Nov. 14, 2012
A league record four Atlantic 10 Conference men's soccer teams are set to take the pitch this week in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Saint Louis, winner of last week's A-10 Championship, earned the Conference's automatic berth, while VCU, Charlotte and Xavier garnered at-large bids.
The A-10's four bids are tied with the Big Ten for third among the 31 NCAA Division I Conferences. The Big East (8) and ACC (5) are the only two leagues to surpass the Atlantic 10.
The A-10 received three bids in both 1989 (Penn State, Rutgers, George Washington) and 2008 (Saint Louis, Dayton, Massachusetts) prior to this season, and multiple bids to compete in the NCAA tournament nine times overall.
Saint Louis (16-4) was selected as the No. 8 seed and received a first-round bye in the 48-team field. SLU will face the winner of the Fairleigh Dickinson (9-5-6)/ St. John's (10-4-4) outing on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 3 p.m. ET at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. The Billikens have won five in a row and 10 of its last 11, including their second Atlantic 10 Conference Championship on Nov. 11, after topping La Salle, Xavier and VCU at Charlotte's Transamerica Field. Saint Louis, which owns a 10 NCAA Championships, will be making its 47th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2009.
VCU (12-3-5) is also one of 16 teams to earn a national seed and first-round bye. The 14th-seeded Rams will host the winner of Thursday's matchup between Syracuse and Cornell on Sunday, Nov. 18. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET at Sports Backers Stadium. VCU also received national seeds in 2003 (9) and 2004 (16). The Rams, who return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since appearing in the regional final in 2004, have posted 23 wins over the past two seasons under third-year Head Coach Dave Giffard.
Charlotte (14-3-3) will play UAB (10-7-2) at Transamerica Field in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The 49ers are making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and their third in the last four years. Last season, the 49ers advanced to the College Cup Final for the first time in school history. Charlotte has reached the College Cup twice, in 1996 and 2011. The 49ers are 6-5-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the Charlotte/UAB game advances to the second round to face third-seed Georgetown on the road, Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Xavier (13-2-5) earned its first-ever at-large bid and will make its third-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 15, as the Musketeers travel to Kentucky for a 7:00 p.m. ET match-up in Lexington. Head Coach Andy Fleming has led Xavier to the program's only three NCAA Tournament outings. The Musketeers are one of 17 teams to play in the last three NCAA Men's Soccer Championships
Sunday, November 18
TBD at #8 Saint Louis
3:00 p.m. ET | Robert R. Hermann Stadium | St. Louis, MO
TBD at #14 VCU
7:00 p.m. ET | Sports Backers Stadium | Richmond, VA