UNCG to host Virginia Tech in first round of NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament
GREENSBORO, NC – For the second consecutive year, UNC Greensboro and Virginia Tech will square off in the NCAA Tournament as the teams have been matched up in the opening round of the 2006 edition of the tournament.
UNCG will host the first round match on Saturday at 1 pm at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans (14-7-1) will be making their 17th appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament. It will be UNCG’s eighth trip to the tournament since 1991 when it became a Division I member. Previously, UNCG made it to the tournament in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2005. Each of the last two seasons, the Spartans have advanced to the third round, falling in the Round of 16. In 2004, UNCG lost to eventual runner-up UC-Santa Barbara, while in 2005 the Spartans were eliminated by eventual semifinalist SMU.
Last year, UNCG and Virginia Tech played to a scoreless tie in Blacksburg. The Spartans advanced through penalty kicks.
“We had no expectations whatsoever,” said UNCG coach Michael Parker of his pairing. “We faced Virginia Tech last year and they have a real strong forward up front in Patrick Nyarko. We were guessing a little bit in who we might get paired up with, but we thought we might get a home game out of it. I wasn’t confident of anything, though.”
Virginia Tech (11-7-1) lost to North Carolina State, 3-2, in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. The Hokies were seeded eighth in the tournament after finishing league play with a 2-5-1 mark. Virginia Tech is led by the high-scoring Nyarko. He has 38 points in the season with 15 goals and eight assists.
Virginia Tech has three wins over Southern Conference teams this season, recording victories against Appalachian State, Davidson and Elon. The Hokies, who also own a 5-2 win over Clemson this season, have scored 46 goals in 19 matches this season.
UNCG earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season by winning the Southern Conference Tournament over the weekend. The Spartans, who also won the Southern Conference regular season title for the third consecutive year, defeated Georgia Southern, 3-0. UNCG did not allow a goal in three Southern Conference Tournament matches, outscoring the opposition, 7-0.
UNCG head coach Michael Parker, the active Division I leader in wins with 465 in his 31 years as a head coach, will be making his 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Coupled with UNCG’s women’s team also earning the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, it is the third time in school history that both Spartan soccer teams will be in the NCAA Tournament in the same year. It also happened in 1996 and 1998.
The 48 teams in the NCAA Tournament will be vying for the right to compete at the 2006 NCAA Men’s College Cup on December 1 and 3 in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Robert R. Hermann Stadium. Saint Louis University and the St. Louis Sports Commission will host the championship.
Duke University, the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament champion, was awarded the No. 1 seed. Wake Forest University earned the No. 2 seed. Southern Methodist University was named the No. 3 seed, while the University of Virginia was the No. 4 seed.
The remaining top 16 seeds in order are the University of Maryland; West Virginia University; Indiana University, Bloomington; University of California, Los Angeles; Clemson University, Santa Clara University, Saint Louis University; University of Notre Dame; University of California, Berkeley; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Towson University; and Lehigh University. The top 16 teams receive a first-round bye.
Remaining first Round matches will be played either Nov. 10 or 11. All second round matches will be played Nov. 15.
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