[NCAA DIVISION II MEN: Preview] Top-ranked Southern New Hampshire is the only former Division II champion in the semifinals of the Division II Men's Championship that will take place Thursday in Evans, Ga.
In the first game, the Penmen, unbeaten in 21 games will host Rockhurst, coached by Tony Tocco, the
second winningest coach all-time in men's soccer.
Simon Fraser, which is looking to become the first Canadian team to win an NCAA soccer title, and Carson-Newman will play in the
SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE. The Penmen needed a shootout to beat Sunday afternoon at snowy Mercyhurst Soccer Field after their game ended 0-0.
SNHU (20-1-1) advances to the Division II semifinals for the third time in program history. They won the national championship in 1989 and finished as runner-up in 2002.
Frenchman Pierre Omanga was named the Northeast-10 Player of the Year, while English grad student Callum Williams was honored as the
NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Senior Dom DiMaggio ranks second among Division II keepers with a 0.38 GAA.
ROCKHURST. The Hawks make their first appearance in the NCAA D2 semifinals. Rockhurst reached the NAIA national championship game five times and lost all five games in 1967, 1973,
1976, 1979 and 1997.
Seven players from Rockhurst (17-3-3) earned All-Great Lakes Valley honors, including seniors Mark Magee and Paolo Scoppola, earned All-GLVC first team honors for the third year in a row. Magee leads the Hawks with 15 goals and 36 points. Scoppola has scored three goals and
Tocco is only five wins behind all-time leader Jay Martin of Ohio Wesleyan.
The short-handed Clan earned a convincing 5-0 win at Regis in the quarterfinals. The win sends SFU (18-2-2) to Georgia for the second year in a row.
"We need to be switched on
right from the start in Georgia," said Ryan Dhillon, who had a goal and assist against Regis. "We came out flat last year. We played better in the second half
but we just couldn't recover so I think starting strong will be key."
CARSON-NEWMAN. The Eagles (15-4-1) eliminated Rollins with a 2-1 victory in
Florida to move on to the final four for the first time. Welshman Ross Frame had his 18th goal of the season -- tied for seventh in the nation -- and Nick Skoda scored what would be the winning goal.
"I am at a loss for words, honestly," Carson-Newman coach Richard
Moodie said afterwards. "That is the most emotional I've ever been at the side of a soccer field."