QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College men's soccer team heads to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for its first-ever NCAA Tournament match Saturday, November 16 at 1:00 PM.
Location: ECAV Stadium | Troy, N.Y.
Time: 1:00 pm
Tickets: Adults $6 – Senior Citizens & Students $3 – Children ages 3-12 $2
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HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Eastern Nazarene boasts a 16-3-0 overall record heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Lions stormed through the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Tournament, outscoring opponents 11-2 en route to capturing its first league title. Eastern Nazarene downed Dean 2-0 before powering past New England College 6-1 on the road. The Lions defeated top-seeded Lesley 3-1 at Hormel Stadium in the NECC Tournament finals.
Eastern Nazarene is making its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
ENC vs. RPI – ALL-TIME SERIES:
Saturday's showdown will mark the first-ever meeting between Eastern Nazarene and Rensselaer.
SCOUTING THE ENGINEERS:
Rensselaer sports a 14-2-3 overall record entering the NCAA Tournament and are ranked No. 12 in the United Soccer Coaches National Poll and No. 14 in the D3Soccer.com National Poll. The Engineers earned an at-large berth and will be making their ninth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2015. Rensselaer is led by Liberty League Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Josh Gaudiano with 15 goals and 35 points.
The winner of Saturday's tilt will advance to the Round of 32 Sunday, November 17 to face the winner of the Middlebury vs. Johnson & Wales (R.I.) match. Check out the entire 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket HERE.
The Lions have collected 16 victories this season, setting a new single-season program record. Eastern Nazarene surpassed the previous mark set in 1994, the year the Crusaders claimed the program's only Commonwealth Coast Conference title. The Lions rattled off a program-best 13-consecutive wins earlier this season.
Eastern Nazarene paces the conference with 50 goals on the year and 35 assists. Junior Charlie Swann (London, England) leads the league and ranks 12th in NCAA Division III with 18 tallies this season. Junior Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) paces the NECC with nine assists to go along with 11 markers. The Lions have had 16 different goal-scorers this fall.
Eastern Nazarene garnered a league-best seven All-New England Collegiate Conference nods, as the conference announce the postseason awards Friday. Junior Charlie Swann (London, England) was named the NECC Player of the Year. Edmilson Centeio (New Bedford, Mass.), Stanley Elie (Roslindale, Mass.), Ismael Lobo (Brockton, Mass.), Carlos Moya (Oviedo, Spain), and Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) all joined Swann on the All-NECC first team while Tyler Ferreira (Berkley, Mass.) was tabbed to the All-NECC second team. Fourth-year head coach Mark Bell was voted the 2019 NECC Coach of the Year. Zaffonato was named the NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player while Centeio, Swann, and Sunil Lepcha (Charlotte, N.C.) garnered NECC All-Tournament Team honors.
QUINCY, MASSACHUSETTS - CITY OF
In the 2019 calendar year, five ENC athletic teams captured conference championships – including three titles this fall. The Lions' softball team took home its first-ever New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) crown on the same day as the men's tennis team claimed the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship for the first time in program history last spring. The ENC women's tennis team captured the GNAC championship for the first time in team history this fall while the men's soccer team and women's volleyball team claimed New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) titles on the same day.
ENC AT THE BIG DANCE:
Eastern Nazarene has sent three previous teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders' women's basketball team advanced to the "Sweet Sixteen" in the 1999-2000 season as the first squad to reach the NCAA Tournament in school history. Last spring, the Lions' men's tennis and softball teams both picked up a win in their NCAA Tournament debuts.