Brown Takes on #25 Fairfield in First Round of NCAA Tournament
Providence, RI- The Brown University men's soccer team (10-4-3) will host No. 25 Fairfield University (12-4-1) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 17 at Stevenson Field in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears, 2011 Ivy League co-champions, are making their 26th appearance in the tournament and their sixth in the last seven years.
Fans who are unable to attend the first round matchup can watch free live video exclusively on brownbears.com courtesy of America ONE Networks. Also, live stats will be offered via GameTracker (available at kick-off), and play-by-play announcer Mike Rubin and color commentator Mike Mancuso will be calling the action from Stevenson Field on Brown Internet Radio.
In NCAA Tournament action, the Bears are 31-25-2 overall, and are coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Bears currently boast a 7-3 all-time record against Fairfield, but have never played in the post-season.
Senior forward TJ Popolizio (Rexford, NY) leads the Brown attack with eight goals, including four game-winners, and two assists for 18 points in the year. Also helping out in senior forward Sean Rosa (Montreal, Quebec) with 10 points on four goals and two assists, and Austin Mandel with five points apiece on two goals and one assist.
Brown's defense has allowed just 14 goals this season, with Sam Kernan-Schloss (Arlington, VA) leading the way in goal. He has allowed just seven goals this season as his goals against average ranks seventh in the nation (0.55) and is tied for 16th with a .841 save percentage.
Seven Bears recently received All-Ivy honors, with senior Rob Medairos (Stafford, VA) and junior Dylan Remick (Inverness, IL) earning First Team accolades. Earning Second Team All-Ivy honors was Eric Robertson (San Antonio, TX), senior Taylor Gorman (Freeport, ME) and Rosa, and earning Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors was Popolizio and senior Evan Coleman (Amherst, MA).
Fairfield earned a berth to the NCAA tournament after capturing its fourth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship. The Stags swept three games at Disney's Wide World of Sports, defeating Rider in the quarterfinals, Marist in the semifinals and Manhattan in the championship game. Jack Burridge scored four goals in the tourney, including all three in the title game, to earn the MAAC tournament most valuable player award.
Jordan Ayris remains the team's top scorer with 23 points, scoring a goal in 10 of his 17 appearances this year. He picked up a goal in two of the MAAC tournament games, including the game-winning score against Rider. He tallied six game-winning goals this year, one of five student-athletes to tally a game winner this year.
The staple of this team has been its defense, which is illustrated by the fact that three defensive players earned a spot on the MAAC All-Tournament team. Goalkeeper Michael O'Keeffe as well as defenders Adam Cowen and Jack Cleverley were selected to the team. O'Keeffe also collected the MAAC defensive player of the year award. O'Keeffe has allowed two goals in the last seven games, lowering his goals against average to 1.06.