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Zach Pekale | | November 19, 2019

1 thing to know about every team in the 2019 NCAA men's soccer tournament

DI Men's Soccer: 2019 Selection Show

No more speculation or wondering.

The 2019 Division I men’s soccer championship field is set. Virginia earned the top seed while Clemson, Georgetown and Wake Forest are the highest ranked teams in their respective regions.

The 2019 Division I men's soccer championship begins Nov. 21

Those top seeds are one of 48 teams in the tournament chasing the same goal — a national championship. Here's one thing (or more!) to know about every one of them.

Note: Regions are listed to reflect the highest seeded team.

CHAMPIONSHIP INFO: View the 2019 bracket | Buy tickets | Broadcast schedule | Scoreboard

Virginia region

No. 1 Virginia (17-1-1): The ‘Hoos earned the top seed with the best defense in Division I (.362 GAA, 13 shutouts) and navigated the ACC, a league that sent 10 teams to the NCAA tournament, with just one loss.

James Madison (11-6-3): Colonial champ JMU already has a win over a No. 1-ranked team – Wake Forest. They nearly got another, taking Virginia to overtime. A first-round win would give the Dukes a shot at another against the Cavaliers.

Campbell (16-2-2): Thibaut Jacquel holds a share of the Division I lead with 17 goals and is third in points (39). The junior is the offensive catalyst of the Big South champions and would be an interesting second-round matchup against Virginia.

No. 16 St. John’s (13-4-1): The Red Storm were the No. 1 RPI team before a 1-3-1 finish. If St. John’s can re-discover its early October form, they're going to be a tough out. 

Syracuse (7-6-5): Ryan Raposo’s 32 points paces an offense that’s scored at least three goals on six separate occasions. The Orange host Rhode Island to open the tournament.

Rhode Island (14-3-3): Rhode Island has won back-to-back Atlantic 10 championships and has not lost since Sept. 28. The program’s 13th tournament trip begins at Syracuse. 

No. 9 Central Florida (14-2-2): The Knights set a program record with 14 wins. They’ve never been past the second round of the NCAA tournament. A win on Sunday changes that.

Missouri State (17-0-1): MSU was the final unbeaten team in DI men’s college soccer. The Bears didn’t face a ranked team, but their plus-30 goal differential is the more meaningful number to note.

Denver (6-11-3): Denver struggled in non-conference but took care of business when it mattered most, winning the Summit League championship to clinch an automatic bid. 

No. 8 SMU (16-1-1): AAC champion SMU can lock it down or light it up on a given night. The Mustangs had a plus-45 goal differential and have four players with 20-plus points, led by 35 from senior Garrett McLaughlin.

North Carolina State (9-6-3): A 2019 at-large bid puts NC State in the NCAA tournament for the third year in a row, something the Wolf Pack last accomplished between 1985 and 1987.

Coastal Carolina (9-7-3): Coastal Carolina won its final four games, including the Sun Belt title game in penalties, to advance to the NCAA tournament for the ninth time in 10 seasons. The Chanticleers venture to Raleigh for their opening-round matchup.

LOOKING BACK: These 24 teams earned automatic qualification

Clemson region

No. 2 Clemson (16-2-1): The Tigers missed the postseason last year. In 2019, they scored 65 goals (led Division I) in 19 games and earned the No. 2 seed. Talk about a turnaround.

Charlotte (11-3-4): The 49ers rode a stout defense back to the postseason. Their .570 goals-against average could be put to the test in a possible second-round matchup with Clemson.

Mercer (14-6): Mercer tied a single-season program record with 14 wins. Now, the Bears will try for their first-ever tournament win when they face Charlotte.

No. 15 Penn State (12-3-3): The Nittany Lions finished 6-1-2 dating back to Oct.6, and Jeff Cook ends the four-year tournament drought in University Park in Year One.

Providence (14-6): Providence returns to the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Big East’s tournament runner-up utilizes a balanced attack as five players scored double-digit points.

NJIT (10-4-4): The Atlantic Sun champs are one of four teams making their NCAA tournament debut. Rene White’s 17 goals were tied for the most in Division I and fueled the Highlanders offense. 

No. 10 Virginia Tech (9-5-3): How good can the Hokies’ defense be? They’re the only team to keep Clemson scoreless. A locked in Mathijs Swaneveld is a difference-maker.

New Hampshire (14-1-3): The Wildcats allow fewer than six shots per game and have given up seven goals, a GAA better than everyone not named Virginia. If you come at the (America East) champs, you’d better not miss.

Fairleigh Dickinson (7-8-4): The Knights took down the NEC’s top two seeds to reach the NCAA tournament. They head north for an opening round game against New Hampshire.

