Men's Soccer 2013 NCAA Tournament #9 New Mexico / #10 UC Santa Barbara Regional Breakdown

#9 New Mexico / #10 UC Santa Barbara Regional Breakdown

All roads lead through Albuquerque in this six-team regional, which includes representatives from the Big Ten Conference and Colonial Athletic Association, among others. New Mexico grabbed the second highest seed in the program’s history with the No. 7 seed. The last time the Lobos had this high a seed was a No. 2 ranking in 2005. This is the third year in a row New Mexico grabbed a top 16 seed and the 11th time in 13 years New Mexico made the tournament.

It should be noted that if the first two rounds hold firm and New Mexico and UCSB meet in round three, New Mexico defeated UCSB 1-0 earlier this season. For now, let us take a look at the first two rounds of the tournament in this part of the bracket:


#7 New Mexico vs. William & Mary/George Mason

William & Mary earned an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament by virtue of its 11-5-2 overall record. This is the 15th overall appearance for the Tribe and the first since 2010, when the team advanced to the third round before bowing out of the College Cup. William & Mary lost 1-0 to Drexel in the CAA tournament championship game on Saturday but still qualified for its third NCAA tournament under current coach Chris Norris. This is not a team to take lightly. William & Mary lost to Creighton and North Carolina when both teams were ranked at or near the top of the Division I polls. The Tribe has won five of seven matches at home but has not seen George Mason this season. George Mason (12-2-5) went unbeaten in the Atlantic 10 and won the conference championship, and this is the team’s first appearance in NCAA play since 2008.

New Mexico (11-5-2 overall) has not seen either one of these teams as it played a solid Conference USA schedule, but the Lobos were particularly impressive in wins over East Coast teams like Villanova, Georgetown and Old Dominion.


#10 UC Santa Barbara vs. Penn State/St. Francis Brooklyn

The Nittany Lions were one of five Big Ten teams to make the NCAA tournament, as they won a second straight Big Ten title after going dry in league play since 2005. This is the 31st appearance for the Nittany Lions in the NCAA tourney, but it has been a long time since Penn State played a first-round game in University Park. You have to go all the way back to 1999 for Penn State (11-5-2) and its last first-round home game. Penn State is 3-1 against Northeast Conference programs this year, and it will face St. Francis Brooklyn (12-5-1) for the first time in program history. The Terriers won the NEC’s automatic bid, but Penn State’s formidable trio of goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton, defender Martin Seiler and offensive standout Jordan Tyler (four game-winning goals) should drive the Nittany Lions to success in a first-round matchup.

The Gauchos (12-5-3), who won the 2006 Division I national championship, went undefeated in Big West Conference play for just the second time in school history. This is the second-highest seed for UCSB in program history. The 2004 team was seeded ninth, and the 2006 team was unseeded yet shocked everyone on the way to a national title. Three Big West teams are in the top 16 for the first time in league history. UCSB did not play any NEC teams but won its only matchup against a Big Ten squad (a 3-1 win over Northwestern on Aug. 30)


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