JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Following its fourth-straight South Atlantic Conference regular season title and a fourth-consecutive trip to the league championship match, the 16th-ranked Eagles received the No. 2 seed in the Southeast Region as announced by the NCAA during the Division II Women's Soccer Championships selection show on Monday, Nov. 5.
The 56-team bracket was announced by the NCAA Monday evening, with the top two seeds in each region earning the right to host opening weekend slated for No. 9 and 11.
The postseason berth marks the 11th NCAA Tournament appearance for the program and its fourth-straight following a 14-4 campaign. C-N is 16-10 all-time in NCAA tourney matches and is expected to turn heads entering the tournament after an illustrious 2017 season in which the team earned a No. 1 seed and a trip to the National Championship finishing the year at 21-1-1, the best in its history.
Based on opponents played in 2018, C-N has had the toughest schedule of any other team in all of Division II. The overall record of each opponent combined during the year sits at 176-96-14 with a win percentage of .640.
"Same excitement, same nerves as last season," Coach Simon Duffy said. "Just very thankful that we are in it. We definitely play differently at home and I think that's a great motivation for us in order to go get that trophy. It is one game and one step at a time. We need to show up or you go home. I hope our crowd can give us that extra lift and push we need."
The Eagles hold a 12-4 home record all-time in NCAA tourney games.
"Just being at home its nice being in our own beds and not have to worry about classes and school work on the road," Alex Brandan said. "We have a lot of seniors so that gives us a lot of drive to continue to play now that it is one and done. It's really important for us to have the crowd cheering us on."
Duffy returns nine of his 11 starters from a year ago and will have plenty of experience moving into tournament play with a handful of his seniors have earned the right to play in the postseason in every year of their Eagle career.
C-N will be matched up against South Atlantic Conference foe Catawba College who the Eagles will face for the third time this season after pushing past the Indians in the league semifinal.
"Catawba plays really good football and we expect them to give us a hard fight," Magda Mosengo said. "They're doing great things and they want to keep doing great things but equally so are we. We'll expect a fight but we'll bring the reaction to the table as well. I just hope the same energy we had last year is here this year and the crowd comes out and supports us."
Game time from McCown Field is slated for Friday, Nov. 9 at 2:00 p.m.