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Playoff Preview: Wilmington Men’s Soccer Returns to NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament

Playoff Preview: Wilmington Men’s Soccer Returns to NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament

Copyright 2015; WIlmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by James Jones.

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's soccer team received a breathe of fresh air on Monday night when they heard their name called during the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Selection Show.

The Wildcats were selected sixth in the East Region and will square off against third seeded Adelphi in the first round on Thursday afternoon, hosted by second seeded LIU Post. Wilmington is making its third appearance in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament while this is the first time Adelphi has been selected to the tournament as an NCAA Division II member.

Thursday will be the first meeting between the Wildcats and Panthers with the winner advancing to the second round to face host LIU Post on Saturday.

Tickets/Admission for NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:

Adults- $5.00
Students with ID/Senior Citizens- $3.00
Children under 12- $2.00
Children under the age of 2 shall be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Links to Follow the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:

Live Stats:
Live Video (free):
LIU Post Tournament Home Page:
NCAA Division II National Tournament Bracket:
NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Home Page:

Scouting the No. 6 Wilmington University Wildcats:

The Wildcats fell in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Semifinal match, 2-1, to Chestnut Hill on a penalty kick in the first overtime. After nervously watching the NCAA Selection Show, the Wildcats can breathe a second life in the NCAA Tournament, a place they last were in 2013.

CACC Player of the Year Clifford Nwechefom and All-CACC First Team midfielder Lance Berry leads the offense. Nwechefom is tied atop the CACC leaderboards with 17 goals while both Nwechefom and Berry are tied in the top spot with 38 points. Berry is tied for the most assists in the CACC (12) while also scoring 13 goals on the year.

Berry has come on strong of late, scoring four goals and adding three assists in his last three games, amassing 11 total points. Nwechefom has scored three goals and an assist in the past three goals, amassing seven points overall. Nwechefom has tallied at least one point in 12 games this year, including scoring a goal in 12 games as well.

CACC Defensive Player of the Year Adrian Tash and Second Team All-CACC centerback Joe Woodley lead the defensive effort for the Wildcats. The Wildcats boast the best goals against average (0.77) among CACC teams, only allowing 15 goals this year, shutting out their opponents in nine matches.

As a team, the Wildcats are sixth in all NCAA Division II in averaging 2.58 assists per game, 49 total assists, and 161 total points. They are 10th in scoring 56 goals and averaging 8.47 points per game while ranking 11th in averaging 2.95 goals per game. Defensively, the team is 21st with a 0.77 GAA.

Scouting the No. 3 Adelphi University Panthers:

Thursday will be the first NCAA Tournament contest for the Panthers as an NCAA Division II program. The Panthers are coming off a trip to the NE-10 Conference Championship appearance, falling to Southern New Hampshire, 1-0, on Sunday.

The Panthers currently own a record of 13-4-3 after playing as the third seed in the NE-10 Championship. Caelan Hueber leads the team with 25 points behind 10 goals and five assists, also both team-highs. NE-10 Rookie of the Year James Thristino shares the team-best of four game-winners with Hueber. Thristino is second on the team with 18 points, scoring eight goals and adding two assists.

Prior to the loss to the Penmen, the Panthers owned a five-game winning streak, defeating Le Moyne in the NE-10 Tournament Semifinals, 2-0, to advance to the Championship. Adelphia is 10-2-2 since September 23 with their only two losses coming to Southern New Hampshire. They also tied Merrimack, 1-1, and Franklin Pierce, 2-2, during that span.

The Panthers placed six members on the All-NE-10 Teams, led by a trio on the First Team. Midfielder Federico De Oliveira, forward Caelan Hueber, and defender Alejandro Penzini (5G, 1A) were all named First Team All-NE-10. Forward Toni Soler (3G, 2A) was named Second Team All-NE-10 while defender Emil Thomsen earned Third Team All-NE-10 status. Thristino earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team while also being named Rookie of the Year.

Wilmington in the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament:

2009 (0-1): No. 3 Southern New Hampshire def. No. 2 Wilmington, 1-0 (2OT)
2013 (1-1): No. 6 Wilmington def. No. 3 Post, 2-1 (2OT); No. 1 Southern New Hampshire def. No. 6 Wilmington, 3-0

Overall: 1-2

Season and All-Time Records vs. NCAA Division II East Region Opponents:

No. 1 (#3) Southern New Hampshire University Penmen: 2015 – 0-0; All-Time – 1-3
No. 2 (#12) LIU Post Pioneers: 2015 – 0-1 (1-2 (OT)); All-Time – 0-4
No. 3 (RV) Adelphi University Panthers: 2015 – 0-0; All-Time – 0-0
No. 4 (#14) Merrimack College Warriors: 2015 – 0-0; All-Time – 0-1-1
No. 5 Le Moyne College Dolphins: 2015 – 0-0; All-Time – 1-4-1
No. 6 Wilmington University Wildcats

2015 NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament Game Schedule:

(at Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, N.H.)
Thursday, November 12
No. 4 Merrimack (14-3-2) vs. No. 5 Le Moyne (12-5-1) – 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 14
No. 1 So. New Hampshire (17-1-1) vs. Merrimack/Le Moyne winner – 1 p.m.

(at LIU Post, Brookville, N.Y.)
Thursday, November 12
No. 3 Adelphi (13-4-3) vs. No. 6 Wilmington (Del.) (14-5) – 1 p.m.
Saturday, November 14
No. 2 LIU Post (14-2-2) vs. Adelphi/Wilmington (Del.) winner – 1 p.m.