COLUMBUS, Ohio – Monday afternoon, the Capital University women's soccer team learned its destination for the first two rounds of the 2014 NCAA Division III Tournament. The selection committee announced that the Crusaders will head to Messiah College (Pa.) where they will play Gettysburg College (Pa.) in the opening round of action.
Capital (16-5-1 overall) will join host Messiah, Gettysburg, and Brooklyn College in Grantham, Pa. for matches that will take place at Shoemaker Field on Saturday, Nov. 15 and Sunday, Nov. 16. Start times for matches will be announced at a later time.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent Capital University in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years," said head coach Chris Kouns. "Going to the Messiah pod is going to be a great challenge for our program, but that is what makes teams great. If they are able to rise up and address the challenges that face them then they will cement themselves a truly great team."
The Crusaders will open their stay in the NCAA Tournament against No. 19 Gettysburg (13-4-1 overall), who earned an at-large bid after capturing the Centennial Conference regular season title and entered its conference tournament as the No. 1 seed. They were defeated by Swarthmore College in the semifinals, 2-0.
The Centennial Conference is perennially known as one of the strongest conferences in Division III Women's Soccer. Johns Hopkins University joined Gettysburg in the most recent NCAA/NSCAA national rankings, but Swarthmore turned out to win the conference tournament title by defeating the Blue Jays, 5-4 in penalty kicks. All three teams have been selected to play in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Messiah is the heavy favorite in this year's tournament after going all year without being officially beaten. They are 19-0-2 overall and hold the No. 1 national ranking, per the latest poll. They dropped their conference final match to Stevenson College in penalty kicks, but also earned an at-large bid. The Falcons draw Brooklyn (10-8-1), which won their second straight City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Championship in just the third year of the program's existence.
Capital jumps into the NCAA Tournament after having won its second consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) Tournament Championship and third in four years. They defeated John Carroll University and Ohio Northern University by 1-0 scores before taking care of Baldwin Wallace University, 4-1, in the title tilt. Last year, the Crusaders advanced all the way to the national semifinals, which included a statement win over then-No. 1 Washington University (Mo.).
From the NCAA
The NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Committee announced today the field of 64 teams for the 2014 Division III Women's Soccer Championship.
Forty-four conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the 2014 championship. The final 20 berths were reserved for Pool C, which include institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that are not the conference champion and any Pool B teams. There were no separate berths awarded this year to Pool B, which consists of independent institutions, and institutions that are members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification.
Sixteen four-team sites will conduct first- and second-round play on the first weekend of the championship, November 14-15 or 15-16. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites November 21-22 or 22-23. 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 5-6, at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.