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CARY, N.C. (AP) — So long, upstarts. The last two teams left at the NCAA soccer tournament rank among the bluest of the bluebloods.
UCLA and Virginia have combined for 10 national championships and one of them will earn another trophy Sunday in the College Cup final.
The Bruins (14-4-5) and Cavaliers (13-6-3) got there by sending home two surprise teams: UCLA beat Providence 3-2 in one double-overtime semifinal and Virginia beat Maryland-Baltimore County 1-0.
Both schools rank among the five most frequent College Cup participants, with UCLA making its 14th appearance and Virginia its 12th. The Cavaliers have six national titles — including four under Bruce Arena in the 1990s — while the Bruins have four.
UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. said Saturday that competing for national titles "is part of our culture" because the school already has 112 of them.
That's made for a few interesting links between the programs, who also met in the 1997 title game won by the Bruins.
Chase Gasper — whose goal in the 105th minute sent UCLA into the final — is from Alexandria, Virginia, and committed to the Cavaliers before ultimately joining the Bruins.
And when UCLA coach Jorge Salcedo was a freshman on the Bruins' title team in 1990, he made a friendly bet with some of his friends from Virginia — including former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna — that his school would win more NCAA championships during their playing careers.
"It was, to me, pretty ironic that this College Cup (final is) us against Virginia," Salcedo said. "I absolutely want to give us our fifth (title). ... If I could have picked one team to play against, it would have been Virginia because of the history we have against them.
"We'd like to get closer to their six national championships tomorrow."
The Cavaliers hope to claim title No. 7 on the same pitch where they captured their sixth in 2009.
Their one-goal victory over UMBC made them just the third program in Division I history to place both its men's and women's programs in the title game in the same year. Virginia's women's team lost to Florida State last week in Boca Raton, Florida.
"They know this is a soccer school, and that soccer is taken very seriously," Virginia coach George Gelnovatch said. "It's not just the women, not just the men, but soccer."
The Cavaliers' 3-0 loss to Notre Dame in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinal may have worked to their advantage because they had two weeks to prepare for the NCAA tournament.
"It made us take a good hard look at ourselves," Gelnovatch said, adding that the break "kind of allowed us to reinvent ourselves and get ourselves going. ... That's what you get during preseason. That's a nice opportunity if you can keep motivated and positive and (have) good training habits."
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