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Men’s soccer wins America East, heads to NCAA tournament

By : David O’Brian


Binghamton junior midfielder Charles Darkwah dribbles around two Northeastern defenders during the American East Championship Saturday. The team, which tied Northeastern 1-1 before winning with penalty kicks will face Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday
A week after winning the America East Championship game, Binghamton University Men’s Soccer (11-2-7) will face Fairleigh Dickinson (14-4-1) this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament.

This will be the team’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since the team moved up to Division I in 2000 and its 10th appearance overall. Between 1974-1994, the team made eight trips to the NCAA Division III Tournament and in 1973, it competed in the College Division Tournament, which consisted of Division II and III schools. The match-up begins at noon in Teaneck, N.J.

“We are pleased with the draw,” head coach Paul Marco said. “We are excited just to be in the tournament. Fairleigh Dickinson is a very good team. They have been in the tournament before and have a little bit more experience than us but our team has come together towards the end of the year, and we have fought hard to get to where we are. I think it will be a great game.”

The winner of the first-round contest will face St. Louis, which received a first-round bye, next Wednesday. During last weekend’s game, junior forward Stephen Bruce fired the decisive penalty kick into the net to advance Binghamton with a 3-2 edge in penalty kicks over Northeastern University. The two teams were tied 1-1 after regulation and the game went to penalty kicks after two scoreless overtime.

The Bearcats will face a Fairleigh Dickinson squad that is currently ranked No. 13 in the latest NSCAA poll. The Knights, who won the Northeast Conference for the fourth year in a row, advanced to the second round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament before losing to St. John’s, 2-1, in double overtime. In 2001, Fairleigh Dickinson advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to North Carolina, 3-2.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08