The University of Rochester men's soccer program has been building towards National prominence and now the Yellowjackets are making their mark.
"It's been decades in the making," said head coach Chris Apple. "Our alumni are incredible and I'm one of them so, I know we're all very, very proud of these boys to be the first group to go, but yeah, it's been several decades in the making I would say."
The Yellowjackets knocked off previously unbeaten, and defending national champions, Messiah in the Elite 8 to advance.
"We've been working toward this all year," said UR junior forward Aidan Miller. "Last year we lost to Messiah in the Elite 8 trying to go to the Final Four so, getting them back on our home soil and doing it this time, I can't describe it, this is insane."
The winning goal was credited as a team goal. Miller says he doesn't know if he actually touched the ball.
"Earlier in the season, we played Carnegie and it was a same type of goal, ball just bounced up in the air and I as like, might as well try," Miller said. "So, I saw the ball go in the air and that's what I'm here for, to chase down lost causes and it went in, I didn't know what to think."
Now the Yellowjackets are thinking about a national championship, the first for a Rochester team since 1974, when Brockport won the inaugural title.
"There's no better way to have a senior year then to make it to the Final Four," said UR senior midfielder Bryce Ikeda. "Well, there is a better way and we'll get there, but enjoy the moments that you get to take it all in, love to play with the guys next to me, it's just an awesome experience and one I never thought I'd have."
The Yellowjackets take on Tufts this Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina.