For the third straight year, Pacific men's soccer clinched a berth in the NCAA Tournament. It was announced during the NCAA Selection Show that the Tigers earned an at-large bid and will host UC Riverside on Thursday.
Pacific went 11-4-2 this season with wins over top-25 opponents California and Portland as well as a win over Stanford on the road when the Cardinal was the top team receiving votes in the poll. Pacific's road to the College Cup, which is in Santa Barbara this year, will take them through UC Riverside. Sixth-seeded Duke awaits the winner of Thursday's match.
The Tigers earned the right to host in the first round for the second-straight season. Last year, the Tigers played host to Cal State Fullerton in a game which they won 2-1. Thursday's match against Riverside will be the second between the two teams at Knoles Field this year. Pacific won the first matchup on Sept. 6, 3-1, with goals from senior Camden Riley, junior Jonathan Jimenez and freshman Jose Sosa.
Since that match, UC Riverside went on to post a 7-9-3 record and went 4-2-1 in the Big West. The Highlanders ran through their conference tournament with wins over Fullerton and UC Davis on penalties in the Championship game.
With a win, the Tigers will take on Duke in Durham, North Carolina who went 10-6-2 on the season and 5-3 in the ACC. The Blue Devils defeated Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament's opening round but fell to No. 4 North Carolina in the semifinals, 2-1.
Pacific takes on UC Riverside at Knoles Field, where the Tigers are 7-2-1 this year and 1-0 in NCAA Tournament matches, on Thursday to open up their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in the five years since the program was brought back to Pacific. The time of the match is currently to be determined but will be released in the coming days. For more information regarding Pacific Men's Soccer, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram at @PacificMSoccer.