PHILADELPHIA - For the ninth time in program history, Penn has been selected for the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships. The Quakers (12-5-0, 5-2-0 Ivy) earned an at-large bid to the field of 48, earning a home game against the Patriot League champion Bucknell Bison (10-8-2, 3-2-2 Patriot). The match will take place at Rhodes Field on November 18 at 7 p.m.
The two Keystone State schools have never met in men's soccer, but the Quakers went 2-0 against Patriot League teams in 2010 with wins over Lafayette (2-1 OT) and American (1-0 in 2 OT). The Bison won the Patriot League with a 2-0 win over American in the conference tournament final.
The Quakers are 8-8 all-time in the NCAA Championships and are back in the national tournament for the first time since 2008 where Penn was knocked out by George Mason, 1-0, in Fairfax, Va. This is the first time since 1977 that the Quakers have qualified for the NCAA Championships with an at-large berth.
For the Red and Blue, the wait to hear their name called lasted all of 15 minutes - but it seemed like an eternity to the team members gathered in the men's basketball lounge inside The Palestra. With the brackets revealed live on ESPNU, the Quakers were the last team to have their name called of the 48 schools selected to compete. However, once they saw their school on the screen, there were cheers and applause as the club knew their 12-win season had earned them the right to compete for a national championship.
The Quakers waited for their turn as three other Ivy League schools had their names announced. In addition to Ivy League champion Princeton, the teams from Brown and Dartmouth are in the tournament, giving the Ancient Eight a total of four teams in the NCAA Championships. This is the second year in a row that the Ivy League has four teams in the tournament and the first time it has happened in back-to-back years since 1971 and 1972 (Penn was involved in both those tournaments, as well). Overall, 2010 is the sixth time the Ivy League has had four or more teams selected for the NCAA Championships.
More information on ticket sales for the 2010 NCAA Men's Soccer Championships at Rhodes Field will be available later this week.
Penn Men's Soccer NCAA History
Penn 3, Montclair State 0 - First Round
Penn 1, Philadelphia Textile 1 - Second Round (Penn Advanced on PKs)
Maryland 1, Penn 0 - Quarterfinal
Philadelphia Textile 2, Penn 1 - First Round
Penn 2, East Stroudsburg 0 - First Round
Penn State 1, Penn 1 - Penn State Advanced on PKs)
Penn 4, Drexel 0 - First Round
Penn 3, Penn State 1 - Second Round
Howard 2, Penn 0 - Quarterfinal
Penn 5, Temple 0 - First Round
Penn 4, Penn State 0 - Second Round
Clemson 1, Penn 0 - Quarterfinal
Penn State 5, Penn 1 - First Round
Penn 1, Seton Hall 0 - First Round
Connecticut 4, Penn 0 - Second Round
George Mason 1, Penn 0 - First Round