INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Committee announced on Monday afternoon the 64 teams that will compose the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship and Haverford College, champions of the Centennial Conference, has been tabbed to host first and second round games. The 25th-ranked Fords open with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The College of New Jersey squares off against The City College of New York in the other opening-round game.
The opening-round dates at Walton Field are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11. The Lions of TCNJ and Beavers of CCNY battle in Saturday's opening game at 11 a.m., followed by the Fords' match-up against the Engineers in the 1:30 p.m. game. The winners of Saturday's contests square off Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the championship tournament's second round.
Haverford (14-3-2) plays an MIT squad which finished in a tie atop the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference regular season standings with Springfield (Mass.) College, and was eliminated by eventual runner-up Wheaton (Mass.) College in the semifinal round of the NEWMAC postseason tournament. The Engineers tied Wheaton, 1-1, in regulation but failed to advance into the championship after falling 4-3 in penalty kicks.
NEWMAC tournament champion Springfield, MIT and Wheaton all qualified for the NCAA tournament. Along with Haverford, Johns Hopkins University from the Centennial Conference also earned a berth in the national playoffs. The Blue Jays were also named as a host to first- and second-round games.
MIT (13-3-2) is led by head coach Martin Desmarais who is in his fifth year with the Engineers. His offense is led by senior forward Emily Kuo whose 12 goals and 25 points led her team on the attack. Defensively, Desmarais puts Meghan Wright between the posts and the senior goalkeeper from Devon, Pa., brings a 0.69 goals against average and .822 saves percentage into the NCAA tournament following a senior campaign during which she played every minute of the Engineers' 18 games.
The match-up between the Fords and Engineers will be the first in women's soccer between the two schools, but a link between the institutions exists in MIT Director of Athletics Julie Soriero who started her 21-year coaching career in women's basketball as the head coach of the initial two seasons of women's basketball at Haverford which fielded its first hardcourt team in 1980.
Haverford reached the 2012 NCAA tournament by downing 24th-ranked Johns Hopkins, 2-1, on Sunday, Nov. 4 in the conference tournament championship game. Meg Boyer's go-ahead goal in the 79th minute led to Haverford's first Centennial tournament title but second Centennial championship as the 1995 squad won the crown before the conference instituted its postseason tournament in 2001. Hopkins had won seven straight Centennial tournaments before falling to the Fords on Sunday afternoon on the Blue Jays' own Homewood Field.
The Fords will be making their second visit to the NCAAs following the 2005 squad's trip into the national tournament's second round. That team was coached by current Haverford athletics director Wendy Smith '87. The 2012 Fords are coached by sixth-year head coach Jamie Gluck who has led Haverford into the Centennial postseason each of her years on the sideline at Haverford.
CCNY (14-4) is the City University of New York Athletic Conference champion. The College of New Jersey (14-1-3) entered the 2012 season as the reigning New Jersey Athletic Conference champions and were picked to repeat in the coaches' preseason poll. The 23rd-ranked Lions finished third, however, in the 2012 regular season standings.