INDIANAPOLIS – Following its seventh South Atlantic Conference Championship, the second-ranked Eagles received the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Region for the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championships.
It marks the 10th NCAA Tournament appearance for Carson-Newman. They are 12-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and have advanced to the Elite Eight three times and have made two Final Four appearances in 2004 and 2005.
"Just really excited for the girls for this coming weekend," Coach Simon Duffy stated. "We have a couple days to recover, but it was a long day waiting to see where we would end up."
The Eagles earned an automatic bid to the tourney on Sunday, when they defeated Wingate 4-0 in the SAC Tournament title game, winning their third-straight conference title, joining the Catawba College Catawba Indians as the only team in league history to win three-consecutive championships.
C-N (17-0-1) finished the regular season and the league tournament unbeaten, a feat that has never been done in the history of the conference.
The Eagles also became the first team in the history of the league to win three-straight regular season titles and three-straight league championships in the same span. The win marks a record of 51-5-2 in the past three years, excluding NCAA Tournament play.
The 48-team bracket was announced by the NCAA Monday evening, with the top-two seeds in each region collecting a bye and a home game in the playoffs.
Carson-Newman was selected as the No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA Tournament just two years ago, a team which featured five current Eagles in Alex Brandan, Jessica Fratiure, Helen Seed, Holly Talbut-Smith and Averi Williams.
"It makes it pretty easy for me as a coach when you have people who have been there before with the experience, including assistant Jules Herrity," Duffy added.
The 2009 team also earned a No. 1 seed after a winning the SAC Championship with an overall record of 18-2-1. That team made it to the NCAA Quarterfinals before bowing out to the top nationally ranked West Florida Argonauts by a final of 2-1.
"It's really exciting for us with how hard we've worked this season," Williams mentioned. "I can't wait to see how far we can go. The fans are crucial to us, so it's extremely important that they come watch us play!"
"The experience with our group is really good," Seed said. "It's good to have them and Jules with us, and it will be important to have that home field advantage and the bye. Hopefully people will come out and support us."
The Eagles await the winner of four-seeded UNC-Pembroke (15-4-1) and five-seeded Queens (N.C.) who play each other on Friday at 2:00 p.m. at McCown Field.
C-N has never played SAC-foe Queens in the NCAA tournament, though they hold the advantage in the series history 8-3.
The Eagles have played UNC-Pembroke once in the NCAA tourney in the 2008 earning a 1-0 victory. They have only played the Braves one other time, and that came during the regular season in 2010 in a 2-1 loss.
The Braves collected the Peach Belt Conference title defeating Southeast Region No. 2 seed Columbus State 1-0.
The Royals fell to Anderson in the quarterfinals of the SAC tournament, but an 11-2-3 overall record was enough to squeeze them in.
Game time for Sunday's match is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start.