Nittany Lions Earn 31st NCAA Tournament Appearance
Nov. 18, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's soccer team is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the 31st time as announced by the NCAA Monday afternoon. The Nittany Lions will host a first-round match against St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Penn State (11-5-2), picked fifth in the preseason Big Ten poll, has been one of the more surprising stories during the men's soccer season, claiming its fifth Big Ten title in October. The Nittany Lions return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 when Penn State earned a 15 seed and reached the Sweet 16 in head coach Bob Warming's first season.
For the Nittany Lions program, it will be the 31st NCAA appearance with Penn State holding a 25-29-1 all-time record. The Nittany Lions will host an NCAA Tournament game at Jeffrey Field for the 29th time. Thursday's game will be the eighth home game in the last 10 NCAA postseason contests. The last time Penn State played a first round game was in 1999 when it hosted William & Mary, a 1-0 win.
As for Thursday's opponent, St. Francis Brooklyn (12-5-1) is the automatic bid from the Northeast Conference. The Terriers were seeded fourth in their tournament and proceeded to upset host and top-seeded Central Connecticut, 2-0, before coming back twice to down third-seeded Bryant, 3-2, in the championship game overtime.
Penn State is 3-1-0 against NEC teams this year and will face St. Francis Brooklyn for the first time in program history. The winner of the Penn State-St. Francis Brooklyn match travels to 10th-seeded UC Santa Barbara at historic Harder Field on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.
Penn State is anchored defensively by Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Andrew Wolverton (Atlanta, Ga.) and All-Big Ten First Team honoree Martin Seiler (Stuttgart, Germany). Offensively, Penn State is driven by Jordan Tyler (Rochester, Mich.), who leads the team in scoring (5 goals, 4 game-winners) and was named to the All-Big Ten First Team.