The 2016 Pacific West Conference champion Dixie State men’s soccer team learned its seeding and opponent Monday afternoon when the NCAA announced its 2016 Division II Men’s Soccer tournament field.
The Trailblazers (15-3-0, 13-0-0 PacWest), who earned the No. 3 seed in the West Region, will make their NCAA tournament debut on Friday, Nov. 11, against No. 6 seed Western Washington (9-4-4) at 1 p.m. MT, in San Diego. The winner of that match will advance to the second round to face No. 2 seed and host UC San Diego (16-2-2) on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m. MT.
“It’s obviously huge for us to get our first tournament bid in program history, but I don’t want that to be enough for us because I think we can go further than just game one,” DSU interim head men’s soccer coach Nyle Ortiz said. “We are very excited about it and we’re going to take it like any other game in the season – we’ve done everything one game at a time.
“I’ve told the players from day one it’s all about them – we’re here because of our players. If they keep doing what they’ve been doing I think we can go six more [games].”
The rest of the West Region field is made up of top-seed Simon Fraser (14-1-2), which will host a three-team regional in Seattle, Washington (at Seattle Pacific), that will feature No. 4 seed Sonoma State (10-4-5) and No. 5 seed Cal Poly Pomona (12-5-2). Sonoma State and CPP square off this Thursday, Nov. 10, and the winner will play SFU on Saturday, Nov. 12.
The NCAA tournament third round and quarterfinals will be held on campus sites Nov. 17-20. The 2016 NCAA Division II College Cup will be played at the Children’s Mercy Victory Field, located at the Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. The national semifinals will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1, and the NCAA Division II national championship game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Dixie State, which clinched its first PacWest title last Thursday, won a school-record 15 matches, all consecutively, to close out the regular season. DSU also became just the second PacWest school to finish a conference season unbeaten and untied at 13-0-0, joining former league member Grand Canyon, which went 6-0-0 in the league’s first season in 2006. Dixie State’s 13 conference wins also eclipsed GCU’s previous record of 12 wins set in 2010 and matched by GCU in 2012.
Dixie State is currently ranked in the top 40 nationally in six statistical categories, including eighth overall in save percentage (.839), 12th in win percentage (.833), 18th in goals against average (0.77), 24th in shots on goal/game (7.72), t-27th in shutout percentage (0.44) and t-40th in assists (31). In addition, DSU is ranked t-55th in goals scored (36) and t-56th in scoring offense (2.00 gpg).
Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.