NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Following the unveiling of the 2016 Division II Men's Soccer Championship bracket Monday night, the No. 19 Merrimack College men's soccer team learned via the NCAA Selection Show that it will be the fifth seed in the East Region as the program advanced to its third straight NCAA Tournament and fourth overall over the last five years.
Merrimack will take on Northeast-10 Conference foe and fourth-seeded Franklin Pierce in the opening round on Thursday at 1 p.m on the campus of LIU Post. The No. 2 and top-seeded Pioneers await the winner of the matchup between the Warriors and Ravens in the second round, which will take place on Saturday, also at 1 p.m.
"You work hard all season long to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament, and we're honored that the committee has deemed us worthy of an at-large bid. This is another momentous day for the program," said head coach Tony Martone. "Franklin Pierce is a quality opponent that we are familiar with, and we'll have to be at our best if we want to advance in this tournament."
Last season, the Warriors entered the tournament as the fourth seed in the East Region, also meeting a NE-10 opponent. The Navy and Gold knocked off fifth-seeded Le Moyne, 2-1, to advance to the second round before falling to top-seeded Southern New Hampshire.
Rounding out the regional, second-seeded Adelphi will host a pod that includes third-seeded Le Moyne and sixth-seeded Southern New Hampshire. The winner of the match between the Dolphins and Penmen will advance to play the Panthers in the second round. Five of the six programs advancing to the national tournament play in the NE-10.
The two teams that emerge victorious following this weekend's action will play in the East Region Final next week, hosted by the highest remaining seed. The Pioneers are the two-time defending regional champions, advancing to the national quarterfinals in each season.
Monday marks the program's fourth overall trip to the NCAA Tournament, all of which have come over the last five campaigns.
NCAA East Region
1) LIU Post (17-0-1)
2) Adelphi (17-1-1)
3) Le Moyne (14-4-2)
4) Franklin Pierce (12-5-0)
5) Merrimack (14-5-0)
6) Southern New Hampshire (11-4-2)