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Big South Champion Liberty Draws Old Dominion for NCAA Championship
The 2011 Big South Champion Liberty Flames will square off against the Old Dominion Monarchs in the opening round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship, the NCAA selection committee announced earlier this afternoon.
The Flames, who enter the championship with an 11-6-2 mark, will travel to Norfolk, Va., Thursday to face the Monarchs, 12-5-1, at the ODU Soccer Complex. A time for the match has yet to be determined. The winner of the contest will face the tournament's No. 16 seed, the Indiana Hoosiers, Sunday at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
Liberty earned the Big South's automatic bid with a 3-1 victory over Gardner-Webb in the conference championship game, yesterday at Greene-Harbison Stadium in Boiling Springs, N.C. The Flames will enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten in five straight (4-0-1) contests. During their run to the Big South title, Liberty halted a 13-game winning streak by No. 9 ranked Coastal Carolina, who also made the NCAA field.
It will be the second trip to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship for the Flames. In 2007, Liberty captured its first Big South title, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Flames have posted a double-digit win total for the fifth consecutive season, outscoring their opponents, 38-19, on the year. Liberty posted a Big South-high eight shutouts on the seasons.
Old Dominion, ranked 18th in the country, earned an at-large berth to the tournament. The Monarchs fell to Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship game, 2-1, yesterday. Old Dominion will enter the contest unbeaten at home (7-0-1) this season.
The contest will be the first meeting between the two squads in soccer since 2001 and is one of 16 first round matches to be played on Thursday. The 2011 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship will culminate with the College Cup, December 9 and 11, at Regions Stadium in Hoover, Ala.