Nov 15, 2012, 10:44 AM EDT
Best of luck to Drexel, Northeastern and Old Dominion as they host first-round games in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship on Thursday.
The CAA is one of top soccer conferences in the nation, with three or more teams making the NCAA Tournament field in five of the past nine years. The league has also featured incredible depth as seven different teams have won conference championships over the past seven years – Hofstra (2006), Old Dominion (2007), George Mason (2008), UNCW (2009), William & Mary (2010), Delaware (2011) and Northeastern (2012).
After today, all 11 CAA men’s soccer programs will have participated in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship since 2006, which is truly an amazing accomplishment.
The three teams participating in this year’s NCAA Tournament all have unique stories.
Old Dominion was ineligible for this year ‘s CAA Championship, but put together an outstanding 11-3-2 overall record and earned an at-large berth. The Monarchs have become a regular in the NCAA Tournament field, having made the tournament nine times in the last 11 years. During that stretch, ODU has always advanced to at least the second round and reached the final 16 in 2006 and 2007.
Northeastern is riding the momentum from its first CAA championship, which came in dramatic fashion last Sunday on Don Anding’s game-winning goal in the second overtime. The Huskies are making just the second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the first since 2002. NU has won its last 15 matches (14-0-1) at Parsons Field, where it will host Boston College this evening.
While Northeastern knew it would see its name called when the field was unveiled last Monday, Drexel did not. The Dragons captured their first outright CAA regular-season title, but were knocked out of the CAA championship on penalty kicks in the semifinals. With a solid RPI and a current eight-match unbeaten streak (6-0-2), Drexel had a reason to feel good about making the field for the first time in 40 years, but after 46 of the 48 teams were announced, it had yet to see its name come up on the screen. That set the stage for unbridled joy and emotion when it finally happened.
Hopefully today’s results will lead to more positive moments for CAA men’s soccer over the next several weeks.
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