Despite a 3-1 loss to Akron in the Mid-American Conference Men’s Soccer Championship semifinals match, the West Virginia men’s soccer team was selected as an at-large bid in the Georgetown pod of the 2018 NCAA Division I men’s soccer championship.
The Mountaineers (13-6) will host LIU Brooklyn in the first round, on Thursday, Nov. 15. The Blackbirds (13-5-1) won the Northeast Conference tournament. The winner of this first-round matchup will travel to No. 13 seed Georgetown in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 18.
In WVU’s section of the tournament is No. 4 seed Louisville, (11-4-3) and at-large bids Michigan State (10-4-4) and UIC (12-5-2). This pod is on the same half of the bracket as overall No. 1 seed Wake Forest and thrice-defending champion No. 9 seed Stanford.
Fellow MAC member Akron will face Rider in the first round, pitted with No. 16 seed Syracuse. The Zips are on the same half of the bracket at WVU, though in a different quarter of the bracket.
The 2018 NCAA Men’s College Cup will be Dec. 7 and 9, at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium, in Santa Barbara, California.
Though WVU did not win the MAC tournament, the team captured the regular season MAC championship with an unblemished conference record, the first conference trophy the program has won since 2006. This is the first time WVU has made the NCAA tournament since 2011, when the team advanced to the second round, and is the fifth appearance for head coach Marlon LeBlanc.
In recognition of the team’s great season, LeBlanc was named Coach of the Year and senior midfielder Joey Piatcyzc was named Player of the Year by the MAC. Piatcyzc, the WVU’s captain, led the conference in total points (23) and scored seven goals with nine assists on the year.