No. 7 Stanford (13-2-3): While the Cardinal are an at-large for the first time since 2013, they’re an experienced bunch. A good portion of their upperclassmen were on the 2016 and 2017 national championship rosters.

Loyola Marymount (11-5-3): The Lions received an at-large bid out of the West Coast Conference and could benefit from previously playing six teams that made the field.

Seattle (14-3-4): The Redhawks are back in the NCAA tournament after Declan McGlynn finished with 27 points, the second-best total in the WAC. Seattle comes in riding a 14-game unbeaten streak. 

Georgetown region

No. 3 Georgetown (15-1-3): Georgetown won its third straight Big East title after finishing the regular season unbeaten at home. Now, the Hoyas could stay at Shaw Field until the College Cup.

Pittsburgh (9-7-2): Pittsburgh’s at-large bid sends the Panthers back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 54 years. Late-season wins against two of the 16 seeded teams — Virginia and Virginia Tech likely helped the Panthers’ case.

Lehigh (13-4-3): Josh Luchini might be the engine that makes the Mountain Hawks go. Lehigh scored 25 goals this season en route to a Patriot League title. Luchini was responsible for more than half with 11 goals and two assists.

No. 14 UC Davis (13-4-2): While the Aggies are now in their third NCAA tournament, Sunday will be the program’s first time hosting after winning the Big West.

Louisville (8-7-2): Louisville earned an at-large bid out of the ACC. The Cardinals were the only team to beat Georgetown this year. The two could possibly meet again in the third round.

South Florida (10-6-1): The Bulls reached the 48-team field with an at-large bid. On Thursday, they’ll try to advance beyond the first round for the first time since 2012.

No. 11 Marshall (15-2-3): Ranked for the first time since 2001, Marshall’s dream season continues with their first-ever tournament appearance. Postseason soccer is coming to Huntington.

Butler (11-6-2): The Bulldogs open the NCAA tournament in familiar territory against an unfamiliar opponent. Butler and West Virginia will play for the first time on Thursday.

West Virginia (9-8-2): The Mountaineers won the MAC tournament for the first time ever. What’s even more unique is that they didn’t win a conference game during the regular season.

No. 6 Washington (15-3): The Huskies are Pac-12 champions again for the first time since 2013 behind the goalkeeping duo of Sam Fowler and Bryce Logan. The two had the same number of shutouts (11) as goals allowed.

Boston College (8-5-3): What powers Boston College coming into the postseason is its youth. The Eagles’ top three scorers were all freshmen, led by 18 points from Stefan Sigurdarson. 

Yale (13-2-2): For the first time since 2005, Yale is the Ivy League champion. The Bulldogs reached the tournament by setting a program record for single-season wins.

FALL CHAMPIONSHIPS: Full fall selection show schedule | Future championship sites

Wake Forest region

No. 4 Wake Forest (13-4-2): Make it five consecutive years the Demon Deacons are a top four seed. Could this be the year coach Bobby Muuss and company break through?

Maryland (10-7-2): The Terrapins have now won double-digit games for a 26th consecutive season. Two postseason wins would give them 20 appearances in the round-of-16 in that same timeframe.

Iona (14-5-1): How about this for a tournament debut? The Gaels, fresh off a MAAC championship, draw defending national champion Maryland for their first-ever postseason game.

No. 13 Michigan (11-4-5): The Wolverines make their third straight tournament appearance on the back of a 10-shutout season. Freshman Owen Finnerty has allowed three goals in five games since taking over in net.

Notre Dame (10-7-1): The Fighting Irish are in the field for the eighth year in a row after previously facing a quarter of the teams in the 2019 bracket, including four of the top five seeds.

Wright State (10-8-3): The Raiders are making their tournament debut after winning the Horizon League in penalty kicks. They’ll face Notre Dame in South Bend.

No. 12 Saint Mary’s (16-1): The Gaels have one regulation loss in their past 37 games. They’ll look to keep that streak rolling beginning in the second round. 

UC Santa Barbara (12-4-4): California beat UCSB 3-0 on Sept. 7. Since then, the Gauchos have two losses ahead of a first round rematch, the fifth postseason meeting between the programs.

California (8-6-3): The Golden Bears resume was boosted late with wins over Stanford and Washington. The reward? Cal’s first two games are both against in-state opponents.

No. 5 Indiana (14-2-4): The Hoosiers earned the Big Ten’s automatic bid, making this their 44th NCAA tournament appearances, the most of any team in the field.

Kentucky (12-4-3): The Wildcats played Indiana to a scoreless draw in Bloomington on Oct. 9. The two could meet again in the second round with significantly higher stakes.

Loyola Chicago (11-4-4): A win over previously unbeaten Missouri State sent Loyola dancing. The Ramblers, led by MVC player of the year Aidan Megally, will now look to make some noise in their second-ever appearance.

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