Stanford The Men's College Cup Favorite Heading Into The Semifinals

North Carolina, Stanford, Denver and Wake Forest will contest the semifinals of the 2016 Men's College Cup.

The College Cup has finally arrived in Houston, home to this season's semifinals and final, and Stanford looks poised to become only the second team to win repeat championships. The last team to do it was Indiana in 2003 and 2004. With their defeat of Louisville in the quarterfinals, Stanford will now play the ninth-seeded University of North Carolina in the semifinals on Friday night.

Stanford vs. University of North Carolina | Friday, 8:45 PM ET | ESPNU

There was nothing pretty about the quarterfinal game between Stanford and Louisville. It was brutal and extremely physical. With 18 fouls and five yellow cards, it at times looked more like a war than a soccer game. Louisville was not going down without a fight.

The first goal didn’t come until the second half with Stanford registering only one shot on goal during the first half. Louisville could have scored the first goal, but Stanford defender Adam Mosharrafa provided a great piece of defending to keep the scores level. Then, Stanford went on the attack and scored 11 minutes later.

A corner later in the second half led to junior Foster Langsdorf scoring his 15th goal of the season with a header to the back of the net.

“Our defenders performed perfectly tonight,” Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said. “They built the wall well and started the attack for us, and defensively each time they were called upon they took care of business.”

Denver vs. Wake Forest | Friday, 6:00 PM ET | ESPNU

Not to be forgotten, Denver pulled out an amazing goal in the 89th minute to win their quarterfinal match against Clemson University — this despite being outshot by 11 to 8. Denver will take on Wake Forest, who beat Virginia Tech 2-0. Wake Forest outshot the Hokies 18-5 with 8 on goal. Like Stanford, both of Wake Forest’s goals came in the second half, scored by the amazing midfielder Ema Twumasi.

The stage is set for two amazing semifinal games on Friday night.

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