GW to Meet North Carolina in First Round of NCAA Tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The George Washington men's soccer team (9-8-4) will square off against North Carolina (10-8-2) in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship on Friday, Nov. 19 at 6:00 p.m. at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, NC.
The Colonials are unbeaten in their last nine matches and earned the Atlantic 10's automatic berth in the 48-team field by shutting out Temple, 2-0, on Nov. 14 to win its second-ever conference title. GW will be making its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its second trip to the championship in the last three years. The Colonials are 1-5-0 all-time in NCAA pairings with its only victory coming against George Mason, 3-1, in 1989.
Head Coach George Lidster will be gunning for his 150th career coaching victory versus the Tar Heels. Lidster is in his 17th season at the helm of the GW program and owns a 149-135-38 overall record. He is by far the winningest coach in GW soccer history surpassing Hall of Famer Georges Edeline, who coached the Colonials from 1973-81, and compiled 70 triumphs.
Junior Jon Allen leads the Colonials with 17 points, but has not played due to injury since the regular-season finale at Richmond on Nov. 6. Classmates Frank Ambrosio and Andre Chapman have picked up the scoring load in Allen's absence. They each have 16 points and 14 of Ambrosio's points have come during the Colonials' current unbeaten streak. Junior Derek Biss has posted five shutouts in GW's last six matches, including two in the Atlantic 10 Championship, tying the tournament record. He also made 14 saves in the tournament on his way being named the event's Most Outstanding Player.
The Tar Heels are ranked seventh in the most recent NSCAA South Region rankings. They earned an at-large bid to the championship after being knocked off by Maryland in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. North Carolina is making its sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its 13th showing in the event overall. The Tar Heels own an all-time mark in the postseason of 15-11 and captured the national championship in 2001. UNC is paced by the trio of sophomores Corey Ashe, Jamie Watson and senior Marcus Storey, who each have 18 points on the season. Senior goalkeeper Ford Williams has a 1.29 goals- against average and has made 49 saves this season.
GW and North Carolina have met only once on the pitch with the Colonials claiming a 1-0 decision over the Tar Heels in 1979 at the William & Mary Tournament.
The winner of the GW-North Carolina pairing will play 16th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth on Tuesday, Nov. 23 in the second round of the championship.
GW will be running a fan bus to Chapel Hill, NC for the opening-round match. The bus will leave at 11:30 a.m. from the Smith Center on Friday, Nov. 19. Tickets are $35 for non-students and $30 for students and they are available at the Marvin Center Ticketmaster. Interested parties should contact the GW Spirit Program at 202-994-7670 for more information. There will also be a fan send off for the team on Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex at 9:00 a.m.
Fans can follow the team on line as well. Live stats for the GW-North Carolina contest will be available at www.ncaasports.com