Eagles set to host NCAA II MW Regional USI rises to 15th in national poll

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The 15th-ranked University of Southern Indiana men’s soccer team is set to host one-half of the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Thursday and Sunday at Strassweg Field for the first time since 1982. The Screaming Eagles (13-3-1), who are the second seed, will be hosting third-seeded and 22nd-ranked Saginaw Valley State University (9-2-6) and sixth-seeded Ashland University (8-9-3).

The first round of the regional is Thursday at 7 p.m. when SVSU and Ashland play for the right face USI Saturday at 1 p.m. Live coverage of the first round matches can be found on GoUSIEagles.com. More information about the NCAA II Men’s Soccer Tournament is on NCAA.com, including the bracket for the entire 38-team field.

Ticket prices for the NCAA II Midwest Regional matches are $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children under the age of two (2) are admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Week 11 Eagle Notes: 

USI in the NCAA II Tournament: USI is making its third appearance in the NCAA II Tournament (1982, 2016, 2018). The Eagles are 0-2-1 in the national tournament.

USI rise one spot in NCAA II poll: The Eagles rose to 15th in the latest United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll, moving up one spot.

Eagles closing on school record for wins:  USI has won 13 games, two shy of the school record of 15 set in 1989 and tied 1990.

Eagles on a roll: USI enters NCAA II Tournament action on a roll, having won five of their last six matches, dating back to September 21.

Eagles honored by GLVC: Head Coach Mat Santoro and junior midfielder Sean Rickey were named Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively. Rickey was joined on the GLVC first-team by junior forward Eric Ramirez and the third-team by sophomore goalkeeper Justin Faas.

Rickey leading the offense: Junior midfielder Sean Rickey leads the USI offense with 27 points on a team-high 11 goals and five assists. Rickey also ranks first in the GLVC in game winning goals; second in goals per game; and fourth in assists per game. Junior forward Eric Ramirez is second with 18 points on eight goals and two assist.

Moving up the all-time list:  Junior midfielder Sean Rickey and junior forward Eric Ramirez are moving up the all-time lists for scoring at USI. Rickey is 10th all-time at USI in scoring with 57 points on 22 goals, which rank ninth, and 13 assists, which are tied for 10th. Ramirez is 11th with 55 points on 24 goals, which rank seventh, and seven assists.

Between the posts: Sophomore goalkeeper Justin Faas leads the Eagles between the posts with a 13-3-1 overall record and eight shutouts. The eight shutouts are two shy of tying a USI single-season record of 10 set by Matt Blauvelt in 1990. Faas also has a 0.83 goals against average in 1519 minutes, ranking first overall in the GLVC.

Santoro in his 10th year: USI Head Coach Mat Santoro has an 88-73-18 overall record at the helm. Santoro has guided the Eagles to a 2018 GLVC regular season title, four GLVC Tournament appearances, and two NCAA II Tournament berths.

USI versus SVSU: The all-time series between USI and SVSU is tied, 1-1-0, dating back to 2008. The Eagles lost the first regular season meeting in 2008, 3-1, before winning the second match-up, 4-1, in 2010. Both matches were at Strassweg Field.

USI vs. Ashland: Ashland leads the all-time series with USI, 4-1-0, dating back to 1995 when both teams were members of the GLVC. USI won the first meeting in 1995, but has lost the last three match-ups with Ashland (1996, 2002, 2004, 2005).

SVSU in 2018: SVSU is 9-2-6 overall and enters the NCAA II Tournament looking for its first win since October 7. The Cardinals have five ties and a loss in the GLIAC Tournament to Northwood University in their last six matches.

Ashland in 2018:  Ashland, 8-9-3, has rallied in the final month of the season to reach the NCAA II Tournament, including three-straight wins in the GLIAC Tournament to earn the automatic qualifier for the regional.

The other half of the regional: The top half of the Midwest Regional bracket is being hosted by 12th-ranked and top-seeded Tiffin University (15-4-0). Tiffin, the winner of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament, will play the winner of the fourth-seeded Ohio Valley University (16-5-0), the runner-up in the G-MAC, and fifth-seeded Maryville University (10-4-4), the GLVC Tournament champion. The OVU-Maryville game is slated for noon on Friday with the winner playing Tiffin at noon Sunday.

United Soccer Coaches NCAA II Top 25 Poll (11/6/2018)

Rank    School
1. Young Harris College
2. Palm Beach Atlantic University
3. University Of Charleston
4. Simon Fraser University
5. Colorado School Of Mines
6. Midwestern State University
7. Azusa Pacific University
8. Lander University
9. Adelphi University
10. Spring Hill College
11. Fort Hays State University
12. Tiffin University
13. West Texas A&M University
14. LIU Post
15. University of Southern Indiana
16. Notre Dame College
17. Limestone College
18. California State University-Los Angeles
19. Northeastern State University
20. Barry University
21. Mercy College
22. Saginaw Valley State University
23. West Chester University
24. Lynn University
25. Colorado Mesa University

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