After their trophy-laden summer in Ocean City our Nor’easters players have continued the winning habit back at their colleges, with no less than five teams with players from the 2013 squad advancing into the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Drexel: Nor’easters - Ken Tribbett and Michele Pataia
After their victory against highly ranked William and Mary in the final on Saturday, Drexel enter the NCAA Tournament as Colonial Athletic Association Champions. Drexel’s two Nor’easters helped them to a 9-7-4 record as both players started 18 games, with Michele contributing one goal and four assists whilst Ken has scored four goals and set-up another two on his way to being named on the All-Championship team.
Drexel begin their NCAA Tournament campaign against Old Dominion at 6pm on Thursday evening, with a game against no.6 seed Georgetown on Sunday the reward for the winner.
George Mason: Nor’easters - Zak Haapaoja and Timi Mulgrew
After an overtime winner from Timi in the Semi-Finals got them there, George Mason defeated number one seeded Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Championship Final to seal the title on Sunday. Mason enter the tournament on the back of a 12-2-5 record with both of their Nor’easters stars playing a large part in their success. Zak has started all 19 games, providing one assist and playing a major part in the Mason Defense’s nine shutouts for the season so far. Timi has been influential higher up the field, with his three goals and three assists for the season contributing to his selection in the All-Tournament Team.
George Mason play Drexel’s vanquished opponents William and Mary in the first round at 7pm on Thursday and will be looking to move on to play seventh seed Mexico Lobos in the second round on Sunday.
Bradley: Nor’easters - Brian Billings and Scott Davis
A Scott Davis assist combined with a Brian Billings shut-out saw the Bradley Braves secure their third Missouri Valley Conference Championship title on Sunday evening as they defeated Missouri State 1-0. Brian has played all but one of the team’s 21 games this season, recording 98 saves and 9 shoutouts as he was named MVC Tournament MVP. As well as that crucial assist in the final to ensure Bradley’s passage into the NCAA tournament, Scott has played 18 games and his energy and drive have been a key part of the team’s success this year.
Bradley will play a familiar foe in their first round game as they take on Northwestern, who they have already defeated in the regular season after an overtime winner secured a 3-2 victory. The winner of that game will move on to play fourth-seeded California on Sunday.
Coastal Carolina - Nor’easters - Shawn McLaws
A 2-0 victory over Liberty on Sunday secured Coastal Carolina’s 12th Big South Tournament Championship and took them into their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament. Shawn’s performance in the final epitomised his importance to the team over the season as his last-ditch clearance off the line in the second half protected Carolina’s lead and ensured they secured the title. In his junior year, Shawn has started 20 games so far and provided two assists whilst being a key part of a Chanticleers defense which has had 10 shutouts this season. These performances led to Shawn being named Defensive Player of the Year in the Big South Conference whilst taking a place on the All-Conference Team.
Coastal Carolina will now host East Tennessee State on Thursday evening with the winners moving on to take on 13th seed Charlotte on Sunday.
University of Pennsylvania - Nor’easters - Markhus ’Duke’ Lacroix
Duke Lacroix’s eighth goal of the season helped Penn to an 8th Ivy League Championship as they defeated Harvard 2-0 in the final on Saturday. Duke has been a crucial part of Penn’s success (8-8-1) this year, adding three assists to his goals for the season and completing over 1000 minutes in his 16 starts. His great form led UPenn to the Ivy Conference Championship and helped him win the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and 1st Team All-Conference honors.
Duke will now be looking to add to his goal tally for the season against fellow Nor’easter and Providence goalkeeper Keasel Broome on Thursday evening as the teams meet in Pennsylvania, with the winner moving on to play Maryland on Sunday.
Providence- Nor’easters - Keasel Broome
After penalty shootout heroics from Keasel in the semi-final to get them there, Providence fell just short in the Big East Championship as they lost 3-2 to Marquette in the final on Sunday. Despite this defeat the team still move forward to the NCAA Tournament after earning an at large bid and will take on Duke Lacroix’s University of Pennsylvania this Thursday.
Keasel will be looking to continue his excellent personal form into the tournament, having started all 20 of Providence’s games this year and recording 5 shutouts, 55 saves (one coming in the semi-final shooutout against Georgetown) and even managing one assist!
Photos courtesy of Philly Soccer Page.