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Patriot League Men’s Soccer NCAA First Round Preview

Nov. 19, 2015

Men’s Soccer NCAA Preview Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — On Monday, Patriot League Champion Lehigh drew Hofstra in the First Round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament and will play the Pride on Thursday in Hempstead, N.Y. at 7 p.m. Boston University earned an at-large bid during the selection show and will head to UConn on Thursday for its First Round contest at 12:30 p.m.

Lehigh Draws Hofstra in First Round of NCAA Tournament
During the NCAA selection show on Monday, Patriot League Champion Lehigh (13-5-3) drew CAA Champion Hofstra (13-7-0) in the First Round of the Men’s Soccer Tournament and will travel to play at Hostra Soccer Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. at 7 p.m. The two teams have met six times in the past, with Lehigh holding a slight advantage in the series, 3-2-1. On Thursday, The Mountain Hawks and the Pride are both making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2006, with Lehigh making its fourth overall and Hofstra its fifth.

Boston University Earns At-Large Bid into First Round
Boston University (12-5-2) took an early exit out of the Patriot League tournament after a 2-0 loss to third-seeded American in the semifinals. However, the Terriers finished with the 28th best RPI in Division I Men’s College Soccer and earned an at-large bid into the first round of the NCAA tournament. BU found out on Monday during the selection show that the team would head to AAC runner-up UConn (9-5-6) on Thursday at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium for the First Round contest. Action is set for a start time of 12:30 p.m. The Terriers make their 15th appearance in the postseason, while the Huskies make their 17th in the last 18 seasons and 35th overall.

NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament
First Round – Thursday, November 19 – Joseph J. Morrone Stadium – Storrs, Conn.
Boston University (12-5-2, 6-1-2) at UConn (9-5-6, 3-3-2 AAC), 12:30 p.m.
2013: UConn 1, Boston University 0 (Storrs, Conn., 9.6.13) Tournament History: 2-1-0

UConn leads the all-time series, 31-12-3, which dates back to 1951, and in the last five meetings since 2008, the Huskies are 2-1-2. The last time the two teams met, UConn, ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation at the time, outlasted BU, 1-0. In the postseason, the Terriers are 2-1-0 with the last meeting, a 3-1 win, occurring in 1988.

Boston University
The Terriers make their 15th appearance in the postseason in the program’s 66-year history, with head coach Neil Roberts making his 14th trip with the team.

The Terriers made an early exit out of the Patriot League tournament after a 2-0 loss to third-seeded American in the semifinals. However, the Terriers finished with the 28th best RPI in Division I Men’s College Soccer and earned an at-large bid into the first round of the NCAA tournament.

BU collected three Patriot League major awards, with junior David Asbjornsson earning Defensive Player of the Year, junior Matt Gilbert earning Goalkeeper of the Year, and freshman Magnus Benediktsson claiming Rookie of the Year. Asbjornsson and Gilbert were also named first team All-League, as were junior Felix De Bona and sophomore Anthony Viteri. Benediktsson garnered third team honors along with senior Richie Robinson.

Connecticut
The Huskies are making their 17th appearance in the NCAA tournament in the last 18 seasons and 35th in program history. Across the 16 postseason trips led by head coach Ray Reid, UConn is 22-10-7, which includes an 18-5-3 mark at their home turf — Morrone Stadium. The program has also advanced to the quarterfinals three times since 2011.

Advancing to the American Athletic Conference championship game, UConn played to a 1-1 draw with Tulsa but finished runner up after the deciding penalty kicks. On Monday, the Huskies earned an at-large bid with the NCAA committee. UConn is led by junior co-captain Kwame Awuah, who earned The American’s Co-Midfielder of the Year and was also named first team All-Conference. Fellow junior captain Jake Nerwinski joined Awuah on the first team. Freshman Abdou Mbacke Thiam was tabbed as a second team selection and named to the All-Rookie Team, while freshman Simen Olafsen was also chosen for the All-Rookie team.

In the latest stats, UConn is ranked first in its conference and 17th nationally with a 0.74 goals against average.

First Round – Thursday, November 19 – Hofstra Soccer Stadium – Hempstead, N.Y.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks (13-5-3, 4-3-2 PL) at Hofstra Pride (13-7-0, 6-2-0 CAA) 7 p.m.
2012: Hofstra 2, Lehigh 0 (Bethlehem, Pa., 8.25.12) Tournament History: First meeting

Lehigh holds a slight advantage in the all-time series between the two teams with a 3-2-1 mark. The Moutain Hawks and Pride will meet for the first time since 2012, when Hofstra defeated Lehigh in its home opener, 2-0. This is the first meeting between the two in the postseason.

Lehigh
The Mountain Hawks make its fourth NCAA tournament appearance and is 0-2-2 all-time in the postseason, having reached the Round of 16 in 2006 after advancing over Rhode Island on penalty kicks, 5-4.

Patriot League Tournament MVP Jamie Luchini (second-team All-League) and freshman standout Mark Forrest (third-team All-League) lead the Mountain Hawks and the Patriot League with 10 goals apiece. The duo combined to score five of the team’s six goals during the Patriot League Tournament. Forrest netted his ninth goal of the season with a header against Bucknell to give Lehigh a 1-0 lead in a game that would end 2-0. He then netted his tenth goal of the season versus Colgate, while Luchini put the icing on the cake with his eighth goal of the season for a 2-0 victory over the Raiders. Luchini then scored both goals in the championship game against American, leading the Mountain Hawks to its second Patriot League title in program history.

On the other end of the pitch, keeper Joe Bogan has the second most shutouts in the League at nine and has an 0.85 goals against average (third in the League) in 1691:2 minutes played.

Hofstra
The Pride, led by CAA Coach of the Year Richard Nuttall, is making its fifth ever appearance in the postseason and first since 2006 and is 2-4-0 all-time in the NCAA tournament.

Hofstra won its fourth Colonial Athletic Association championship in program history with a 2-0 win over Delaware, posting its first shutout in a CAA Championship title game since beating Old Dominion, 1-0, in 2004. Junior midfielder Joseph Holland, CAA Player of the Year, garnered the CAA Championship Most Outstanding Player award for scoring a goal in each 2-0 victory over JMU and the Blue Hens. He holds a league-best 25 points. Senior keeper Patric Pray was also an all-tournament team selection and had collected eight shutouts this season and 19 in his three-year career at Hofstra.

The Pride has not allowed a goal after the regular season’s conclusion.

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