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NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s soccer brackets set with Highmark Stadium as final destination

NCAA Division II men's and women's soccer tournament final four will be played at Highmark Stadium in 2018 & 2019. Photo by Ed Thompson

NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s soccer brackets set with Highmark Stadium as final destination

Who said soccer season is over for Highmark Stadium?

If you didn’t already know, Pittsburgh was selected to host 22 NCAA preliminary and championship events covering the years 2018 through 2022.

Pittsburgh was awarded more NCAA events than any other city.

One of the venues hosting events will be Highmark Stadium, playing host to the NCAA Division II soccer final four and championship games for both men and women in 2018 and 2019.

“We are beyond excited that the NCAA has chosen our city to host these 22 prestigious events,” said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of sports development for VisitPITTSBURGH. “This announcement is not about any one university, sports venue or organization. It’s about Pittsburgh! The Pittsburgh Bid Committee — which included nine universities, two athletic conferences and nine sports facilities — approached the bid process as a community effort to reintroduce the NCAA to Pittsburgh. And now we look forward to crowning new NCAA champions over the next four years.”

And now, the field is set for both the men’s and women’s tournaments which will conclude at Highmark Stadium on November 29 and December 1 with Final Four semifinal games, then Division II National Championship matches.

MEN’S 2018 NCAA DIVISION II SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET 

WOMEN’S 2018 NCAA DIVISION II SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET 

Unfortunately, there will not be too many teams that may be coming that may draw local interest, especially on the men’s side. Regardless, this event will provide Pittsburgh with another chance to be in the spotlight — and draw hundreds and thousands of folks to our region — and for many it will be their first chance to see the spectacular sight lines at Highmark Stadium.

Last year’s men’s championship winner, University of Charleston (WV), led by Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC rookie Thomas Vancaeyezeele,  are in the field again as a number one seed. So, who knows, maybe Hounds head coach Bob Lilley will have a chance to find the next Vancaeyezeele in this year’s tournament.

Two Pennsylvania teams in the men’s bracket, in the Atlantic Region, are Millersville and West Chester.

In the women’s bracket, there are a few schools from Eastern and Central Pennsylvania in the field including Kutztown, East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Bloomsburg.

The one school in the women’s field that may have the most WPIAL player representation is West Virginia Wesleyan, who have goalkeeper Chelsea Hubner (Plum), Shannon Shawgo (Hopewell), Lauren Baumgartner (Moon), Molly Gorges (Bethel Park) and Marissa Zetty (Belle Vernon) all part of the Mountain East Conference Championship winning team. The Bobcats will be a long-shot to make it to Highmark though, as they drew a six-seed, and will take on Kutztown on Friday in the first-round.

NCAA DIVISION II MEN’s FIELD BY REGION 

Atlantic Region 

  1. Charleston (WV) (16-0-2) *
  2. West Chester (12-2-4) *
  3. Notre Dame (OH) (14-3-1)
  4. Millersville (10-3-5)

Central Region 

  1. Fort Hays St. (15-2-1) *
  2. Northeastern St. (14-2-1)

East Region 

  1. Adelphi (14-3-2)
  2. LIU Post (13-4-1) *
  3. Mercy (12-3-1)
  4. Le Moyne (13-3-1) *
  5. Wilmington (DE) (14-1-4)
  6. Post (11-7-1)

Midwest Region 

  1. Tiffin (15-4-0) *
  2. Southern Ind. (13-3-1) *
  3. Saginaw Valley (9-2-6)
  4. Ohio Valley (16-5-0)
  5. Maryville (MO) (10-4-4)
  6. Ashland (7-9-3)

South Region 

  1. Palm Beach Atl. (18-1-0) *
  2. Spring Hill (16-1-0)
  3. Barry (13-3-1) *
  4. Lynn (11-4-1)

South Central Region 

  1. MSU Texas (16-1-1) *
  2. Colo. Sch. of Mines (17-1-1) *
  3. West Tex. A&M (15-2-2)
  4. Colorado Mesa (13-2-4)

Southeast Region 

  1. Young Harris (16-0-0) *
  2. Lander (14-1-2) *
  3. Limestone (13-3-1)
  4. Tusculum (11-6-1)
  5. Queens (NC) (10-5-1)
  6. Anderson (SC) (10-4-3)

*Denotes Host Site.

