After suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 loss three days ago at the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals to SUNY-ESF, The King's College Men's Soccer team anxiously waited for Tuesday's United States College Athletic Association National Championship selection show to find out if they would be one of three teams to receive an at large bid.
The USCAA D2 Men's Soccer National Championship consists of six teams. Three of these teams receive automatic bids if they are the champion in one of these conferences:
-Penn State University Athletic Conference
-Yankee Small College Conference
-Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
The USCAA selection committee then awards three at large bids to teams that performed exceptionally well during the season.
At 5:15PM the Lions gathered together in a classroom to watch the selection show. They anxiously stared at the projection screen as one by one the six teams were announced.
The #1 seed Johnson and Wales University of Charlotte, North Carolina, an at large bid.
#2 Berkeley College-NY an at large bid.
#3 Penn State Brandywine the Penn State University Athletic Conference champion.
As the The King's College Athletics logo appeared on the screen, the team erupted in cheers and high fives as it was announced as the #4 seed.
#5 SUNY ESF the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion.
#6 New Hampshire Technical Institute the Yankee Small College Conference champion.
The team will now prepare to make the trip to Virginia Beach next week to compete for a national championship. Although the work is far from done, qualifying for a national championship event for the first time since The King's College moved to New York City is quite an accomplishment for a team that just four years ago won just one game all season. But Head Coach Tom Harman has turned this program around. After missing out on the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs by just one win in both 2016 and 2017, both he and his team were determined not to let that happen again. They posted a 10-3 record this year and reached as high as #4 in the USCAA national power rankings. Now they will test their skills against the best teams the USCAA has to offer. They may even face a familiar foe as their HVIAC rivals, SUNY-ESF and Berkeley-NY, have also qualified.
The team will take on Johnson and Wales-Charlotte in a preliminary game on Saturday November 10 in Virginia Beach. On Sunday November 11 they play SUNY-ESF for the third time this season. The winner of the three team group will play in the USCAA National Championship game on Monday November 12.