HAVERFORD, Pa. – For the second straight season the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Tournament is coming to Walton Field as the Fords will host regional action this weekend. The Fords hosted both NCAA Regional and Sectional action a year ago during the team's run to the Elite Eight. The Fords will need two wins this weekend to get back to the sectional round next weekend.
First Round (Saturday, November 12)
No. 13 Haverford (13-3-3) vs. Merchant Marine (13-4-2), 11 a.m.
No. 15 UMass Boston (17-1-2) vs. Kean (14-5-1), 1:30 p.m.
Second Round (Sunday, November 13)
Game 1 winners vs. Game 2 winner, 1 p.m.
* Rankings used above are from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)
NCAA Required Ticket Prices:
General Admission: $6
Senior Citizens: $3
Children (ages 3-12): $2
*** All Haverford College students, faculty and staff who present a Haverford i.d. will be admitted free of charge courtesy of the Office of the President.
Fords in NCAA Tournament: Haverford will be makings its sixth appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Fords have only qualified for the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons on one other occasion (1976-77). With smaller fields in the earlier years of the tournament and a bye last year, Haverford will be competing in a Round of 64 game for just the second time in program history. Haverford has advanced past its first round game in three of its five trips to the NCAA Tournament. With two wins this weekend, Haverford would stand among the final 16 teams in the country for the fifth time in program history.
Series History: Haverford has never played Merchant Marine or UMass Boston. The Fords are 0-3 all-time against Kean with the most recent loss coming via a 2-1 overtime defeat on the road in 2014. John Halifax scored Haverford's goal in that contest. All three of the contests between these schools have been 2-1 decisions in favor of Kean.
Merchant Marine: The Fords and Mariners have three common opponents on the year: Johns Hopkins, Stevens, and Rutgers-Camden. Merchant Marine beat Rutgers-Camden by a 1-0 score, but lost to Johns Hopkins by a 1-0 score and to Stevens by a 2-1 overtime result. Haverford defeated Johns Hopkins, 4-3, played to a scoreless draw at Stevens, and was downed by Rutgers-Camden, 1-0.
UMass Boston: These two teams have no opponents in common during the 2016 season.
Kean: The Fords and Cougars have three opponents in common and both sides had the same result against these common foes. Kean won 4-1 against Stockton while the Fords were a 1-0 winner in overtime. Kean owns a 2-0 win over Swarthmore while Haverford was a 1-0 winner over the Garnet. The Cougars suffered a 4-2 setback against Rutgers-Camden while the Fords were downed 1-0 against Rutgers-Camden.
Overtime games: Haverford has seen its fair share of tense moments as the Fords have played seven overtime games this season. However, the Fords have conceded a golden goal just once in those match ups while scoring three times and playing to three draws.
Penalty Kicks: Haverford has gone to penalty kicks just four times in the program's 1,543 games. The Fords have advanced on in the tournament during two of those situations with a 4-3 edge in the 2012 NCAA Tournament first round game vs. Wesleyan and a 6-5 edge against Muhlenberg in the 1988 Mac South Division Championship. The 2012 penalty kicks were the only time Haverford has played PKs in an NCAA Tournament game.
About Haverford: The Fords recently had a program-record eight different players named All-Centenial Conference performers. Freshman Nick Jannelli, the Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year, is leading the team with eight goals. Ben Field (second-team) and Tejan Walcott (honorable mention) have five and four goals, respectively, for the Haverford offense. Field is tied with first-team all-conference midfielder Dorian Wirz for the team lead with four assists. A first-team Division III All-American last year, Will Corkery was named second-team All-Centennial Conference. He has three goals and two assists this year in just nine games. Russell Nicholson was also a second-team All-Centennial Conference midfielder. Nicholson has two goals and three assists. His two goals have each been game-winning efforts and have come in the past three games.
Sam Miller, an honorable mention goalie, is ranked 45th in Division III with a 0.79 GAA. His .811 save percentage is the 70th best mark in the country. Jeremy Astesano has also made six starts this season and is unbeaten at 6-0-2 as the goalie of record for the Fords. Maclyn Willigan was a first-team All-Centennial Conference defender who has helped the Fords secure seven shutouts as a defense.
Scouting Merchant Marine: Senior Gavin Yingling was named the Skyline Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading Merchant Marine with 20 goals to rank eighth in all of Division III. His seven game-winning goals are ranked fourth in Division III. He has scored 10 of those goals in the last six games en route to leading his team to Skyline Conference Championship. Jon Tarbox is also a top target with six goals and seven assists. He is tied with teammate David Burkhardt for the team lead with seven helpers.
Two all-conference defenders (Brian Nickel, Neil Painter), along with all-conference goalie Cory Maier have held the Mariners' opponents to just 0.86 goals per game. Merchant Marine has nine shutouts on the season. Merchant Marine is making its sixth appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament with its most recent appearance coming in 2011. The Mariners advanced to the Elite Eight during the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Scouting UMass Boston: The Beacons have scored 68 goals this season, the sixth-highest total in Division III. Leading the offense is a trio of goal scorers who have each reached double figures. Ocane Williamson leads the team with 17 goals. Mohammed Kenawy has 16 goals on the year while Daniel Morales has added 10 goals. Edmilson Barros has nine assists for UMass Boston.
UMass Boston is allowing just 0.68 goals per game, the 19th best mark in Division III this season. Omar Castro-Drener has started 13 of the team's 20 games, but each keeper has made at least one appearance in the starting XI. The Beacons have won three straight Little East Tournament Championships for the program's first three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. UMass Boston is still searching for its first win in an NCAA Tournament game.
Scouting Kean: Kean comes into the weekend with 61 goals to rank 10th among all teams in Division III. Sev Kherlopian leads the Cougars with 12 goals, while Kazari Trought, Kenny Rocha, and Michael Vargas have all found the back of the net eight times. Trought, the team's lone first-team All-NJAC performer, is leading the team with nine assists in addition to his eight goals.
Brad Watkins and Bryce Horn each have nine starts in goal, while Derek Phells has made two starts. Watkins has had the strongest statistical season of the trio with an 8-1 record to go with a 0.34 GAA. However, he has not played since the middle of September. Horn has started the last nine games for the Cougars. He is 5-3-1 as the goalie of record with a 1.61 GAA. Kean has combined for 10 shutouts on the season.
The Cougars advanced to the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team despite missing out on the NJAC Tournament via a tiebreaker. Kean has the most NCAA experience of the teams involved in Haverford's pod with 19 appearances. However, the Cougars have also been away from the NCAA stage the longest as they are making their first appearance in the national tournament since 2010. Kean was the NCAA Division III Champion in 1990.
Up Next: The team that emerges from the Haverford regional will begin preparations for the NCAA Division III Sectional Round to be played next weekend (Nov. 19-20) at a host campus. Host locations will be announced after all of the first and second round games of the tournament are completed.