Mizzou earned its fifth NCAA Tournament berth on Monday
Nov. 5, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou soccer team is headed back to the NCAA Tournament as the Tigers earned the fifth NCAA Tournament berth in program history and the first since the 2008 season, the NCAA announced on Monday. The Tigers will host the Illinois Fighting Illini in the first round at Walton Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
"We're excited. We were fortunate enough to have won enough games to host," Head Coach Bryan Blitz said. "Illinois is a good team. We know them well, they know us well. They're well coached so it should be a good game."
The 2012 berth marked the fifth time the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament, as the squad also made the field in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008. Mizzou is 2-3-2 all-time in the Tournament and has a record of 3-1 in NCAA first round games. The squad has advanced to the second round in their last three berths, with wins over Eastern Illinois (1-0) in 2003 and Evansville (2-0) in 2008. The Tigers posted a 1-1 tie against SEMO in 2007 but advanced, 2-0, on penalty kicks.
Missouri earned its berth with a 14-7 overall record, including wins over No. 11 Memphis and No. 15 California, as well as four victories over teams ranked in the top 27 of last week's RPI. The 14 wins also ties the second-best single-season total in program history.
The Fighting Illini own a record of 10-8-3 and are coming off a 2-1 loss to No. 21 Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference championship game on Sunday. They are 2-5 against top 25 teams this season, with wins over No. 3 Penn State, No. 24 Michigan.
Mizzou and Illinois have met eight previous times on the pitch, with the Tigers owning a 4-3-1 mark in the series history. The last meeting between the schools came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ended in a 1-1 tie, with Illinois advancing to the round of 16 on penalty kicks.
To purchase tickets to the NCAA first round, call the Mizzou ticket office at 1-800-CAT-PAWS.
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