BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – The fifth-seeded Merrimack College men's soccer team begins play in its third consecutive Division II NCAA Men's Soccer Championship on Thursday afternoon when the Warriors face fourth-seeded Franklin Pierce in a 1 p.m. contest at Pioneer Soccer Park on the campus of No. 1 and top-seeded LIU Post.
Date/Time: 11/10 | 1 p.m.
Records: Merrimack (14-5) | Franklin Pierce (12-5)
Location: Pioneer Soccer Park | Brookville, N.Y.
NCAA East Regional:
The two remaining programs following the first and second rounds will meet next week in the regional final. Top-seeded LIU Post is the two-time defending regional champions.
First Round (Thursday, Nov. 10):
Match 1: #5 Merrimack vs. #4 Franklin Pierce, 1 p.m.
Match 2: #6 Southern New Hampshire vs. #3 Le Moyne, 4 p.m.
Second Round (Saturday, Nov. 12):
Match 3: Winner of Match 1 vs. #1 LIU Post, 1 p.m.
Match 4: Winner of Match 2 vs. #2 Adelphi, 4 p.m.
Last Time Out:
- The Navy and Gold suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Le Moyne in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals on Friday night
- The Dolphins scored in the first half off a set piece, with a flicked on header making its way into the right side of the net
- Senior captain Oscar Zepeda Cagide (Jalisco, Mexico) tied the game in the second half on a penalty kick, after classmate and striker Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) was fouled in the box
- The visitors netted the game-winner in the 84th minute after a deflected cross found its way into the back of the net
Earlier This Season vs. Franklin Pierce:
- In the regular season meeting between the Ravens and the Warriors, Franklin Pierce emerged victorious in a match played in Rindge, N.H.
- Franklin Pierce notched the night's lone goal in the 85th minute, scoring on a header off a set piece
- Junior left back Mattia Lanzi (Viterbo, Italy) and Zepeda Cagide tied for the team high with four shots apiece
NCAA Tournament History:
- With the selection as the fifth seed in the East Region, Merrimack collected its third straight berth to the big dance and fourth overall. All appearances have occurred since the 2012 season, with 2013 being the only omission for the Warriors in the national tournament
- The Warriors boast a 4-3 record overall in NCAA Tournament play, including a 3-0 mark in the opening round
- The Navy and Gold have advanced to the second round in each of their previous three berth, including an appearance in the East Region Final two years ago
- Franklin Pierce earned its first berth to the national tourney since 2012 on Monday night, being named the fourth seed via the NCAA Selection Show
- The Ravens finished the season with 12 overall victories. Franklin Pierce also lost in the conference semifinals to Adelphi, the eventual NE-10 champion
- Jacob Blixt leads the team with 28 points on nine goals and 10 assists. Marius Preber's 13 goals are the most on the squad
- Jadel Poon-Lewis has started in 16 games, compiling a 1.20 goals-against-average and a .757 save percentage
With a win, the Navy and Gold will advance to the second round to play top-seeded LIU Post on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Pioneer Soccer Park. The Pioneers bested the Warriors, 5-0, in a regular-season tilt back in September.