Rhode Island to Play at UConn in NCAA Championship First Round Match
KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island was officially announced as part of the 48-team field for the 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Monday afternoon. The Rams (15-4-0) will play against UConn (11-5-2), at the Huskies' Rentschler Field, on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m.
Rhody clinched an automatic bid to the championship when it shut out George Mason 2-0 in Sunday's the Atlantic 10 Championship, clinching the seventh league title in program history. The victory also gave the Rams one of 24 automatic bids to the tournament field and the 12th NCAA tournament bid in team history.
Rhode Island and UConn were scheduled to play on Sept. 11 this season, but the game was called off due to potential weather. UConn (11-5-2) fell in double overtime of the AAC semifinals to UCF. The winner of the Rhode Island-UConn game will travel to Big Ten champion Indiana to face the tournament's No. 2 overall seed. The other teams in URI's section of the bracket are No. 15 seed Denver, Air Force and Central Arkansas.
2018 NCAA MEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT DATES
- First Round – Thursday, Nov. 15
- Second Round – Sunday, Nov. 18
- Third Round – Saturday, Nov. 24/Sunday, Nov. 25
- Quarterfinals – Friday, Nov. 3/Saturday, Dec. 1.
- Seminals – Friday, Dec. 7
- Finals – Sunday, Dec. 9
The final four teams will advance to the College Cup in Santa Barbara, Calif. All three games in the College Cup will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
RHODE ISLAND IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
- Rhode Island is 5-10-2 in 11 previous NCAA Tournament appearances.
- The Rams last made the field in 2006, advancing to the second round after beating Rutgers in a penalty kick shootout. Rhody then fell to Lehigh in PKs in the second round.
- Rhode Island's best run in the NCAA Championship came in 2000, when it rallied to beat Georgia State 4-3 in overtime in a play-in game, then beat Boston College in the first round. URI was eliminated by North Carolina, 3-1 in the second round.
- Rhode Island head coach Gareth Elliott was a junior on the 2000 team and scored two goals in the Georgia State victory to help the Rams advance into the field.
- Elliott also was part of the 1999 team that made the NCAA Championship. He has been part of six of Rhode Island's seven Atlantic 10 titles, winning two as a player, three as an assistant coach and now one as URI's head coach.