Mason Men's Soccer Will Host Bucknell in First Round of NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship
Nov. 9, 2006
Next up for the Patriots (12-5-3): 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship vs. Bucknell (8-7-6) November 11, 1 p.m. George Mason Stadium (Fairfax, Va.)
Series Record... This is the first-ever meeting for men's soccer between Mason and Bucknell.
In the NCAA Division I Championship... Prior to this season, the Patriots have made six appearances in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship and own an overall record of 3-7 in those games. The Patriots have hosted an NCAA Championship contests three times and own a 1-2 overall record in those contests. The win came in 1986 against Maryland in a 2-1 overtime decision.
One Decade Ago... Mason has not competed in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship since 1996. That year, the Patriots posted a 1-0 win over Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 24, 1996 and advanced to the next round, but fell to St. John's on neutral ground, 2-1, on Dec. 1.
Last Time Out... Most recently, the #4 Patriots advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship title game for the fourth time in school history following a 5-4 decision on a penalty kick shootout situation against #1 Towson, after tying the Tigers in the semifinals, 1-1, in 110 minutes of play on Nov. 3. Mason next faced off against #2 Hofstra in the title game two days later and, again, the score was tied 1-1 after 110 minutes. Hofstra was crowned the league champion after winning on penalty kicks, 3-2, at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Va.
About Bucknell... Bucknell won its first-ever Patriot League Championship this past weekend as the Bison went scoreless in 110 minutes of play against Lafayette in the championship game, but ended up winning in the penalty kick shootout situation, 4-3. In the semifinal game, Bucknell also tied top-seeded Lehigh, 1-1, but advanced after making four of its penalty kicks to Lehigh's one. The Bison are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1976.
Four CAA Squads... Mason is one of four CAA teams represented in the field of 48 as Towson, seeded 15th overall in the tournament, received a first-round bye, while Old Dominion and Hofstra will each host in the first round. This is the first time in league history in which four teams are selected to participate and it is the seventh time in the past 11 years that three or more CAA squads have earned NCAA berths. The ACC and BIG EAST each placed seven teams in the tournament, while the Pac-10 also had four.
Need Tickets?... Students with a valid Mason ID will get in for free, while tickets for adults are $7 and $5 for students, as well as youths. In addition, groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets on-line for $3, up to 24 hours in advance. Please visit GoMason.com for more details.
Where in the CAA?... As a team, Mason is second in the Colonial Athletic Association in overall games in goals allowed (13), second in goals against average (0.62) and is first in shutouts (11).
Don't Shut Me Out... Sixteen of Mason's 20 matches this season have ended with one team having no goal and the Patriots have collected a 10-5-1 mark in those contests.
Freshman goalkeeper Sean Kelley earned one of the top conference honors for the year as he was named the 2006 Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year, in a vote done by the league's head coaches, which was presented Thursday night on the eve of the semifinals and finals of the CAA Men's Soccer Championship in Virginia Beach. In addition, freshman midfielder Richard Edgar was named to the All-CAA Rookie Team, while senior defender Fabien Lewis earned second team honors. Kelley was also named to the all-rookie team, as well as the All-CAA Second Team.
This is just the second time in school history in which Mason has earned the CAA Rookie of the Year award as John O'Hara earned the honor in 2001. The conference all-rookie team was instilled in 2004 and this is the first time that Mason has had two representatives on the team and this is also the first time since 2002 in which two Patriots are on the all-second team.
What a Debut...
Freshman midfielder Richard Edgar made his collegiate debut a memorable one on Aug. 25 against Monmouth and earned Brine Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week honors for his efforts as announced by the conference office.
The Mechanicsville, Md. native connected on a header in the 98th minute of the Patriots' season opener to give Mason a 1-0 win over the Hawks.
"We Are the Champions"... Mason captured the 2006 Yale Classic title after winning both of its games in New Haven, Conn. this past weekend. The Patriots first defeated host-school, Yale, by an overtime score of 1-0 on Sept. 8 and then went on to shut-out Dartmouth two days later, 1-0.
Twice as Nice... For the second week in a row, freshman goalkeeper Sean Kelley was named Colonial Athletic Association Brine Rookie of the Week as announced by the conference office on Sept. 18.
Win Over Defending Champs... In Mason's match-up against Hofstra on Sept. 24, sophomore defender Michael Vallie tapped in the game-winning goal with just under three minutes remaining to give Mason a 3-2 win over the two-time defending CAA Champion.
Third Times a Charm... For the third time this season, freshman Sean Kelley earned CAA Rookie of the Week honors as announced by the conference office on Oct. 9. In addition, Kelley was also named CAA co-Player of the Week for his efforts against Delaware and Drexel where he averaged a GAA 0.00 on the weekend and collected 19 saves total between the two games. This was the first league player of the week honor for the Patriots this season and the fourth time a Mason athlete was named rookie of the week. Freshman Richard Edgar received the honor on Aug. 28.
In the Rankings... In a poll that was released on Oct. 2, Mason was ranked for the first time in more than four years as the Patriots sat 29th in the College Soccer News National Poll. A week later, Mason moved up to 22nd and then fell to 30th on Oct. 16.
Sitting on Top... Heading into the match-up with Old Dominion on Oct. 13, Mason owned a perfect 6-0 CAA record and sat first among conference schools the week prior. At the time, Mason was the only league school that had not lost or tied a CAA game.
Not Allowed... When the Monarchs scored against the Patriots on Oct. 13, Mason had gone 259 minutes without allowing a goal with the last goal allowed in Mason's 3-1 win at Georgia State (Oct. 1).
Not Since 1998... Mason had its nine-game win streak snapped on Oct. 13 with a 1-0 loss at Old Dominion. It was only the third time in school history in which there was a nine-game win streak and the first since 1998.
More Honors For Kelley... Kelley was also named to the National College Team of the Week (Oct. 9), was featured in Sports Illustrated's `Faces in the Crowd' (Oct. 12) and was also listed as one of soccertimes.com's `Best of the Rest' (Oct. 12). Senior Day... On Oct. 27, the Patriots honored four seniors for their hard work and dedication to Mason's men's soccer program. The seniors were Josh Fleming, Fabien Lewis, Francis McCardle and Jacob Weitz.
In the CAA Championship...
Since 1990, Mason has collected an overall record of 9-11-3 in the CAA Championship and a 2-0-1 mark when playing on the Patriots' home turf, including this year's win over Northeastern (1-0) on Oct. 31. The last time Mason was in the semifinals was in 2003 where the Patriots defeated Old Dominion by a score of 1-0 on Nov. 14. That same year, the Patriots lost to Virginia Commonwealth, 2-0, in the championship game.