Soccer Advances To NCAA Tournament

Twitter | @MichStVB     
       Michigan State in 2015 was ranked 54th in RPI yet still made the NCAA tournament

The Golden Knights will meet third-seed Mercy (12-3-1) in a first-round match at Bridgeport on Friday at 11:00 a.m., with the victor advancing to face the host Purple Knights or Stonehill (13-6-0) on Sunday. The Bears will welcome in a familiar foe, facing ACU (15-5-1) for the second time in 2018 after opening the regular season at home with a 2-0 win over the Wildcats on August 16. The victor of that game will move on to the semifinals on November 29, followed by the Championship on December 1 at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

"We're obviously very excited about being in the NCAA Tournament again", SC head coach Shelley Smith said. "I think if we bring the same mentality we brought this past weekend, we can play with anybody". This past weekend they proved to themselves that they were able to beat two of the teams that beat us in the regular season, and beat them pretty handily. "I love our draw, there's no guarantee with anything but you get a great game against Montana at home and if you take care of business you head east and you know what happens when we head east".

The Knights (14-3-1) defeated Cortland, 1-0, on November 3 to clinch their second-straight and eighth overall State University of New York Athletic Conference Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Lions won their first national championship in 2015 at that very venue.

Even though MSU didn't make the Southeastern Conference Tournament, senior Carly Mauldin thought the NCAA committee would smile on the Bulldogs because of the RPI. Last season the team made it to the third round, which is the furthest WSU has ever made it in the tournament. Due to women's basketball at the same time on Friday night, parking at the JPJ surface lot and garage will be reserved for women's basketball permit holders.

Montana might be the 64-team tournament's most unlikely entry, considering the Grizzlies won just once in their first 11 matches of the season. I still haven't comprehended it. The Bulldogs earned an at-large bid in this year's tournament field, announced on Monday. The Skyhawks opened the season with a 4-0-0 record with four-straight shutouts, and wrapped up the season with seven-straight victories, the most since the 1999 team that went 17-4.

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