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Four Men's Soccer Teams Selected to 2010 NCAA Championship Field

Four Men's Soccer Teams Selected to 2010 NCAA Championship Field

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PRINCETON, N.J. -- For the second year in a row, four Ivy League men's soccer teams have been selected to the NCAA Championship field. With a 7-0-0 season, Princeton clinched the League's automatic bid and it is joined in the 48-team field by at large selections Brown, Dartmouth and Penn. All four Ivy teams will play first round games in Thursday, Nov. 18 and Princeton, Brown and Penn will have the added benefit of hosting their first round matchups. Princeton hosts UMBC, Brown welcomes Boston College, Penn hosts Bucknell and Dartmouth hits the road to play at Monmouth.

Each of the four Ivy League teams will try to string together four NCAA tournament wins in order to advance to the 2010 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will be played on Dec. 10 and 12 at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. It is the first time four Ivy League teams have appeared in the NCAA Championship field in back-to-back years since the 1971 and 1972 seasons. Overall, 2010 marks the sixth time four or more Ivy teams have made the NCAA Championship field (five teams made the 1977 tournament).   

Additionally, the Ivy League is one of five leagues to send at least four teams to the 2010 NCAA Championship field, joining the BIG EAST (7), Atlantic Coast (5), Big Ten (5) and Conference USA (4) in that exclusive territory.

Ivy League Team Capsules (listed in order of 2010 Ivy League finish):

Princeton (13-3-1 overall; 7-0-0 Ivy League; First)
The Tigers won the 2010 Ivy League championship by posting the first perfect 7-0-0 record in school history. With a school record 12-game winning streak in tact, Princeton will play host to UMBC at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 at  Roberts Stadium in Princeton, N.J. It marks the second consecutive season the Tigers have been named to the NCAA Championship field, and the ninth time under head coach Jim Barlow. The winner of the Princeton-UMBC game moves on to face 12th-seeded William & Mary at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21 in Williamsburg, Va.

Junior Antoine Hoppenot has paced the Tiger attack with a eight goals and five asists for 21 points. Though he missed three games, senior Josh Walburn is right behind Hoppenot with six goals and seven assists for 19 points. The 13 wins by the Tigers are the most wins by the program since 1995 when current US National Team head coach Bob Bradley guided Princeton to a 13-5 mark.

Penn (12-5-0 overall; 5-2-0 Ivy League; Second)
Penn will play host to Patriot League champion Bucknell at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 at Rhodes Field in Philadelphia, Pa. It is the first ever men's soccer meeting between the two schools. The winner of the Penn-Bucknell match will move on to play at second-seeded Maryland at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21 in College Park, Md.

The Quakers opened the season with a four-game winning streak and also strung together a six-game winning streak in the middle portion of the year, which included a run of five consecutive shutouts on their way to their first NCAA Championship appearance since 2008. This is the first time since 1977 that the Quakers have qualified for the NCAA Championship with an at-large berth and the third time head coach Rudy Fuller has guided the Quakers to an NCAA appearance.

Penn boasts a strong defense that allowed just 12 goals against all season. In net, senior goalkeeper Ben Berg played every minute for the Quakers, recording a 0.69 goals against average, 65 saves and a 0.844 save percentage - the 12th best mark in Div. I. Freshman Stephen Baker and junior Christian Barreiro have spearheaded the Penn offense with 18 and 15 points respectively. Baker leads the team with eight goals, while Barreiro leads the Quakers with seven assists.  

Dartmouth (10-6-1 overall; 4-3-0 Ivy League; Third)
Dartmouth will travel to West Long Branch, N.J. to play NEC Champion Monmouth University at noon on Thursday, Nov. 18. The winner of the Dartmouth-Monmouth contest, which will mark the first meeting between the two schools, will head west to face ninth-seeded Notre Dame on Sunday, Nov. 21 in Notre Dame, Ind. at 6:00 p.m.

After starting the season with a 6-3-1 mark the Big Green may have moved off some radars by the middle of the season when they dropped three in a row to move to 6-6-1. But Dartmouth, which played a tough schedule that included five ranked opponents, rallied to win its last four games en route to the program's fourth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. This marks Dartmouth's sixth NCAA appearance in the last seven years, with three straight at-large bids. It is the sixth appearance for Dartmouth under head coach Jeff Cook.

Dartmouth closed the regular season on a four match win streak by topping 18th-ranked Brown in its season finale, 1-0, at home. Similar to the Brown Bears, the Big Green shared goal-scoring duties throughout the team as 12 different players scored at least one goal this season. What's more, nine different players scored Dartmouth's ten game-winning goals, with senior Andrew Olsen chipping in with two game winners. Olsen's classmate Lucky Mksana leads the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists.  

Brown (11-3-3 overall; 3-3-1 Ivy League; Fourth)
The Bears will play host to Boston College at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18 at Stevenson Field in Providence, R.I. The winner of the Brown-Boston College tilt moves on to play at 11th-seeded Connecticut at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21 in Storrs, Conn.

Led by first-year Head Coach Patrick Laughlin, the Bears opened the season without a loss in their first nine games (7-0-2) and followed that momentum to a second consecutive NCAA tourament berth. The Bears have have now made the NCAA Championship field in five of the past six seasons (including back-to-back appearnaces in 2009 and 2010) and 25 times overall.

The staples of the 2010 Brown Bears is strong defense and timely scoring. For the season, senior goalkeeper Paul Grandstrand and his defensive counterparts have only allowed eight goals against, giving Grandstrand a paltry 0.45 goals against average (the third lowest mark in Div. I) to go along with 54 saves. Grandtrand set the Brown single-season shutout record with 11. Junior Sean Rosa has lead the Brown offense with 16 points on six goals and four assists. All told, 11 different Bears have notched at least one goal in 2010.