Fourth seeded men’s soccer enters NCAA Tournament

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Fourth seeded men’s soccer enters NCAA Tournament

The University of Akron Zips after winning the 2015 Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship Sunday.

The University of Akron Zips after winning the 2015 Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship Sunday.

GoZips.com

The University of Akron Zips after winning the 2015 Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship Sunday.

GoZips.com

GoZips.com

The University of Akron Zips after winning the 2015 Mid-American Conference men's soccer championship Sunday.

By Terry Rabbitts, Sports-editor@Buchtelite.com

The field and bracket for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee.

The University of Akron men’s soccer team found out this afternoon that they have earned the fourth seed in the 48 team field today at a during a selection show watch luncheon in the Tommy Evans Lounge in James A. Rhodes Arena.

The Zips (15-3-2) receive a first round bye in the tournament and will not play until Sunday, Nov. 22 at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.

Akron awaits the winner of Rutgers (12-6-1) and LIU Brooklyn (11-5-4) who will play on Thursday, Nov. 19.

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to get a top-4 seed, and we did it,” head coach Jared Embick said after the selection show ended. “We can play at home all the way through to the semi-finals.”

Tournament games are held at various campuses through the first four rounds, the semi-final and final games are held in Kansas City, Kansas at Sporting Park. By gaining the fourth seed, Akron would be at home for the second, third, and fourth rounds as long as they remain victorious in the tourney.

“Now we focus on the ultimate goal, the national championship, and we are in a position of strength by being home,” Embick said when asked how to prevent a letdown after accomplishing the goal of a top-4 seed. “Being home gives us more confidence.”

During the regular season, the Zips had contests against eight of the teams that are in the tournament, including five of the seeded teams, including the top seed, Wake Forest.

Akron’s record in those games is 5-2-1, including wins over third seeded Georgetown, 10 th seeded Maryland, and 15 th seed UC Santa Barbara.

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Zips lost a tough match to Wake Forest, 2-1. The teams battled through the first half that ended in a 1-1 deadlock. The second half brought more great play but was decided on a penalty kick at the 50:39 mark to give the Demon Deacons the 2-1 win.

“It would be an exciting game and great for college soccer,” Embick said when asked about a rematch with the Demon Deacons. However, any coach will tell you they are taking it a game at a time.

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