INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Three New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) fall sport team champions will compete in NCAA First Round action this weekend, while men’s and women’s cross country will compete in NCAA Regionals.
In men’s soccer, Eastern Nazarene College will travel to Troy, N.Y., to take on Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. This is Eastern Nazarene’s first NCAA berth, as the Lions won their first NECC title with a 3-1 win at Lesley on November 10. The Lions boast a 16-3-0 overall record heading into the NCAA Tournament. RPI, out of the Liberty League, got an at-large bid to the tournament. They are 14-2-3 overall, and are currently ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches National Poll and No. 14 in the D3Soccer.com National Poll. Saturday’s winner will take on the winner of the Middlebury vs. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) match-up on Sunday.
In women’s soccer, Lesley University will take on host Messiah College at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. Lesley earned an NCAA bid via their third-straight NECC title, beating Elms College in penalty kicks, 4-3. Lesley now as a 14-3-2 overall record. Messiah, currently the top ranked team in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, also earned an automatic qualifier, winning the MAC Commonwealth title, and currently have an 18-1-1 record. The winner of that game will play the winner of Randolph-Macon and Haverford on Sunday.
Eastern Nazarene College, the NECC women’s volleyball champion, will head to Tufts University to take on the host Jumbos on Friday night at 8 p.m. The Lions won the NECC Championship with a 3-1 win over New England College, and have a 17-6 overall record. This is the Lions first NCAA Tournament appearance. Tufts received the automatic qualifier from the NESCAC, after knocking off Bowdoin to win the conference title. The Jumbos are currently ranked No. 14 in the AVCA National Poll and No. 1 in the NCAA Regional Rankings with a 27-1 overall record. The winner of Friday’s match will take on the winner of the Bowdoin and Endicott matchup.
Finally, Eastern Nazarene, Elms College and Lesley men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the NCAA Division III New England Regional on Saturday, November 16, hosted by Bowdoin College. The men will race at 11:00 a.m., followed by the women at 12:15 p.m. The top two teams will qualify for nationals, while the top seven individuals will also qualify.
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 15 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.