Men’s Soccer to Host First Round of NCAA Division I Championship

Posted: November 8, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason’s men’s soccer team was one of 48 teams selected to participate in the 2006 NCAA Division I Soccer Championship. The Patriots (12-5-3) will host Bucknell University (8-7-6) at George Mason Stadium in a first-round match-up on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m.

This is the first time since 1996 that the Patriots have received a berth in the tournament. Saturday’s game will also mark the first meeting between these two schools.

“We are excited to be hosting Bucknell in the first round of the Division I Men’s Soccer Championship and are elated to compete in this championship for the first time in 10 years,” said Mason head coach Greg Andrulis, who becomes just the third coach in Mason history to take his team to the NCAA Championship.

“This is a great honor for our seniors who have put so much heart and soul into our program, and it proves that Mason men’s soccer is heading in the right direction. We look forward to playing on our home turf and hope the local alumni and fans will come out and support us on Saturday.”

The Patriots have an overall record of 3-7 in NCAA Championship games, including a 1-0 win over the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 24, 1996, which advanced Mason to the next round. However, the Patriots then fell to St. John’s University on neutral ground, 2-1. The Patriots have hosted an NCAA Championship game three times and own a 1-2 overall record in those contests. The win came in 1986 against the University of Maryland in a 2-1 overtime decision.

Most recently, the Patriots advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship title game for the fourth time in school history following a 5-4 decision on a penalty kick shootout situation against No. 1 Towson University, after tying the Tigers in the semifinals, 1-1, in 110 minutes of play on Nov. 3.

Mason next faced off against No. 2 Hofstra University in the title game two days later and, again, the score was tied 1-1 after 110 minutes. Hofstra was crowned the league champion after winning on penalty kicks, 3-2, at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Va.

Mason heads into this weekend’s match-up with a 12-5-3 overall record, which marks the most wins for the Patriots since the 1998 campaign.

Bucknell won its first Patriot League Championship this past weekend as the Bison went scoreless in 110 minutes of play against Lafayette College in the championship game, but ended up winning in the penalty kick shootout, 4-3. In the semifinal game, Bucknell also tied top-seeded Lehigh University, 1-1, but advanced after making four of its penalty kicks to Lehigh’s one. The Bison are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1976.

Mason is one of four CAA teams represented in the field of 48. Towson, seeded 15th overall in the tournament, received a first-round bye, while Old Dominion University and Hofstra will each host in the first round.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and youths.

The winner of Saturday’s game will move on to face No. 4 University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

To see the full tournament bracket, click here.

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