The 19th-ranked Case Western Reserve University men's soccer team will open postseason play this weekend, when the team plays host to the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship at DiSanto Field on Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th.
Along with the Spartans, teams selected to play in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend include Capital University, Keystone College and Westminster (Pa.) College. The team that advances through the two rounds this weekend will advance to the sectional rounds of the tournament next weekend, with match locations and dates to be determined.
Saturday, November 10th
11:00 AM - #19 CWRU vs. Keystone
1:30 PM – Capital vs. Westminster (Pa.)
Sunday, November 11th
1:00 PM – Second Round Match
To view the complete draw for the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championships, go to https://www.ncaa.com/brackets/soccer-men/d3/2018.
Tickets prices for each game this weekend will be as follows:
General admission: $6.00
Student w/ID & Senior Citizens: $3.00
Children (ages 3-12): $2.00
Children under 3: Free
In addition, the first 100 CWRU students (with an ID) will receive free admission to the CWRU games. The tickets will be available in the ticket booth located on the side of the field nearest the Wyant Athletic Center.
For more information on the event, including directions, parking information and a visitor's guide, visit the official tournament website at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/2018-19/2018_NCAA_First_Second_Rounds.
Fans unable to attend the matches can follow all of the action during the weekend with a live video webcast and live statistics. Links for each of those games can be found on the official tournament website at https://athletics.case.edu/sports/msoc/2018-19/2018_NCAA_First_Second_Rounds.
Case Western Reserve will be making its third NCAA Tournament appearance, earning a pool 'C' at-large bid after finishing second in the University Athletic Association (UAA) during the regular season. The Spartans will enter tournament play ranked 19th in the final United Soccer Coaches Regular Season poll, and first in the Great Lakes Region. CWRU holds a 14-3-1 overall record during the season, including a home ledger of 10-1-0.
The Spartans have scored 44 goals this season on 291 shots, including 139 on goal, and is ranked 44th in Division III with 2.44 goals-per game. Senior forward Alex Besl and junior midfielder Garrett Winter each lead all CWRU players with eight goals apiece this season, and are both tied for second on the squad with 19 points. Junior forward Zachary Senft has added a team-high 21 points this season (seven goals and seven assists).
CWRU's strength this season has been its defense, which will enter the weekend ranked 88th in Division III with a 0.92 goals-against average after yielding just 17 goals during the year. Led by senior Christian Lytle, sophomore Nathan Ekberg and junior Brian Woo, the Spartans have held opponents to 10.7 shots and 4.3 shots on goal per game, and have recorded six shutouts. In goal, freshman Charlie Fink has started 18 games, ranking 87th in Division III with a 0.901 goals-against average and tied for 156th with a 0.775 save percentage.
Case Western Reserve is led by Head Coach Brandon Bianco, who has compiled a 53-38-16 record during his six seasons with the Spartans. Bianco is assisted by Charlie Reymann and goalkeeper coach Chris Black.
Keystone is making its first ever NCAA DIII Tournament appearance, claiming an automatic bid after its run to the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Title by advancing through the conference tournament as the second-seeded team. The team is 12-4-1 overall on the year, including a 4-2-0 road record and a 5-2-0 mark in road and neutral games.
Offensively, the Giants are ranked 28th in Division III with 2.76 goals per game, totaling 47 goals in their 17 contests during the year off 346 shots and 156 shots on goal. The majority of the team's attack has come from junior Daniel Zuniga (13 goals and three assists) and sophomore Carlos Bonilla (six goals and seven assists).
Keystone's 1.36 goals-against average is ranked 191st among Division III teams, allowing 24 goals during the year and shutting out four opponents. Freshman Erick Gomez has started 14 games in goal for the Giants, and ranks 117th in Division III with a 1.01 goals-against average. Their backline has restricted the opposition to 156 shots, with 70 shots on goal, averages of 9.2 and 4.1 per game.
The Giants are under the leadership of Joe Schneck, who is 55-46-6 during his six years with the team. He is assisted by Justin Cardamone, Frank Heter III, Peter Steve, Anthony Michlik, C.J. Bayly and Phil Haas.
Capital received an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, as they reached the semifinals of the Ohio Athletic Conference Championship. The Crusaders are making their third NCAA Tournament appearance and were ranked fifth in the final Great Lakes Region poll. The team is 14-4-0 overall this season, including marks of 6-2-0 in road contests.
Capital has been one of the top offensive teams in the country this season, scoring 59 goals in 18 games and entering the tournament ranked 9th in Division III with 3.28 goals per game. The squad has totaled 280 shots during the year, including 133 on goal. The Crusaders leading scorer this season has been senior Chewy Gordon, who is tied for second in Division III with 24 goals and tied for fifth with 49 points. Three other players – senior Daniel Bundschuh (seven goals, four assists), senior Luke Morais (six goals, five assists) and junior Tristan Bentley (six goals, one assist) – have registered double-digit point totals this year.
The Crusader's defense has yielded 21 goals during the year, good for a 1.15 goals-against average, the 157th-best mark among D-III teams. Senior Logan Wiedman has started 17 games in goal for Capital, recording a 1.01 goals-against average and a .825 save percentage in 1,521 minutes of play. The defense has allowed 13.5 shots and 5.8 shots on goal per game this season.
The Crusaders are led by Head Coach Alan Yost, who is now in his seventh season at Capital, with the team notching a record of 78-49-13 over the past seven years. He is assisted by Billy Thompson, Geovanny Salinas and Alexander Basiakos.
Westminster claimed the automatic bid from the President's Athletic Conference, after winning the conference tournament and finishing the season with an overall record of 14-5-0, including a 7-3-0 mark in road matches and a 1-0-0 neutral record. This will be the sixth NCAA Tournament appearance for the Titans.
The Titans are 22nd in Division III with 2.84 goals per game this year, scoring 54 goals in 19 games. Sophomore Nick Iregui is the squad's leading scorer, ranking tied for 14th in Division III with 17 goals and tied for 13th with 42 points. As a team, Westminster has taken 317 shots, 171 of which have been on goal.
Westminster's 0.94 team goals-against average is the 104th-best mark in Division III in 2018, with the team ceding 18 goals to its opponents. A.J. Bove has started 18 games, recording a 0.98 GAA and a .814 save percentage, while the defense has held the opposition to 10.7 shots and 5.3 shots on goal per game, with clean sheets in six games.
Westminster is coached by Girish Thakar, who is now in his 21st season with the team, and has a record of 212-169-31 at the Titans' helm. He is assisted by Ryan Francis, Jerry Hare, Regis Kimwanga and Zachary Walters.
Case Western Reserve is ranked 26th in Division III in won-lost-tied percentage (.806), 80th in shutout percentage (.444), and 111th in assists per game (1.50)…This is the third time that CWRU has hosted the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championships, and the first time since 2011.