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Harvard's undefeated varsity soccer team, ranked first in New England, will join Bridgeport, Brown, and Southern Connecticut State in the NCAA University Division 1 Soccer Tournament scheduled to start on Monday, November 17.
The regional playoff is run on a single elimination basis with the winner of the Division 1 tournament meeting the champion of District 2, the New York state region, for the right to compete in the NCAA semifinals to be held in San Jose, California on December 4-6.
The Crimson, 9-0 for the season, will play Southern Connecticut, 7-2-1 and ranked fourth in New England, on Cumnock field next Monday afternoon. Bridgeport, 8-1-1 and second to Harvard in the District 1 ratings, will challenge third-ranked Brown (7-2-2) on the same afternoon at a site to be announced.
"Playoffs are a really gutsy affair," Harvard's assistant coach Seamus Malin said. "It's a one shot thing and you have to take each match one at a time. All we're thinking of now though is clinching the Ivy title against Brown on Saturday," he added.
If Harvard defeats Southern Connecticut on Monday, the Crimson would get a shot at the winner of the Purple Eagles-Bruins match on Monday, November 24. Since Harvard is ranked first in the New England region, the Crimson would play either opponent at home.
The NCAA District 2 Selection Committee has chosen Hartwick (7-1-1) to face R.P.I. (10-2) in one semifinal, while Adelphi (8-1-3) and N.Y.U. (9-3) square off in the other regional contest. Hartwick is the top-ranked-squad, but N.Y.U. handed the Warriors their first loss on Saturday.
A third Ivy League team. Penn, was also selected in its region, but the first time the Quakers could be paired with Harvard is in San Jose.
The Crimson first accepted a bid to the NCAA playoffs last year, but lost to Army in the opening round 4-1. Previously all Ivy League teams had been disqualified because of the NCAA 1.6 ineligibility ruling.
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