Ephs Set to Host NCAA First and Second Round Games Saturday, Sunday
2013 NCAA Tournament
Men's Soccer First and Second Round
Saturday, November 16
Sunday, November 17
Western New England (16-4-3) 2, M.I.T (13-5-2) 0
Williams 4 (12-6-0), Elms 0 (11-9-0)
Williams 4 (13-6-0) vs. WNEC 1 (16-5-3)
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- The Williams College men's soccer team will begin its quest for a national championship when it hosts the first and second round of the 2013 NCAA Div. III Tournament Saturday and Sunday on Cole Field.
The first game Saturday at 11 A.M. features Western New England University (15-4-3) versus M.I.T. (13-4-2). Williams (11-6) will play Elms College (11-8) in the second game at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday's winners will meet Sunday at 1:30 back on Cole Field for the right to advance to the third round of the tournament.
Here's a closer look at the teams:
For the 18th time in 21 years Mike Russo has guided his Williams men's soccer team into the NCAA Tournament. Russo sports a remarkable 32-14-9 record in NCAA play since 1993. The Ephs received an at-large berth into the playoffs after dropping the 2013 NESCAC Tournament championship to Amherst, 1-0. Williams finished third nationally one year ago, losing to Ohio Northern in the national semifinals.
Junior midfielder Matt Muralles was named to the All-NESCAC First Team. He paced the Ephs in points (14) and goals (6) this year. Senior goalie Peter Morrell and sophomore forward Mohammed Rashid were named to the Second Team. In 11 appearances Rashid has scored 4 goals (1 game-winner) and he has registered 4 assists. In 1,547 minutes goalie Peter Morrell has compiled a goals against average of 0.93, stopping 72 shots, giving him a save percentage of .818. Of his 11 wins this season, Morrell has authored 6 shutouts.
Elms is making its second consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament following a 5-0 victory over Newbury College in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship title game which gave the Blazers an automatic bid.
The Blazers are led by its four First Team All-NECC selections, senior forwards Adam O'Grady and Ziggy Jonathan sophomore midfielder Safa Saady and sophomore defender Connor O'Grady . Jonathan and Adam O'Grady each totaled nine goals during the season to lead the team, while Connor O'Grady registered four goals and four assists and Saady tabbed three goals and two assists.
This will be the Engineers second straight NCAA appearance, after earning an automatic bid to last year's tournament when they won their first-ever NEWMAC title, and their fourth overall, receiving at-large bids in 2003 and 2008.
The Cardinal and Gray, who are led by seniors Andrew Fijan and Matthew Monheit and Jonathan Tebes ended the regular season with a record of 13-4-2. Wheaton is the only other school that will be representing the NEWMAC in the 61-team bracket.
This is Western New England's eighth appearance in the Championship--all under the direction of coach Erin Sullivan and occurring since 2004. The Golden Bears are 7-5-2 in 14 tournament games for a .571 winning percentage, and lead the Commonwealth Coast Conference in all three categories, plus NCAA berths.
This marks the 10th game--and first at a neutral site--between the two schools on the soccer pitch, with MIT holding a commanding 7-2 lead all-time. Western New England and MIT have met just once before in postseason play--and that came in the 2002 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III New England Tournament, which was the same year as the Golden Bears last victory in the series, 1-0. The squads met every year from 1990 to 1997.