WCU men, women both earn NCAA bids
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.