BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Following its overtime victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, the fifth-seeded Merrimack College men's soccer team battles No. 1 and top-seeded LIU Post on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Pioneer Soccer Park. The contest marks a rematch of the 2014 East Region Final hosted at Martone-Mejail Field, which the Pioneers prevailed in by a 2-0 final.
Date/Time: 11/12 | 1 p.m.
Records: Merrimack (15-5) | LIU Post (17-0-1)
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, 3-2 (OT)
Match 2: #6 Southern New Hampshire def. #3 Le Moyne, 3-1
Second Round (Saturday, Nov. 12):
Match 3: #5 Merrimack vs. #1 LIU Post, 1 p.m.
Match 4: #6 Southern New Hampshire vs. #2 Adelphi, 4 p.m.
Last Time Out:
- In the 98th minute on Thursday afternoon, freshman Aasmund Joedahl (Ridabu, Norway) kicked Merrimack into the second round with his overtime winner against Franklin Pierce University
- The play began following a corner kick by Mattia Lanzi (Viterbo, Italy) that was headed on goal by classmate Juan Meza (Viterbo, Italy), which was saved and then took a deflection off the post. Joedahl was primed for the rebound, striking a right-footed shot that rifled into the back of the net
- The Navy and Gold scored a pair of first-half goals to take a 2-0 advantage. The first came in the 21st minute, when a deflection off a Ravens defender went straight to senior Alexander Alleyne (Swampscott, Mass.). The fourth-year outside midfielder delivered a shot into the side netting to make it 1-0
- Fourteen minutes later, the Navy and Gold increased their lead when senior Connor O'Brien (Sandwich, Mass.) delivered a long ball right to the chest of sophomore Lars Sund (Stavanger, Norway) who then tapped a one-touch shot past the Franklin Pierce keeper
- The fourth-seeded Ravens tied the game with the goals in the second half, with the equalizer coming in the 81st minute
- With the win, Merrimack sits one shy of tying the program's single-season record for the victories (16), which has happened on two occasions and most recently occurred in 1997.
Earlier This Season vs. LIU Post:
- The Warriors and Pioneers met in the season's third game, which pitted the two squads together in a top-15 matchup
- LIU Post bested Merrimack, 5-0, scoring three times in a span of 2:18 in the second half to turn a 1-0 halftime lead to a 5-0 game
- Junior Cody Russell (Oceanside, Calif.) led the team with four saves, while freshman goalkeeper Tate Norman (Kelowna, British Columbia) made his career debut for the Navy and Gold
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
- Following Thursday's victory, the Navy and Gold improved its first-round record to a perfect 4-0, while overall the unit is 5-3 in eight NCAA Tournament games
- Merrimack bowed out in the second round last season to Southern New Hampshire, but two years ago the Warriors upset Southern Connecticut to advance to the program's first-ever regional final
- LIU Post enters Saturday as the newly minted top overall squad nationwide, boasting a record of 17-0-1
- The East Coast Conference Champions won by an 8-1 margin in the conference semifinals followed by a 3-0 victory in the final to emerge unscathed in the league tournament
- Sophomore midfielder Charlie Ledula was named the ECC Offensive Player of the Year, leading the Pioneers with 18 goals, six assists and 42 points, ranking 11th in the country in total points
- Senior back David Arvidsson was named ECC Defensive Player of the Year following a nine-point season and leading a defensive core that has allowed 0.60 goals-per-game on the year
With a win, the Navy and Gold will advance to the program's second-ever East Region Final. If sixth-seeded Southern New Hampshire upsets second-seeded Adelphi on Saturday, the Warriors will host the game like they did in 2014. If not, the contest will be played in Garden City, N.Y. on the campus of the Panthers.