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Nov. 14, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference owns three of the top five national seeds in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship field, and a total of six conference teams are among the tournament’s 48-team field announced Monday afternoon.
ACC champion North Carolina (17-2-2, 5-1-2 ACC) received the No. 1 overall seed, while Boston College (14-6, 4-4) drew the No. 4 seed and Maryland (13-3-3, 4-2-2) is seeded No. 5. Those three teams will receive first-round byes when the tournament gets under way Thursday.
Duke (10-7-3, 4-3-1), Virginia (12-7-1, 4-3-1) and Wake Forest (8-7-4, 4-3-1) also received at-large bids and will play first-round games on Thursday night.
Virginia plays host to Delaware (12-5-4), while Duke will be at home against Georgia State (13-7-1) and Wake Forest travels to South Carolina (9-7-2). All of those Thursday matches are set for 7 p.m. starts. Interestingly, Wake was scheduled to play at South Carolina in a regular-season game Sept. 21, but the match was canceled due to heavy storms and lightning.
North Carolina will await the winner of the first-round match between Elon (9-10-2) and Coastal Carolina (17-3) on Sunday at 5 p.m. Boston College also opens play on Sunday at 1 p.m. against the first-round winner of the match between Colgate (11-4-6) and Rutgers (9-6-3). Maryland will draw the winner of the first-round game between Xavier (12-4-4) and West Virginia (10-7-1) on Sunday at 5 p.m.
The Virginia-Delaware winner will travel to No. 13 UCLA (15-4-1) for Sunday’s second-round match, while the Duke-Georgia State winner travels to 10th-seeded New Mexico (17-0-3), and the Wake Forest-South Carolina winner makes a Sunday trip to No. 14 James Madison (12-4-2).
North Carolina will make its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance and seeks to reach the NCAA Men’s College Cup (Final Four) for the fourth straight year. UNC, under the guidance of first-year coach Carlos Somoano, will be going after the program’s second NCAA title and first since 2001.
Boston College, which raised its NCAA RPI ranking to No. 4 with a strong late-season run, will make its 10th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and fifth consecutive. The Eagles, who reached the finals of this year’s ACC Championship will be seeking to advance to the College Cup for the first time in program history. Maryland will make its 29th NCAA appearance in school history and 11th consecutive. The Terps have previously claimed three national College Cup titles, the most recent of which came in 2008. The Terps have played in the national title game on five occasions and reached the NCAA finals an ACC-high 11 times.
Duke earned its 25th all-time invitation to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils will make their eighth-straight postseason appearance and battle to capture the program’s second NCAA Tournament crown and first since 1986.
Virginia is making its 33rd NCAA appearance overall and its 31st-straight, extending the nation’s longest active streak and an ACC record that dates back to 1981. Virginia has won six men’s soccer national titles.
After missing out last season, Wake Forest returns to the NCAA Championship field for the 10th time in 11 years and the 15th time overall. The Demon Deacons, who claimed the school’s first national championship in 2007, will be attempting to reach their fifth College Cup.
ACC teams have won the NCAA Tournament 14 times and have appeared in the title game on 21 occasions. League teams have won three of the past four College Cups (Virginia in 2009, Maryland in 2008, and Wake Forest in 2007) and four of the past six crowns (Maryland in 2005).
The 2011 NCAA Men’s College Cup will be held Dec. 9 and 11 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.