Mids Set to Take on VCU in NCAA First Round
Nov. 20, 2013
NCAA First Round
Navy (15-3-2) at VCU (11-7-2)
Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Sports Backers Stadium | Richmond, Va.
Navy Game Notes | Live Statistics | Live Video
NCAA Tournament Bracket (PDF) | Interactive Bracket
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's soccer team (15-3-2) will play at VCU (11-7-2) in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament on Thursday at 7:00 PM at Sports Backers Stadium. Live video and live statistics will be available.
The winner of the Navy-VCU contest will advance to the NCAA Second Round to play at No. 14 Wake Forest on Sunday at 5:00 PM. Wake Forest (9-5-5) received a bye in the first round.
Navy won the 2013 Patriot League Tournament last weekend to receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. VCU received an at-large berth to the 48-team tournament.
Navy won its first Patriot League Championship last weekend by defeating Bucknell in the semifinals (1-0) and Holy Cross in the championship game (2-0). Navy is making its first NCAA appearance since 1988 and its 11th all-time.
Navy is the hottest team in the nation and is carrying a 14-game winning streak into the tournament. Navy has also shut out three straight opponents. Navy's last loss was over two months ago on Sept. 17. Navy went 9-0-0 during conference play to win its second Patriot League Regular Season title and hosting rights of the postseason tournament. Navy's 15 wins this season have tied a program record.
Navy head coach Dave Brandt is taking Navy to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his five years in Annapolis and he was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year. Brandt took Division III Messiah to the NCAA Tournament in each of his 12 seasons as a head coach and he won six national championships before leaving for Navy.
Navy's defense has been outstanding this season and the Mids have set a program record with 10 shutouts. The Mids rank 12th in the nation in save percentage (0.843), 13th in shutout percentage (0.50) and 15th in goals-against average (0.67). Senior goalkeeper Gavin Snyder is 14-0-0 and ranks first in the nation in save percentage (.930) and is second in goals-against average (0.28).
A big part of Navy's defensive efforts has been the play of the backline, led by center backs Joseph Greenspan and Derek Vogel. Greenspan was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and both he and Vogel were named to the All-Patriot League First Team. Greenspan is second on the team with 14 points and seven goals.
Sophomore forward Jamie Dubyoski, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, leads Navy with 21 points on nine goals and three assists. Senior Martin Sanchez has 10 assists this season and ranks sixth in the NCAA in the category.
Sanchez, Greenspan, Vogel and senior midfielder Guy Skord were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team last weekend. The two center backs and two holding midfielders played a critical role in Navy posting two shutouts in the tournament. Skord was named the tournament MVP.
Last Time Out
Navy captured the 2013 Patriot League Championship with a 2-0 win over third-seeded Holy Cross at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility last Sunday. Senior Geoff Fries scored the game-winning goal in the 39th minute off a highlight reel bicycle kick assist from senior Patrick Sopko. Greenspan added an insurance goal in the 47th minute and Snyder posted his ninth shutout of the season, needing to make only one save. Navy outshot Holy Cross, 18-4.
Navy-VCU National Rankings Comparison
Navy is No. 19 in the Top Drawer Soccer Poll. VCU is not receiving any votes.
Navy is No. 22 in the latest RPI rankings and VCU is No. 28.
Navy is No. 25 in the College Soccer News Poll and VCU is receiving votes.
Navy is ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Poll and VCU is No. 3.
The Mids are the first team 'also receiving votes' outside of the NSCAA National Top 25 poll, while VCU is listed as tied for the 11th team among those 'also receiving votes.'
Navy-VCU Series History
Navy and VCU are 1-1-1 against each other all-time. Navy defeated VCU, 3-0, in Annapolis in 1995 in the first meeting of the series. The teams tied, 0-0, in Richmond in 1999 and VCU won at home in 2011, 4-1. Current Navy senior Guy Skord tallied a goal in the 23rd minute in the 2011 contest and it was a 2-1 game until VCU added two late goals in the game's final 10 minutes. Juan Monge Solano, now a junior, scored for VCU in the ninth minute of the contest.
Navy and Richmond attempted to play each other in 2012, but were only able to play 2:24 minutes of action before the game was called off due to lightning. The start of the game was also delayed two hours because of lightning in the area.
The Rams received an at-large berth with their 11-7-2 record and No. 28 RPI ranking. VCU placed third in the Atlantic 10 with a 5-2-1 record and was bounced from its postseason tournament by George Mason in overtime, 3-2, in the league's semifinals last Friday.
Junior forward Kharlton Belmar leads the Rams with 18 points on eight goals and two assists and sophomore defenseman Dennis Castillo is second on the team with 13 points (6 g, 1 a).
Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells is 11-7-2 with six shutouts. Wells has a 1.12 goals-against average and a .760 save percentage.
Belmar, Castillo and senior midfielder Romena Bowie were all selected to the All-Atlantic 10 First Team.
Dave Giffard is the head coach of VCU and is in his fourth season in Richmond. Giffard arrived at VCU after serving as an assistant at perennial power Akron.
NCAA Tournament Breakdown
There are 48 teams in the NCAA Tournament and the 16 seeded teams receive first round byes. There are 23 automatic berths that won their conference championship and 25 at-large berths. The team with the highest RPI in the tournament with an automatic berth is No. 123 Seattle of the Western Athletic Conference. The team with the highest RPI that received an at-large berth is Clemson at No. 40. UCLA is the overall No. 1 seed.
Navy in the NCAA Tournament
Navy is making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its first since 1988. Navy is 14-9-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Mids won the 1964 NCAA Championships and were the runners-up in 1963. Navy also advanced to the NCAA Semifinals in 1965 and 1967. Navy advanced to nine tournaments from 1963 to 1974. The Mids are 7-3-0 all-time in the first round.
This season is the 25th anniversary of the 1988 NCAA Tournament Team. Navy welcomed the 1988 team back for the Navy-Colgate game on October 12 and honored the team at halftime.
Patriot League Teams in the NCAA Tournament
The Patriot League has sent at least one representative to the NCAA Tournament every season since 2000, and also in 1995, 1996 and 1998. Patriot League schools have played in the NCAA Second Round seven times and the NCAA Third Round twice. Bucknell was the last Patriot League team to advance in the NCAA Tournament when the Bison defeated Princeton in 2009, 1-0, before falling to Virginia, 5-0, in the second round.
In 2006, Lehigh received a first-round bye and then advanced on penalty kicks past Rhode Island before falling to Duke in the NCAA Third Round.