Men’s Soccer Recieves At-Large Bid for NCAA Tournament
Issue   |   Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:11
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Weller Hlinomaz ’18 has scored four goals this season.

On Monday Nov. 6, around 2:30 p.m., the Amherst men’s soccer team received the wonderful news that they received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Shouts of excitement erupted from the film room in the athletic center, where the Mammoths were watching the NCAA Division III Tournament selection show.

Since Amherst had not won the NESCAC tournament, the team’s post-season hopes rested on a potential at-large bid. With this ticket to the Big Dance secured, the Mammoths will face the Salem State University Vikings in the first round of NCAA action. Salem State, winners of the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament, will travel to Amherst to face the Mammoths, who are set to host the first two rounds of the tournament. The Vikings qualified for the tournament after defeating Westfield State University in penalty kicks in the MASCAC championship game.

The Mammoths received their at-large bid thanks to several wins against quality opposition, including Bowdoin, Rutgers University-Newark, Conn. College and NESCAC champion Tufts, all four of which are in the tournament field.
These wins against ranked opponents moved Amherst to a United Soccer Coaches national ranking of 13 at the end of October. Despite these impressive wins and a second-place seeding in the NESCAC tournament after the regular season, the Mammoths fell to Hamilton in the first round of the NESCAC play-offs. Amherst had tied the seventh-seeded Continentals earlier in the season, but a dramatic six-goal second half ended with Hamilton victorious by a 4-3 margin.

Although the Mammoths would have preferred to secure the automatic qualifying slot reserved for conference champions, the team is full of confidence after winning the NCAA DIII national championship in 2015 after entering as an at-large bid.
The Mammoths will begin their quest for a second national crown in three years this Saturday, Nov. 11 in a noon home game on Hitchcock Field.