CAA champion Tribe earns home match in NCAA soccer tournament

The ninth-ranked William & Mary men’s soccer team made history Monday afternoon, earning a national seed, a first-round bye, and a home match in the NCAA Tournament.

The College will host the winner of the first-round match between Maryland-Baltimore County and Princeton on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field.

The NCAA berth is the 14th in William & Mary history. The match between the Tribe and either UMBC or Princeton will be the fourth hosted by the College and the second NCAA Tournament match to be held at Martin Family Stadium at Albert-Daly Field. In 2008, W&M defeated Winthrop in the first round, 3-0, at Albert-Daly Field.

{{youtube:medium:left|a9FvPkAEH_E}}

The Tribe earned a national seed – 12th -- for just the second time in school history, and the first-round bye is the third overall for W&M and the first since 1983.

The Princeton Tigers won the Ivy League this season with a 7-0 conference mark. The Tigers, who were ranked 11th last week in the NSCAA poll, finished the season with a mark of 13-3-1. The UMBC Retrievers also earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, winning the America East. UMBC posted a record of 11-4-3 this year and boasts the America East Player of the Year in senior forward Levi Houapeu.

W&M is in the midst of one of its best seasons in recent history, having won both the regular season and CAA Tournament titles. With a record of 15-3-2, the College has already posted the most wins in a year since the 2002 season. The CAA title is the seventh in program history and the first for the Green and Gold since 2000.

W&M has also seen its fair share of awards this year, with seven players and head coach Chris Norris earning All-CAA honors. Norris was named CAA Coach of the Year while seniors Alan Koger, Nathaniel Baako, and Derek Buckley were named first-team All-CAA. Senior Andrew McAdams, senior Michael DiNuzzo, and redshirt-sophomore Ben Anderson were named third-team All-CAA, while freshman Roshan Patel was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team.

Junior Nicolas Abrigo had a spectacular CAA Tournament for the Tribe, scoring four goals, including both game winners, on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Also earning spots on the All-Tournament team were Koger, McAdams, and Buckley.

Forty-eight teams are competing for a chance to win the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Cup on Dec. 10 and 12 in Santa Barbara, Cal. The University of California Santa Barbara will host the championship.

For complete coverage of William and Mary men’s soccer, go to TribeAthletics.com.