Nov 08, 2004
November 8, 2004|
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's soccer coach Ed Huneke is counting on home field advantage to give the Cougars the little extra it will need in the 24-team NCAA Division II Tournament.
The NCAA announced Monday that SIUE will be the host site for the Division II Great Lakes Regional Championship. As the No. 1 seed, the Cougars will have a bye and will play the winners of the Wisconsin-Parkside and Lewis game.
Wisconsin-Parkside and Lewis will face off on Thursday at Korte Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. for the first round NCAA matchup. It will be a repeat of the Great Lakes Valley Conference semifinals, in which Lewis defeated Wisconsin-Parkside 2-1 in overtime.
SIUE, 16-2-2 overall, will await the winner of the first round game. The Cougars play the advancing team on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Korte Stadium.
"We have great respect of the traditions that exists in these programs," said Huneke. "They are competitive teams that will require us to again be at our best.
SIUE is 2-0-1 this season against third-seeded Wisconsin-Parkside, 13-3-2, and second-seeded Lewis, 16-3-2. SIUE defeated UWP 2-0 on the road and tied Lewis 1-1 on the road. The Cougars defeated Lewis 2-0 in the championship game of the GLVC Tournament on Sunday.
"The familiarity factor is both a plus and a minus, and it's important that we approach it with respect to our opponents," said Huneke.
This is the third appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the Cougars in the past four seasons. SIUE advanced to the Final Four in 2001 and into the second round in 2003.
Overall, Saturday's game will mark the 18th appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the Cougars. SIUE won national titles in 1972 and 1979. The Cougars were national runners-up in 1975. SIUE was in the national semifinals in 1982 and 2001. The Cougars hold a 25-15 record in NCAA Tournament games in those previous 17 seasons.
SIUE last played a home NCAA contest in the second round in 2001 when it defeated Ashland 1-0 en route to a Final Four appearance. The Cougars have never played fellow GLVC rival Wisconsin-Parkside in the NCAA Tournament. SIUE defeated Lewis 2-0 in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.