Men’s Soccer Draws St. Francis Brooklyn To Open NCAA Tournament Run
The Penn State men’s soccer team will make its 31st NCAA tournament appearance this season as was announced by the NCAA this afternoon. The Nittany Lions will kick off their run at the national championship against St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday at 7 p.m. after failing to draw a bye.
The team was ranked fifth in the Big Ten preseason, but head coach Bob Warming led the Nittany Lions to a conference title and an 11-5-2 record. This is the men’s soccer team’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2010, when the Nittany Lions made a run to the Sweet 16 in Warming’s first year at the helm.
The team’s first round opponent, St. Francis Brooklyn, went 12-5-1 this season and earned an automatic bid from the Northeast Conference. The Terriers were a four seed in their conference tournament, but made a run to the finals by upsetting top-seeded Central Connecticut in the semifinals and downing Bryant in a championship game that went to overtime.
Penn State is 3-1-0 this season against opponents from the Northeast Conference, but the team has never faced St. Francis Brooklyn ahead of its Thursday showdown at Jeffrey Field. The winner will travel to U.C. Santa Barbara on November 24 for a 9 p.m. second round game against the tournament’s 10th seed.
The Nittany Lions are led by a strong defense, anchored by Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Wolverton and German defenseman Martin Seiler. Jordan Tyler led the way on offense this season with five goals, including four game-winners, earning him All-Big Ten First Team honors.