Three Men's Soccer Teams Receive National Seeds In NCAA Tournament
2013 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament Bracket
For the first time in Big West history, three schools earned a national seed and first-round bye as the NCAA Selection Committee today announced the 48-team field for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge earned respective No. 10, No. 12 and No. 15 national seeds, with each school earning a second round hosting opportunity on Sunday, Nov. 24. All 16 nationally seeded teams receive first-round byes.
This is the sixth time the Gauchos have garnered a national seed. The No. 10 seed is the second-highest in program history. The 2004 team was seeded ninth and reached the College Cup. Making their 11th postseason appearance in the last 12 years, the Gauchos host the winner of the Penn State (11-5-2)/St. Francis Brooklyn (12-5-1) matchup at 6:00 p.m. inside Harder Stadium. UCSB is 11-1 all-time in home NCAA Tournament games.
UCSB enters the NCAA’s at 12-5-3 overall, owners of double-digit wins for 13 consecutive seasons. The Gauchos captured the Big West North Division title with a 7-0-3 record and sported an 11-game unbeaten streak until losing in the conference tournament semifinals to Cal State Northridge. UCSB has been nationally ranked as high as No. 10 this season.
The Anteaters are making their fourth overall NCAA Tournament appearance – all in the last six years. UCI has garnered a national seed each time. The 2011 squad was a No. 8 seed. The Anteaters won their fourth Big West Tournament championship to capture the conference’s automatic postseason bid, knocking off UC Davis in the semifinals and Cal State Northridge in the title game. UCI is 1-2 all-time as an NCAA Tournament host.
Entering the NCAA’s on a seven-match win streak, the Anteaters pair up against the winner of the first-round contest between North Carolina (8-5-5) and South Florida (8-3-9). Kickoff for Sunday’s matchup is slated for 2:00 p.m. At 14-4-3 overall, the Anteaters have won at least 14 games for the fifth time in the last six seasons. UCI improved to 4-0 all-time in Big West Tournament championship games.
Cal State Northridge has enjoyed one of the finest seasons in school history with a 15-6-1 record entering the NCAA Tournament. This year’s Matadors have tied the 2005 and 2012 squads for most wins in school history as a member of the Big West. CSUN scored a combined seven goals in wins over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara to get to the Big West Tournament title game, losing 1-0 to UC Irvine.
This is CSUN’s second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and sixth overall. The Matadors previously earned a national seed in 2003 (No. 16) and 2005 (No. 15). They boast the nation’s co-leading goal scorer in junior Sagi Lev-Ari with 16. As a team, CSUN leads the nation in assists (58), assists per game (2.64) and total points (144). CSUN hosts the winner of the first-round matchup between Stanford (9-6-3) and Loyola Marymount (13-4-2) on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. from Matador Soccer Field.
The 2013 NCAA Men’s College Cup will be played at PPL Park in Philadelphia on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15. All first-round games will be played on Thursday while all second-round action will take place on Sunday. The third round will be played Dec. 1, while the quarterfinals will be played Dec. 6 or 7.
• The Big West has won at least one NCAA Tournament game in 10 of the 11 years as an event participant. Cal State Northridge’s loss to San Diego in the 2012 first round marked the end of a 10-year streak with at least one victory.
• The Big West has sent a representative to the round of 16 on eight separate occasions, the most recent coming in 2011 when UC Santa Barbara fell at Creighton. Never has the conference had two teams advance to the Sweet 16. With all three entries – Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara – earning first-round byes, the Big West seeks to advance multiple teams past the second round for the first time in league history.
• This year marks the first in Big West history that three teams earned national seeds in the NCAA Tournament field – UC Santa Barbara (No. 10), UC Irvine (No. 12) and Cal State Northridge (No. 15). All three schools have been seeded before, with UC Irvine as a No. 8 seed in 2011 the highest of any team in conference annals.
• UC Santa Barbara is 11-1 in NCAA Tournament games all-time at Harder Stadium.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Postseason Bound: Cal State Northridge secured its sixth berth to the NCAA Tournament, earning the No. 15 seed in the Seattle Region. The Matadors are 1-4-1 all-time in NCAA competition, with the lone win coming at home in the 2005 Second Round against UC Santa Barbara.
Nation’s Leaders: The Matadors lead the Big West and the nation with 58 assists and 144 points. Both figures rank among the top 10 in Big West single-season history – fifth-most in assists and sixth-most in points.
Sagi Times Three: Junior forward Sagi Lev-Ari recorded the first hat trick in Big West Tournament history when he scored thrice against UC Santa Barbara in the semifinals. Lev-Ari notched five goals in two games, setting another record for most goals in a tournament.
More On Sagi: Lev-Ari’s 16 goals this season is tied for No. 11 all-time in the Big West, while his 31 career goals puts him in a tie for sixth in conference history.
Perfection: Whatever brings out the best in UC Irvine around the Big West Tournament, the formula needs to be patented. The Anteaters shutout both UC Davis and Cal State Northridge to capture their fourth tournament championship (2008, 2009, 2011) in six years. UCI improved to 4-0 in tournament title games.
Winning Tradition: The Anteaters have won at least 14 games for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Over that six-year period, UCI has won a total of 79 games, the most of any Big West school.
Streaks: Entering the NCAA Tournament, UC Irvine is riding a season-high seven-match win streak. It equals the program record for longest win streak since the Big West reinstituted men’s soccer in 2001. The 2008 and 2011 clubs – also under head coach George Kuntz – share the record.
Breslin Time: Sophomore keeper Michael Breslin upped his league-leading shutout total to nine, which is tied for second in UCI history for most clean sheets in a season.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Postseason Hosts: UC Santa Barbara is the No. 10 national seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. It is the fifth time in 11 postseason appearances that the Gauchos have been seeded and have received a first-round bye. UCSB’s first game in all 11 NCAA appearances have taken place at Harder Stadium.
Get It Out Of The System: The vaunted UCSB defense had given up only 16 goals all season entering last Friday’s Big West Tournament semifinal match against Cal State Northridge. The team had allowed one goal or less in 16 of 19 contests. But the Gauchos uncharacteristically gave up a season-high three goals to the Matadors.
French Connection: Seniors Goffin Boyoko and Achille Campion, who both hail from Paris, France, have accounted for 15 of UCSB’s 31 goals this season with Boyoko’s eight goals tied for third in the Big West. Boyoko is also tied for the league high with five game-winning strikes. Campion, who has missed three of the last four games due to injury, eyes a hopeful return in Sunday’s second round NCAA match.