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Road to Highmark: Field is set for NCAA Division II men’s and women’s national semifinals

File photo by Ed Thompson

Road to Highmark: Field is set for NCAA Division II men’s and women’s national semifinals

The 2019 DII men’s and women’s soccer Final Four pairings are set and teams will be heading to Pittsburgh for National Semifinal matches on Thursday, Dec. 11, to be followed by the Finals on Saturday.

Men’s Final Four: Lynn (FL), Charleston (WV), UIndy (IN) and Cal State LA (CA)

On the Men’s side of the bracket, while tournament regulars Lynn and Charleston (WV) found their way back to the Final Four, Indianapolis has had a program-defining run to its first-ever semis.

UIndy’s win came on Sunday, while the other three schools earned their trips to the National Semifinals without scoring a goal in the run of play.,

No. 9 UIndy 1, No. 3 Maryville 0:  It was UIndy’s Ben Rohder’s shot that deflected into the net of a defender that served as the game-winner. UIndy completes the field of four heading to Pittsburgh after a Saturday dominated by higher seeds.

Not a single goal was scored on any of the other winners either this weekend.

After beating Gannon Thursday, third-seeded Charleston (WV) beat Franklin Pierce, 2-0, in Erie.

Lynn won 3-0, and Cal State L.A. won 2-0.

Lynn and Charleston (WV) could be heading for yet another memorable postseason showdown. The two met in the championship match in both 2014 and 2017 which each team winning one.

UIndy and Cal State L.A. will play in this year’s semifinals. Cal State L.A. landed the No. 1 seed and will play No. 4 UIndy on Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. ET.

No. 2 seed Charleston (WV) will take on No. 3 Lynn, also on the 12th, at 8 p.m. ET.

None of these teams made it to Pittsburgh a year ago, when Barry University defeated West Chester in the Final.

Women’s Final Four: Grand Valley St. (MI), College of St. Rose (NY), Flager (FL), Western Washington (WA)

College of St. Rose spoiled our best chance of seeing a Pennsylvania school at this week’s Division II semifinals in Pittsburgh, at the Golden Knights struck twice in the first half and held off a determined Bloomsburg squad to upend the sixth-ranked Huskies 2-1 in Sunday’s NCAA Championship Tournament National Quarterfinal inside Afrim’s Sports Park.

In the process, the 11th ranked Golden Knights punched a ticket to their seventh NCAA Championship National Semifinal within the past 12 years.

The four semifinalists include: Flagler College (23-0-1), Grand Valley State (23-1), Saint Rose (21-2-1) and Western Washington (22-2).

Grand Valley State are looking to get back to the final, as they’re the only school returning to Pittsburgh. GVSU were upset in the final last season by Bridgeport, 1-0.

Look for more coverage of the NCAA Division II National Championships this week from Highmark Stadium here on Pittsburgh Soccer Now. 

 

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, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the United States. 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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