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Tracking Kahsay, Callahan in NCAA Tournament

Not since 2004 has a Western New York boys high school soccer alumnus won an NCAA Division I National Championship, and that player -- Indiana University's Jordan Chirico, who actually claimed back-to-back titles -- hailed from Section V power Livonia.

In 2015, two Section VI alums are still alive in the hunt for the national title, as Syracuse's Liam Callahan (Sweet Home High School) and Akron's Ezana Kahsay (International Prep) both saw their teams advance to the tournament's third round.

Let's check in on how the duo has fared and what lies ahead:

Akron men's soccer, No. 4 overall seed in NCAA Tournament Bracket

Second round: Pounded Rutgers, 6-1
Next foe: vs. unseeded Southern Methodist at 4 p.m. Sun. Nov. 29 in Akron
Kahsay's tournament stats: Played 19 minutes, did not record any stats
Commentary: A redshirt freshman, Kahsay plays a peripheral role for Jared Embick's Zips, usually appearing in the final 10 minutes of a match to help seal a victory. The 6'2 defender/midfielder can be employed in several areas on the field, and his activity and ball-winning are nuisances for opponents pressing forward late.

Against the University at Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference final, Kahsay entered for the final seven minutes.

Eritrean native Ezana Kahsay blossomed at International Prep before beginning his college career at national power Akron. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

Eritrean native Ezana Kahsay blossomed at International Prep before beginning his college career at national power Akron. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

[For more, read a 2014 Buffalo News feature about Kahsay's path to college soccer]

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Syracuse men's soccer, No. 6 overall seed in NCAA Tournament Bracket

Second round: Squeaked past Dartmouth, 2-1
Next foe: vs. No. 11 seed Seattle at 1 p.m. Sun., Nov. 29 in Syracuse
Callahan's tournament stats: Played 90 minutes, did not record any stats
Commentary: Callahan, who captains the Orange, is a pivotal piece for head coach Ian McIntyre. A winger in Syracuse's preferred 3-5-2 alignment, the Sweet Home alumnus is encouraged to jump into the attack from the left wing while also maintaining his defensive responsibilities. The strong, pacy flank player still has one more year of eligibility, too.

Liam Callahan, left, as a member of Sweet Home in October 2010, jostles for a ball against Hamburg. He still holds the career assists mark for the Panthers. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

Liam Callahan, left, as a member of Sweet Home in October 2010, jostles for a ball against Hamburg. He still holds the career assists mark for the Panthers. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

[Read an interview with Callahan after his Orange won its first ACC Tournament]

Email Ben Tsujimoto at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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