The NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament bracket was released yesterday and, for the second year in a row, Harvard was one of 48 teams invited.
Though the Crimson (12-3-2, 5-2-0 Ivy) did not receive an automatic bid, handed out to the winner of each conference, the committee awarded Harvard an at-large bid and home-field advantage in the first round.
The Crimson will play Central Connecticut State University (8-8-3) on either Friday or Saturday at Ohiri Field.
The Blue Devils, who advanced to the tournament by winning the Northeast Conference Championship, will be making their first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament.
The winner of will go on to a second-round match-up with Tulsa on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Also representing the Ivy League are Brown (15-1-1) and Dartmouth (11-4-2). Harvard won the Ancient Eight title a year ago, but lost to both the Bears and Big Green in 2007 to finish third.
Brown, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation and won the Ivy championship, will have a bye through the first round before taking on the winner of Providence (9-7-2) and Old Dominion (12-8-3) in Rhode Island on Nov. 28. Dartmouth, who finished second in the Ivy League, will face local rival Vermont (9-9-2) at home in the first round.
The Crimson will look to improve on last year’s showing. After defeating Binghampton 2-1 in the first round, Harvard fell 3-0 to UCLA in the round of 32. The Bears went on to lose in the championship game to UC Santa Barbara.