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U of R earns 16th NCAA mens soccer bid

by WayneTimes.com
November 12, 2014

Playing one of the toughest schedules in Division III paid handsome dividends for the men’s soccer team at the University of Rochester in 2014. The Yellowjackets have been selected to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships.

Rochester earned one of 19 Pool C (at-large) bids to the tournament. The NCAA selection committee awarded 42 Pool A bids (automatic qualifiers) to conference champions.

The Yellowjackets will play Salisbury University (12-2-5) of Maryland on Saturday, November 15 in Lancaster, PA on the campus of Franklin & Marshall College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The Sea Gulls are ranked ninth in the most recent Division III men’s soccer poll. The first game of the doubleheader pairs Franklin & Marshall against Johnson & Wales College from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. That game will kick off at 5 p.m.

Three of the first round teams in this group are Pool C entries: Franklin & Marshall, Salisbury, and Rochester. Johnson & Wales won the GNAC automatic bid.

Rochester heads into the tournament off two victories. The Yellowjackets defeated Carnegie Mellon University, 2-1, on November 2 in Pittsburgh when they scored twice in the last seven minutes. Sean Daly and Ben Keeton scored the goals. On Saturday, Keeton and Alex Swanger scored early in the first half and Rochester defeated Case Western Reserve, 2-0.

Keeton leads the team in scoring with five goals for 10 points. Nick Pastore is tied for the team lead in points with 10 (four goals, two assists). Thirteen players have scored at least one goal for Rochester this season. In goal, Michael Shatkin has started all 17 games. In 1,579:37, he has allowed 15 goals (0.85 goals-against average). He has 53 saves, six solo shutouts, and two shared shutouts.

In 2014, Rochester finished the regular season with a record of nine wins, five losses, and three ties. The Yellowjackets finished tied for third place in the University Athletic Association race with Emory. Both teams were 3-3-1.

Four UAA teams were selected for the field. Team champion Chicago will play at a neutral site (Wisconsin-Whitewater). Brandeis is home, hosting Husson (Maine). Emory is home as well, hosting Berry College.

In all, six Rochester opponents from 2014 were selected to the championship. Three of them are in Rochester’s portion of the bracket: SUNY Oneonta, Brandeis, and St. Lawrence. Rochester tied Oneonta (at Oneonta in early September). The Yellowjackets defeated St. Lawrence, 3-2, and Brandeis, 2-0. The other NCAA opponents are SUNY Morrisville (which beat Rochester, 3-2, in Fauver Stadium on opening day), Chicago (a 1-0 UC win at Fauver), and Emory (which scored in the last five minutes to pull out a 1-0 win at home in Atlanta).

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Rochester’s trip to Lancaster is a homecoming of sorts for head coach Chris Apple. He is a native of Lancaster who came to the University as an undergraduate in the fall of 1988. Apple lettered for four seasons. He was named an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 1989 and 1991 (sophomore and senior years) and a Scholar All-American by the same group in 1990 (junior year).

He is in his 14th season as Rochester’s head coach. His Rochester coaching record entering the tournament is 176 wins, 49 losses, and 37 ties. This will be his 263rd game as Rochester’s head coach.

This is Rochester’s 16th bid to the NCAA championships and its third in a row. Rochester has appeared in the tournament nine times in the last 10 years.

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