FIRST ROUND WOMEN’S GAMES

Atlantic Region

Millersville (14-5-0) vs. East Stroudsburg (14-6-1);
*Bloomsburg (15-2-3) vs. Winner of Millersville/East Stroudsburg.
Kutztown (14-4-1) vs. West Va. Wesleyan (13-1-4);
*West Chester (13-4-2) vs. Winner of Kutztown/West Va. Wesleyan.

Central Region

Minnesota St. (18-2-1) vs. Emporia St. (14-5-1);
*Central Okla. (20-1-0) vs. Okla. Baptist (15-4-1);
Winner of Minnesota St./Emporia St. vs. Winner of Central Okla./Okla. Baptist.
Central Mo. (16-4-1) vs. Augustana (SD) (12-5-3);

*Bemidji St. (17-0-2) vs. Minot St. (13-5-3);
Winner of Central Mo./Augustana (SD) vs. Winner of Bemidji St./Minot St.

East Region

Southern N.H. (14-4-2) vs. LIU Post (13-3-3);
*Franklin Pierce (15-1-2) vs. Caldwell (12-6-1);
Winner of Southern N.H./LIU Post vs. Winner of Franklin Pierce/Caldwell.
Mercy (12-3-1) vs. Saint Rose (13-4-3);
*Bridgeport (14-4-1) vs. Stonehill (13-6-0);
Winner of Mercy/Saint Rose vs. Winner of Bridgeport/Stonehill.

Midwest Region

Walsh (14-4-1) vs. Saginaw Valley (12-3-4);
*Grand Valley St. (20-0-1) vs. Rockhurst (11-7-2);
Winner of Walsh/Saginaw Valley vs. Winner of Grand Valley St./Rockhurst.
Ohio Valley (16-2-3) vs. Ashland (10-4-5);
*#Ferris St. (15-3-3) vs. McKendree (13-4-1);
Winner of Ohio Valley/Ashland vs. Winner of Ferris St./McKendree.

South Region

Lee (13-6-1) vs. Rollins (9-3-5);
*West Florida (20-0-0) vs. Winner of Lee/Rollins.
Mississippi Col. (14-3-0) vs. Nova Southeastern (13-6-1);
*Barry (16-0-1) vs. Winner of Mississippi Col./Nova Southeastern.

Southeast Region

Flagler (11-3-2) vs. Limestone (17-2-0);
*Columbus St. (16-0-2) vs. Winner of Flagler/Limestone.
Lander (12-2-2) vs. Lincoln Memorial (14-4-0);
*Carson-Newman (14-4-0) vs. Catawba (13-5-0);
Winner of Lander/Lincoln Memorial vs. Winner of Carson-Newman/Catawba.

South Central Region

Westminster (UT) (15-3-2) vs. DBU (12-5-3);
*Colo. Sch. of Mines (19-1-1) vs. Winner of Westminster (UT)/DBU.
UC-Colo. Springs (15-3-2) vs. Angelo St. (12-6-2);
*West Tex. A&M (15-3-1) vs. Winner of UC-Colo. Springs/Angelo St.

West Region

Point Loma (15-1-1) vs. Chico St. (10-1-6);
*UC San Diego (17-2-1) vs. Winner of Point Loma/Chico St.
Western Wash. (16-3-1) vs. Sonoma St. (11-4-4);
*Concordia Portland (14-1-3) vs. Seattle Pacific (12-5-2);
Winner of Western Wash./Sonoma St. vs. Winner of Concordia Portland/Seattle Pacific.

Note:  * Denotes host institution.
# Denotes contests will be played Thursday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 10.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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