SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team is set to take on Cal State Northridge in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:00 pm PT at CSUN. The winner of that match will play host and No. 6 overall seed UCLA in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5:00 pm PT.
"Obviously it's nice when you show up to these situations where you know you're already in," said head coach Seamus McFadden. "Really no surprises for me. The way out of the West traditionally is through Northridge first, then UCLA. I think we've made some adjustments that hopefully will carry us forward and we'll win the game."
The Toreros (11-8-0) faced Cal State Northridge earlier this season, losing 5-0 at home on Sept. 20. USD earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the West Coast Conference title on Nov. 9 with a 2-0 victory over Saint Mary's. Their conference championship was the team's first since 2009, which was also USD's last NCAA Tournament appearance.
Overall, this the 13th trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Toreros under 34th-year head coach Seamus McFadden. This will also be the sixth time USD has faced a Big West opponent in the postseason, with the last matchup coming in 2009 with a 1-0 first-round loss to UC Santa Barbara. The Toreros are 8-11-1 all-time in the tournament with their best finish coming in 1992 when USD lost in the national championship game against Virginia.
Cal State Northridge (15-6-0) advanced to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big West tournament with a 1-0 shutout of UC Davis on Nov. 10. One of the Matadors' key wins this season was a 1-0 victory over then-No. 4 UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 7. Overall, CSUN is outscoring opponents 40-18 on the year while Sagi Lev-Ari leads the team with 14 goals. Michael Abalos has recorded eight shutouts for the Matadors in goal. CSUN was receiving votes in the NSCAA Top-25 (as of Nov. 6).
UCLA (13-2-3) won the Pac-12 championship this season and was ranked No. 5 in the NSCAA national rankings. Ryan Hollingshead leads the Bruins with six goals and eight assists for a team-best 20 points. UCLA and USD met last season in San Diego with the Bruins pulling out a 1-0 overtime win.
The men's semifinals and finals will be held at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. Dec. 7th and 9th, respectively.
General admission tickets to the game are $10. USD and CSUN students are $7 with school ID. Livestats, live audio and video will be available for Thursday's game with a link provided on the men's soccer schedule at www.usdtoreros.com.
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