WALTHAM, Mass. – For the third year in a row, the Brandeis University men's and women's soccer teams have each earned a berth in the NCAA Division III Soccer Championship Tournament. For the first time in that span, however, both squads will be on the road.
The Brandeis men (10-5-3) received an at-large berth and will meet Western New England University (11-9-1) on Saturday, November 12, at host Babson College in nearby Wellesley. Host Babson (11-5-3) meets St. Joseph's (Maine) (15-1-4) at 11:00 a.m. in the other first-round matchup in Wellesley. The winners will meet in the second round at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Brandeis suffered a 1-0 loss to Babson in double overtime this season
UPDATE: The match will start at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. Ticket prices will be $6 for adults, $3 for students with IDs and $2 for children under 12.
WATCH LIVE: Babson Live Stream
The Judges, who were ranked fourth in the last NCAA New England Regional ranking, are at-large selection for the fourth time in the last five years after garnering an automatic bid last season. In Brandeis's 44th season under head coach under Michael Coven, they finished in second place in the University Athletic Association. The Judges started the season ranked No. 9 in the nation before a five-match winless streak dropped them out of the rankings. Brandeis rebounded to win seven of their last 10 to ascend the regional rankings and make the NCAA tournament for the 14th time.
WNEU reaches the tournament as champions of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, winning the conference tournament as the fourth seed. The Golden Bears are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013 but their ninth overall.
The teams both played on Brandeis's Gordon Field to start the season as part of the Brandeis Invitational, though they did not meet. The Judges defeated tournament-bound squads John Carroll (3-1) and Haverford (1-0), while WNEU lost to those same squads (0-5 to Haverford and 0-3 to John Carroll). Other common opponents included Nichols (both wins); Wheaton (both losses); and Clark (Brandeis won, 1-0; WNEU lost, 1-2). In the only other previous meeting between the two teams in 2010, the Judges defeated the Golden Bears, 4-2, in the ECAC Tournament finals.
The Brandeis women (13-3-3) were also at-large selections and will travel to Trenton, New Jersey, where they will meet Virginia Wesleyan University (12-5-3) at The College of New Jersey on Saturday as well.
The Judges also reached the Top 10 of the national rankings this season, getting as high as No. 8 as they started the season with the best 13-game stretch in school history, going 12-0-1. Though they finished 1-3-2, the Judges were fourth in the New England rankings to close out the regular season and claim a program-best third-straight bid. In head coach Denise Dallamora's 37th season, the Judges placed fifth in the University Athletic Association, a league that sent four teams to the tournament. This is Brandeis's sixth overall berth in the tournament.
Virginia Wesleyan is making its 10th appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament but first since 2012. The Marlins dropped a 2-1 decision in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference but claimed the at-large berth to the tournament.
Unsurprisingly, this is the first-ever meeting between VWU and Brandeis. The two teams had one common opponent, tournament-bound Carnegie Mellon. Brandeis handed the Tartans a 2-0 loss on October 1, while Virginia Wesleyan suffered a 2-1 defeat to CMU on Sept. 10.
Host TCNJ (16-1-1, #7) meets Marywood University (11-5-2) at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The winners will meet in the second round at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.