Cal woke up Saturday morning with a chance to make school history in the NCAA men's soccer tournament.
By the time the sun set, the Golden Bears had Zip left to give. Their dreams ended as close to the finish line as possible without actually crossing it.
Instead, host Akron advanced to the College Cup, edging the Bears 3-2 in penalty kicks after regulation and extra time had resulted in a 3-3 draw. The No. 3 seed Zips (21-1-1) reached soccer's Final Four for the second straight season -- they lost to Virginia on penalty kicks in last season's title game -- and third time in school history.
The sixth-seeded Bears (14-3-3) were denied their first trip to the College Cup. Cal has reached the NCAA tournament in nine of the past 10 seasons.
John Fitzpatrick's goal for Cal in the 89th minute made it 3-3. Tony Salciccia and Anthony Avalos also scored for the Bears.
College Cup: Temperatures in the low 40s and sun are forecast for today, when No. 1 seed Stanford (23-0-2) faces No. 7 Notre Dame (20-2-2) for the title in Cary, N.C.
The Cardinal is playing in its second straight championship game. Its 1-0 loss to North Carolina in last year's title game is Stanford's only defeat the past two seasons. Notre Dame is seeking its first crown since 2004.
Stanford has been successful by using a 4-3-3 attack that eschews the traditional 2-4-4 defensive structure. Senior Christen Press has been the biggest beneficiary with a nation-leading 26 goals.
Men's water polo
NCAA tournament: Senior center Zach White's goal with 2:41 left in the fourth quarter lifted host Cal (24-3) to a 7-6 victory over Loyola Marymount (19-9) in a national semifinal at Spieker Aquatics Center. The Bears trailed 6-4 late in the third period, but Max Bergeson scored with six second remaining in that frame, and Cory Nasoff tied the game 69 seconds before White's game-winner. Cal will play for the national championship today against No. 1 USC (27-2), a 10-7 winner over St. Francis (N.Y.).
NCAA tournament: Seventh-seeded Cal advanced to the semifinals of the Seattle Regional, eliminating North Carolina 25-13, 25-18, 25-18 at Haas Pavilion to reach the final 16 for the fifth straight season. Senior setter Carli Lloyd had 38 assists and 10 digs, her 11th double-double of the season. Tarah Murrey had 16 kills, and Robin Rostratter 20 digs for a Cal team that recorded 55 and frustrated the Tar Heels. Cal will face Minnesota (26-8) in Friday's semifinals. ... No. 3 seed Stanford (26-3) also advanced, defeating visiting Colorado State 28-26, 25-13, 25-15 at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal will face Ohio State on Friday.