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3. MEN'S TOURNAMENTS: UNCG eyes Southern crown
October 27th, 2006 6:12AM

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After struggling most of the men's season, UNC Greensboro (11-7-1) may need to win the Southern Conference Tournament to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Typical of their up-and-down season, the Spartans won their third consecutive regular-season conference title with a 2-1 win at Furman a week ago, then turned around and lost to Akron, 4-0, on Tuesday night.

Against Akron, UNCG was playing without Iceland U-21 international Henning Jonasson and Michael FitzGerald (tied with All-American Randi Patterson for the team lead with eight goals), who served red-card suspensions. The Spartans have been handed eight red cards this year.

The Southern Conference (first year: 1966) is the third oldest Division I men's soccer conference after the Ivy League (1952) and ACC (1953).

The Big East Tournament continues Saturday with four quarterfinal games: No. 5 West Virginia vs. South Florida, Rutgers vs. No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 18 Cincinnati vs. Providence and No. 25 Connecticut vs. St. John's.

No. 20 UIC opens Horizon Tournament action Saturday against Wright State. In Horizon League honors, the Flames captured Player of the Year (Croatia U-21 Tonci Skroce), Goalkeeper of the Year (Serbian freshman Jovan Bubonja) and Coach of the Year (John Trask).

Chris Banks, who took Striker of the Freshman of the Year in America East awards, leads New Hampshire against defending champion Stony Brook in the first round of the America East Tournament,

(Click here for Soccer America's men's conference tournament scoreboard.)

REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPIONS
The following men's teams have already clinched regular-season titles:
America East: Binghamton.
Atlantic Soccer:
Adelphi.
Atlantic Sun:
Stetson.
Big East:
West Virginia (Blue); Cincinnati (Red).
Big South:
Winthrop.
Horizon:
UIC.
Patriot:
Lehigh.
Southern:
UNC Greensboro.


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