Indianapolis, Indiana –The University of Bridgeport women's soccer team, under the direction of twentieth-year head coach Magnus Nilerud will serve as the host for the first and second round matches in the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship at Knights Field on Friday, November 9 and Sunday November 11. Bridgeport is the number two seed in the eight-team East Regional, and the Purple Knights will face number seven seed Stonehill College at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. Action will begin on Friday in the Park City with an 11:00 a.m. match between number three Mercy College and number six seed, the College of St. Rose. Friday's winners will play at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday looking for a chance to advance to the following weekend's East Regional Final.
This year marks the fifth time in school history that the Purple Knights have hosted NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship Tournament First and Second Round matches. Bridgeport also served as hosts in 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2016.
This year's NCAA trip is Bridgeport's tenth overall in program history, with all coming in the last 12 seasons. UB earned the automatic bid from the East Coast Conference on Saturday evening when the Purple Knights topped LIU Post, 2-1, at Knights Field in the 2018 ECC Championship Tournament Final match.
Two seasons ago in the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament, the Purple Knights won the program's second East Regional crown after defeating Adelphi, 2-1. After receiving a first round bye, UB defeated American International, 3-2, to advance to the East Regional Final versus Adelphi. Following 2016's win over Adelphi, Kutztown nipped the Purple Knights, 1-0, in a match played in West Chester, Pa. to move on to the national semifinals.
In 2015, the Bridgeport women's soccer program made the deepest NCAA Tournament run in school history winning its first East Regional title and advancing to the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship Semifinals in Pensacola, Florida. After receiving a First Round bye, the Purple Knights defeated LIU Post, 1-0, in the second round, Adelphi, 2-1, in the East Regional Final and East Stroudsburg, 2-0, in the National Quarterfinals before falling to Columbus (Ga.) State, 3-1, in the national semifinals.
Four years ago, the Purple Knights defeated Philadelphia University, 2-0, in round one and fell to the host Mercy College Mavericks, 2-1, in the second round.
In 2013, UB defeated Caldwell, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAA Championship and fell to eventual Final Four team, American International, 2-0, in the second round.
In 2011, Bridgeport played UMass Lowell to a 1-1 tie in the second round but did not advance after a penalty kick shootout. The Purple Knights received a first round bye in that NCAA Championship.
In 2010, UB advanced to the second round defeating Franklin Pierce in round one, 3-1, and lost to the College of St. Rose, 1-0, on the Golden Knights' home field. In 2009, Bridgeport fell to Franklin Pierce, 4-1, in the second round after receiving a first round bye. In 2008, the Purple Knights moved into the Round of 16 posting wins over Merrimack, 1-0, and C.W. Post, 1-0, before falling to the College of St. Rose, 3-1. In 2007, UB made its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance and did not advance to the second round on penalty kicks versus Dowling College.
Bridgeport heads into this NCAA Tournament with a 14-4-1 overall record, as the Purple Knights won both the East Coast Conference regular season and championship tournament titles for the third time in the last four seasons. UB enters 2018 NCAA play on a three-match winning streak, and the team has won 10 of its last 11 outings.
Stonehill College, located in Easton, Mass., enters the NCAA Tournament with a 13-6-0 overall mark. The Skyhawks are members of the Northeast-10 Conference. This will be Stonehill's second-ever NCAA Championship appearance. The program's first appearance came in 2016, when the Shyhawks traveled to Bridgeport's Knights Field and fell to American International College, 3-1, in the first round of NCAA play. Bridgeport and Stonehill have met a total of seven previously with the Purple Knights holding a 5-1-1 advantage. All seven meetings have been decided by one goal except for a 1-1 draw in 2012. The two teams last met in 2014 with UB winning, 1-0. Stonehill defeated Bridgeport, 2-1, in 2010.
Mercy College, located in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., is a member of the East Coast Conference along with the University of Bridgeport. The Mavericks enter NCAA play with 12-3-1 overall record after falling in last week's ECC Championship Semifinals to LIU Post, 2-1 in double overtime. 2018 marks the Mavericks fourth NCAA Division II Championship appearance. Last season, Mercy captured the East Region title and advanced to the National Semifinals where they fell, 3-0, to eventual Division II National Champion, the University of Central Missouri.
The 2011 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer National Champions, the College of St. Rose Golden Knights, hailing from Albany, N.Y. and members of the Northeast-10 Conference, will be making NCAA appearance number 14 in the last 17 seasons. St. Rose enters NCAA action at 13-4-3 overall after falling 6-5 in overtime in the NE10 Championship Semifinals at regional number one seed, Franklin Pierce on Friday. The Golden Knights won the 2014 East Regional title giving the Bridgeport side of this season's NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship bracket the last four regional champs in Mercy (2017), UB (2016 and 2015) and St. Rose (2014).
The other side of the East Region bracket will be hosted by the region's top-seed, Franklin Pierce University. The Ravens are 15-1-2 so far in 2018, and they will host number eight seed, Caldwell University (12-6-1) on Friday, and the other match in Rindge, New Hampshire will feature number four seed, Southern New Hampshire University (14-4-2) facing number five seed LIU Post (13-3-3).
2018 NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS HOSTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF BRIDGEPORT
First Round-Friday, November 9, 2018
11:00 a.m.-St. Rose (13-4-1) vs. Mercy (12-3-1)
2:00 p.m.-Stonehill (13-6-0) vs. Bridgeport (14-4-1)
Second Round-Sunday, November 11, 2018
11:00 a.m.-St. Rose/Mercy winner vs. Stonehill/Bridgeport
Ticket prices are:
Adults: $5.00 | Students with I.D./Senior Citizens: $3.00 | Children, ages 2-12: $2.00
Children under the age of 2 shall be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.