WCU men, women both earn NCAA bids

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Neil Geoghe­gan ngeoghe­gan@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @NeilMGeoghe­gan on Twit­ter

The West Ch­ester Univer­sity men’s and women’s soc­cer teams both earned bids to the NCAA Di­vi­sion II Tour­na­ment, with the women host­ing the first two rounds at home this week­end.

The West Ch­ester men’s and women’s soc­cer teams both earned berths into the up­com­ing NCAA Di­vi­sion II tour­na­ments, but the two squads face en­tirely dif­fer­ent post­sea­son as­sign­ments and chal­lenges.

The WCU women (180-1 over­all) earned the top seed in the At­lantic Re­gion and will host the first two rounds of the 48-team tour­na­ment at Rock­well Field. The Golden Rams re­ceived a first-round bye, and will play the Notre Dame Col­lege-East Strouds­burg win­ner on Sun­day at noon.

The West Ch­ester men (11-4-3 over­all) slipped into the 38-team field as the fourth seed in the Su­per Re­gion I At­lantic Re­gion, and will travel to West Vir­ginia to take on top-seeded Charleston on Fri­day.

Head coach Betty Ann Kempf Towns­ley’s squad wrapped up an un­blem­ished reg­u­lar sea­son, but fell to ESU on penalty kicks in the semi­fi­nals of the PSAC Tour­na­ment. The Rams — who will be mak­ing their 14th straight trip to the NCAAs — have al­lowed just six goals this sea­son and have reg­is­tered 13 shutouts.

Fourth-seeded Notre Dame (14-1-4) and No. 5 East Strouds­burg (15-4-2) will meet on Fri­day at Rock­well Field at noon. The other side of the At­lantic Re­gion fea­tures third-seeded Charleston (W.Va.) vs. sixth-seeded Ed­in­boro (13-4-1).

The At­lantic Re­gion final will be played at the site of the high­est re­main­ing seed in the re­gion on Nov. 18. That win­ner will then play the East Re­gion win­ner in the NCAA quar­ter­fi­nals on Nov. 20. Should West Ch­ester win its sec­ond-round game on Sun­day, the Golden Rams would host the re­gional fi­nals and quar­ter­fi­nals the fol­low­ing week­end.

On the men’s side, WCU will be mak­ing its first trip to the NCAAs since 2002 and only its sec­ond over­all as a mem­ber of Di­vi­sion II. If the Rams can get past 16-2-1 Charleston, they would play the Mer­cy­hurst (15-4-1)-Ur­bana (13-41) win­ner on Sun­day.

West Ch­ester is no stranger to the NCAA Tour­na­ment, how­ever. The Golden Rams made seven trips to the big dance through­out the 1960s and early 1970s, be­fore the NCAA split into three di­vi­sions, win­ning the NCAA na­tional cham­pi­onship in 1961.

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