Men's Soccer Selected to Host Oakland in NCAA First Round

By Jacob Most
Nov. 17, 2014

Interactive Bracket  Printable Bracket


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 18 Kentucky men’s soccer team was selected to host Oakland University in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. ET at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex.

The winner of Thursday's match will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, for a Round of 32 matchup with third-seeded Michigan State, which received a first-round bye, on Sunday.

Tickets to Thursday's match will go on sale from the UK Ticket Office beginning on Tuesday.

Kentucky, with a 2014 record of W10 L5 D3 (5-1-2 Conference USA), will be making the sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.

Kentucky’s best NCAA Tournament finish was a Sweet 16 in 2000. UK is making its second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three seasons. The Wildcats dropped their most recent NCAA Tournament game, 1-0 to Xavier in overtime in 2012.

Kentucky has now made the NCAA Tournament in two of head coach Johan Cedergren’s three years at the helm of the program. Cedergren reached two NCAA Tournaments in quicker succession than any other coach in UK history.

UK has a 1-5-2 record in the NCAA Tournament.

UK concluded the season 6-2-2 in its last 10 games.

The Wildcats finished second in Conference USA, with a record of 5-1-2. The one loss came at the hands of RPI No. 6 Charlotte by a 2-1 margin.

UK went on a nine-match unbeaten run from Sept. 23 to Nov. 2. The Wildcats were 6-0-3 during that run, including wins over then-No. 21 UAB on the road and against then-No. 9 New Mexico at home.

Kentucky is 3-4-3 against teams that made the 2014 NCAA Tournament, with a resume that includes a win over top-seed and defending National Champion Notre Dame.

Oakland (9-6-3, 5-0-3 Horizon) enters the 2014 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament as the champions of the Horizon League in both the regular season, and the conference tournament champion. This season marks the Golden Grizzlies sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and first since 2010.

OU defeated Wright State 2-1 on Saturday to punch its ticket into the field of 48. Oakland is led offensively by Matt Dudley, who has three goals and six assists this season, while also notching three game-winning goals.

Wes Mink is the full-time starter in the net for OU, who has a GAA of 0.93 and a 9-4-3 record. The Golden Grizzlies have suffered just one defeat in their last 13 matches.

The NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship provides for a field of 48 teams. Twenty-three conference champions qualify automatically; the balance of the field is selected at-large by the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee.

A Conference USA record-tying four men's soccer teams were selected for the NCAA Tournament. C-USA Champion Old Dominion earned the league's automatic bid, while No. 4 Charlotte, No. 18 Kentucky and No. 21 UAB all earned at-large berths.