Men's Soccer Earns 1st Regional Ranking in Program History
URBANA, Ohio (October 1, 2013) - For the first time in program history, the Urbana University men's soccer team is regionally ranked. The Blue Knights turned up in the #8 slot in this week's Atlantic Regional rankings. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) ranks the top 10 teams in NCAA Division II's 8 regions. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top 4 teams in each region advance to the 32-team NCAA Division II National Tournament. Prior to the 2013 season, Urbana moved to the Atlantic Region from the Midwest Region after joining the Mountain East Conference, an Atlantic Region-based conference.
Five of the top 10 teams in the Atlantic Region rankings are on Urbana's 2013 schedule (#1 Notre Dame College, #2 Slippery Rock University, #5 Mercyhurst University, #6 The University of Charleston, and #9 West Virginia Wesleyan College.) The Blue Knights dropped 1-goal games at home to Slippery Rock and Charleston, and the team went on the road on Saturday night and tied WVWC.
On Wednesday, Urbana hosts top-ranked Notre Dame College in an important MEC showdown. Notre Dame has yet to suffer a loss in league play. The Falcons are a perfect 4-0, outscoring their opponents 13-2 in those 4 games. Urbana enters Wednesday's contest with a 2-1-1 mark in MEC play. The Blue Knights are in a 4-way tie for 2nd place in the MEC with 7 points, 5 points behind NDC. NDC has already defeated each of the other 3 teams tied with UU, so the 3 points up for grabs in Wednesday's contest will either help UU close the gap and establish the Blue Knights as the only real threat to NDC’s conference title, or it will all but wrap up the inaugural MEC title for the Falcons.
These 2 Ohio rivals have a little history entering today’s game. NDC has never lost to UU in 7 past meetings. Only once has UU earned a tie with the Falcons. That tie came in 2004’s home opener (3-3, 2OT). Since then, NDC has won 4 straight against the Blue Knights by a combined score of 14-2. Their last meeting was a 2-0 Falcon victory in Urbana on September 14, 2011. The Falcon goals came in the 62nd & 89th minutes. Four current Blue Knights (Ed Willoughby, Tyler Wason, Joe Carter & Mwaliko Ahmed) played in that game. Wason had 2 shots, including 1 on goal. Six current Falcons (Jan Skorupinski, Christopher Fairley, Philip Cutler, Carlo Manna, Tom Owens & Stefan Bogdanovic) took part in the win. Skorupinski was the winning goalkeeper, starting and playing all 90 minutes to earn the shutout.
The Falcons (7-1-0) have fallen from #4 in the country to #7 after last week's loss to the University of Findlay. A win might help Urbana (3-2-2) earn its first-ever spot in the NCAA D-II National Rankings next week. Wednesday's kickoff has been moved up from 5:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to allow for more sunlight at the end of the contest. The women's game between UU and the undefeated Lady Falcons (7-0-0) will take place before the men's game at 2:30 p.m. If you can't make it to UU Stadium to cheer on the Blue Knights, CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE LIVE STATS FOR BOTH GAMES, and we'll have LIVE VIDEO of the men's game on our UStream Page.