PARK RIDGE, ILL - Two Big Ten teams earned berths to the 2006 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship as announced today by the Division I Men's Soccer Committee. Northwestern will both host and compete in first round action, while Indiana received a first-round bye after being awarded the No. 7 seed.
Indiana (14-4-2) was awarded the No. 7 seed overall and will host a second round game after winning the Big Ten Tournament against Ohio State, 1-0 in Columbus, Ohio. The Hoosiers are making their 20th straight NCAA appearance and will square off against the winner of first-round action between Loyola, Ill., (11-7-2) and Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois (14-5-1). IU has never faced the Ramblers who are making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament after winning an automatic bid by taking the Horizon League title. The Hoosiers have produced an all-time winning record of 3-0-1 against Northern Illinois.
In first round action, Northwestern (14-5-1) will make its second trip to the NCAA in three years after the Wildcats made their first ever appearance in the NCAA's in 2004.This year Northwestern started the season 7-1 en route to the school's highest ranking (No. 14) back in September. The Wildcats defeated four ranked teams including Hofstra, UC-Irvine and the school's first win over OhioState in 13 years. Northwestern hosts Cincinnati (11-5-2) Friday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Leonard B. Thomas Athletic Complex in Evanston. The winner will move on to face No. 11 seed Saint Louis (13-4-2) Wednesday, Nov. 15 in St. Louis, Mo.
The 48th annual NCAA Division I Men's College Cup will be played December 1 and 3 at Robert M. Hermann Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. The 2004 NCAA champion Hoosiers have won seven titles while the Wildcats are making a trip back to the NCAA tournament after a one year hiatus.