University in first round action. The Tar Heels feature senior defender C.J. Odenigwe, who appeared in 12 matches and scored one goal leading up to the tournament.

The College Cup takes place in Cary, North Carolina, this year from Dec. 12-14. Here’s a look at some other Dynamo Academy graduates in the college ranks:

  • Freshman forward Bryce Marion appeared in two games this season for the Stanford Cardinal, who claimed the Pac-12 championship and the No. 6 overall seed
  • Midfielder Daniel Rutter has yet to see any action in his first season, but his Coastal Carolina Chanticleers made the tournament as Big South champions; they face Florida Gulf Coast University in the first round
  • Freshman forward Emmanuel Usen scored six goals and led IUPUI with four assists as he was named to the All-League Second Team and All-Newcomer Team in the Summit League.
  • Freshman defender Louis Thomas appeared in 19 games and provided six assists for the West Virginia Mountaineers, while sophomore defender Alex Ochoa tallied three assists in 17 games. Sophomore midfielder Christian Diaz went 18 games with one assist.
  • Duquesne junior midfielder Isaiah Noriega appeared in 14 games with two assists.
  • UCF senior defender Leonardo Ayala appeared in 17 of the Knights’ 18 matches.
  • Southern Methodist defender Garrett Welch appeared in 17 games for the Mustangs in his freshman season.
  • Freshman defender Albion Neziri appeared in seven matches for Florida Atlantic University, starting one.
  • New Mexico freshmen and Matt Dorsey and Gabriel Camera and High Point freshman Matt Cusack redshirted their first year on campus.

You can catch several of these players in action on Dec. 18 at BBVA Compass Stadium for the Academy Alumni Game, as an alumni team — including first team goalkeeper Tyler Deric — take on the current U-18 squad. Admission is free, game kicks off at 6:30 p.m.