Hanover to face Salem in NCAA tourney
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:00 AM
Hanover College's women's soccer team will battle Salem (N.C.) College in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament at Thomas More (Ky.) College in Highland Heights, Ky., on Saturday.
Hanover, 17-1-2 overall, is making its second appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Panthers earned the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's automatic bid in the 64-team tourney with two victories in the league's post-season tournament, including a 2-1 decision over Transylvania (Ky.) in the finale.
Hanover, the No. 1-ranked team in the Great Lakes region, has set a school single-season record with 17 wins and captured the HCAC's regular-season championship with an 8-0-1 league mark. The Panthers have also set school marks with the team's current nine-match winning streak and 15-match unbeaten streak (13-0-2).
Salem, a member of the Great South Conference making its first trip to the NCAA tournament, is 15-3-2 overall this season. The Spirits have won 10 consecutive matches and earned their league's automatic berth in the NCAA tourney field with a 2-0 win against Agnes Scott (Ga.) in the Great South tourney title match.
Salem swept the conference's regular-season championship with a 7-0 record. The Spirits outscored league opponents 33-0 during that run.
Hanover and Salem will play at 11 a.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to play at 1:30 p.m. Sunday against either host Thomas More or Allegheny (Pa.), who will meet in Saturday's second game at 1:30 p.m.
Thomas More (17-1-2), ranked No. 3 in the Great Lakes Region, earned a tournament berth with a 1-0 win over Grove City (Pa.) in the final game of the Presidents' Athletic Conference tournament.
Allegheny (11-5-4) posted a 2-0 victory over Wittenberg (Ohio) to snag the North Coast Athletic Conference title.
Hanover and Thomas have met once this season, a scoreless double overtime tie on Sept. 18 in Hanover.
Heartland Conference runner-up Transylvania also made the tournament with an at-large bid. The Pioneers, ranked fourth in the Great Lakes Region, will play Ilinois Wesleyan in their tourney opener on Saturday in an opening round site that also includes Augustana (Ill.) and Trinity (Texas). Former Shawe player Hannah Roberts plays for Transylvania.
The finals of the NCAA's 64-team national tournament will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio, Texas.