NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's soccer team received a breathe of fresh air on Monday night when they heard their name called during the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Selection Show.
The Wildcats were selected as the number five seed in the East Region and will square off against fourth seeded and host Le Moyne in the first round on Friday afternoon at Ted Grant Field. Wilmington is making their fourth appearance in the NCAA East Regional Tournament while Le Moyne will be making its ninth trip, and third in the last four years, on Friday.
Friday will be the seventh meeting between the two programs with Le Moyne holding a 4-1-1 advantage in those contests. The two teams haven't played since 2009 however. The lone win for the Wildcats came in 2006, a 3-1 win at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex
The winner advances to play No. 1 seed Adelphi in the Second Round at Le Moyne on Sunday.
Tickets/Admission for NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:
Students with ID/Senior Citizens/Children- $5.00
Links to Follow the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:
Live Stats: https://lemoynedolphins.com/sidearmstats/msoc/summary
Live Video: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/lemoyne/index.htm
Le Moyne Tournament Home Page: https://lemoynedolphins.com/feature/MSOCNCAAChampionships
Scouting the No. 5 Wilmington University Wildcats:
The Wildcats are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA East Regional Tournament since joining the NCAA ranks for the 2004 season. All four berths have been of the at-large variety, but the first at-large chance since automatic bids were put in place in 2016.
Wilmington is currently receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches National Poll, being as high as No. 24 this year. They are also ranked 4th in the final United Soccer Coaches East Region Poll.
The Wildcats finished first in the CACC Regular Season earning the top seed for the CACC Tournament. They defeated eighth seeded Chestnut Hill, 3-0, in the CACC First Round before defeating fourth seeded Jefferson, 2-1, in the CACC Semifinals. The Wildcats couldn't capture the CACC Tournament crown, however, falling to second seeded Post, 2-0. Their lone losses came to Jefferson in the regular season, and Post in the CACC Tournament Championship.
Tom Garratt is second in the CACC with 37 points this year, ranking fourth in the league with 12 goals and third in the league with 13 assists. Will Stone is third in the CACC with 36 points, ranking second in the league with 14 assists. His 14 assists are tied for the most in a single season in program history, tying Lance Berry's mark from 2015.
The back line core of Elliott Johnson, Joe Bell, Daniel Loyo, and Ellis McSharry, anchored by CACC Goalkeeper of the Year Vinny Tasca, has allowed only 18 goals this year with seven shutouts. Tasca carries a 0.86 GAA into the Regional Tournament with a .757 save percentage.
Tasca, Johnson (Defensive Player of the Year), Garratt, and Stone were named First Team All-CACC while Loyo was named Second Team All-CACC. Head coach Nick Papanicolas was named the CACC Coach of the Year.
Scouting the No. 4 Le Moyne College Dolphins:
Le Moyne comes into the NCAA Tournament after losing in the NE10 Quarterfinal to American International. They earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, making their ninth appearance, and third in four year and are serving as the host for the second time. The Dolphins are 2-8-1 in their eight previous NCAA appearances, including 1-0-1 as a host in 2009.
The Dolphins clinched a share of the NE10 Conference regular season title for the first time in program history and claimed the NE10 Tournament Top Seed by defeating Adelphi, 4-3, in the regular season.
But the NE10 Tournament ride was a short one for the Dolphins, as they fell to AIC in the quarterfinals, 2-1. After scoring first in the 41st minute, The Dolphins went into the half tied, 1-1, as AIC tied the match in the 42nd minute on a PK. AIC finished off the upset with a goal in the 87th minute.
Like Wilmington, Le Moyne had the conference Defensive Player of the Year in Niklas Breunung and Coach of the Year in Tom Bonus. They had three First Team All-NE10 members in Marek Weber, Sala Faryar, and Breunung, adding a Second Team All-NE10 member in Robert Rohrhirsch, and Third Team All-NE 10 goalkeeper Josh Mahr.
Le Moyne is led by Marek Weber's 40 points, tied atop the NE10 rankings. Weber has scored 17 goals while adding six assists. Salar Faryar is third in the NE10 with 37 points, third in the conference with 15 goals and second in assists with seven. Robert Rohrhirsch is third on the team with 14 points (5G, 4A).
Defensively, the Dolphins have allowed 20 (1.15 GAA) goals this year, as goalkeeper Josh Mahr has started in 15 games. He carries a 1.16 GAA into the contest with a .696 save percentage on the year.
Wilmington in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:
2009 (0-1): No. 3 Southern New Hampshire def. No. 2 Wilmington, 1-0 (2OT)
2013 (1-1): No. 6 Wilmington def. No. 3 Post, 2-1 (2OT); No. 1 Southern New Hampshire def. No. 6 Wilmington, 3-0
2015 (1-1): No. 6 Wilmington def. No. 3 Adelphi, 4-3, (OT); No. 1 LIU Post def. No. 6 Wilmington, 6-0.
Season and All-Time Records vs. NCAA Division II East Region Opponents:
No. 1 Adelphi University Panthers: 2018 – DNP; All-Time – 1-0 (last: 2015)
No. 2 LIU Post Pioneers: 2018 – W 2-1; All-Time – 1-7 (last: 2018)
No. 3 Mercy College Mavericks: 2018 – DNP; All-Time – 1-5 (last: 2017)
No. 4 Le Moyne College Dolphins: 2018 – DNP; All-Time – 1-4-1 (last: 2009)
No. 5 Wilmington University Wildcats
No. 6 Post University Eagles: 2018 - @ T 0-0 (2OT), @ L 2-0 (CACC Championship); All-Time – 8-10-5 (last: two times in 2018)
2018 NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament Game Schedule:
(at LIU Post, Brookville, N.Y.)
Thursday, November 8
No. 3 Mercy (12-3-1) vs. No. 6 Post (11-7-1) – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 10
No. 2 LIU Post (13-4-1) vs. No. 3 Mercy/No. 6 Post winner – 1:00 p.m.
(at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, N.Y.)
Friday, November 9
No. 4 Le Moyne (13-3-1) vs. No. 5 Wilm7n120gton (14-1-4) – 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 11
No. 1 Adelphi University (14-3-2) vs. No. 4 Le Moyne/No. 5 Wilmington winner – 1:00 p.m.