11/22/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/22/2019 11:42
However, when it comes to their first-ever appearance in the 'Big Dance,' the 12th-ranked and unbeaten Knights don't want the historic feats to end with simply receiving a bid.
Bellarmine (16-0-4) will be seeking its first-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament when the second-seeded Knights host seventh-seeded Cedarville (12-3-7) in the Super Region 3 quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.
'We set our goal for the regular season at 13 wins and felt like this would give us a chance to ultimately play in the NCAA Tournament,' Knights Coach said. 'I believe the guys have revisited the goalsetting and would like to have some success in the NCAA Tournament.'
By earning one of the top 2 seeds in its Super Regional, Bellarmine, along with one-seed Lake Erie, will face a team that opened the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Cedarville met 10th-seeded Parkside at Frazier Stadium and advanced after winning a penalty kick shootout, 5-4, following a scoreless tie to end regulation and two overtimes.
'Cedarville looks like a really good team,' Chastonay said. 'I was very impressed with them last night.'
Cedarville went 7-2-5 in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play and was the G-MAC Tournament runner-up as the three-seed after getting edged 1-0 by fourth-seeded Tiffin in the finals. The Yellow Jackets advanced to the title game with a 3-0 win over second-seeded Ohio Valley.
Cedarville owns one of Super Region 3's most impressive regular-season victories after the Yellow Jackets triumphed 1-0 over then-No. 5 Lake Erie on Oct. 16. Cedarville is 5-1-1 over its last seven matches - its NCAA Tournament opener officially is considered a tie.
Five players were selected to the All-G-MAC teams for Cedarville. Midfielder Sammy Kilimann (eight goals) and defender Zac Muir received first-team honors, while midfielder Pedro Alvares (four goals, seven assists), forward Gui Fernandes (seven goals) and goalkeeper Carter Selvius (0.69 goals-against average, nine shutouts) garnered second-team accolades. Kilimann and Muir were named second-team All-Midwest Region by the D2CCA.
'They are well coached and very disciplined,' Chastonay said. 'They are very hard to score on with a good backline and very solid goalkeeping. They create chances on goal a number of different ways. This is a tough matchup for our team.'
After already setting program records for overall wins and conference victories, not to mention an unbeaten regular season, Bellarmine added another unprecedented accomplishment when the Knights captured their first GLVC Tournament title after defeating Lindenwood 8-2, No. 17 Maryville 2-1 and No. 24 McKendree 3-2.
'I thought we performed very well at times last week in the GLVC Tournament,' Chastonay said. 'We made some mistakes and conceded some goals, but we had great responses, which won us the two games. We were able to score from the run of play and from set pieces. It was great to see all the hard work and commitment these guys have put in all season earn them a championship. I think they truly deserved it last weekend.'
Bellarmine advanced to the GLVC Tournament finals the last two seasons, but the Knights are in unchartered waters when it comes to the NCAA Tournament.
'We don't have any players with any experience in the NCAA Tournament, so things will be difficult,' Chastonay said. 'We have known in every game up until now that we had another game to play. This is different territory and we will need to be very prepared for Saturday.'
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