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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, November 8, 2009

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ncaa soccer: women in, men out

NCAA soccer Losses to Dickinson in the semifinals of the Centennial Conference playoffs left both Muhlenberg soccer teams on the bubble for bids to the NCAA Tournament. The Mule women fell on the right side of the bubble, earning an at-large berth, but the men were not awarded one.

The women received one of 21 at-large, or Pool C, bids to the NCAA Tournament. The bracket will be announced Monday morning.

This will be the fourth NCAA appearance for the Mules, who went 1-1 in each
Kimberly Hacker
Kimberly Hacker and the rest of the Mule seniors will get to wear the Muhlenberg jersey at least one more time.
of their previous three. In their last trip to the NCAAs, in 2003, Muhlenberg narrowly missed advancing to the quarterfinals, suffering a 1-0 loss to Scranton in the Round of 16.

Muhlenberg is one of 63 teams in the field. One team will receive a first-round bye. One two-team first-round match will be played on Thursday, November 12, to determine the team that advances to the second round to play the team that received a first-round bye. Fifteen four-team sites will conduct first- and second-round play on the first weekend of the championship, November 13-14 or 14-15. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites November 20-21 or 21-22. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. Winners of the four sectionals will advance to the semifinals December 4-5, at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.

Strength of schedule played a big part in the Mules (12-6) earning the bid despite falling to Dickinson, which did not receive a bid, for the second time in the CC playoffs. Muhlenberg played three other teams in the field – Oneonta State, Messiah and Johns Hopkins, the only other CC team invited – and also faced off against other teams with strong records such as Penn State Altoona (17-4-1) and Scranton (13-4-2).

The men, who won the CC regular-season title, also played a strong schedule but were probably hurt by a series of upsets in conference tournaments that took at-large bids away. The Mules finished with a record of 11-4-2; two of the teams they lost to (Montclair State and Johns Hopkins) received bids, as did one of the teams they tied (Swarthmore). Only two CC teams were invited to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years.

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