The USCAA has released the brackets for the 2016 USCAA Men’s and Women’s Soccer National Championships. The championships will head to Virginia Beach, Virginia as part of the first-ever USCAA Fall Championships Week event, the name for the combined USCAA cross country, volleyball, and soccer national championships. Soccer tournament play will take place at the Princess Anne Athletic Complex and Virginia Beach Sportsplex in the heart of Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state of Virginia.
The PAAC facility has recently undergone an extensive renovation, and USCAA teams will be among the first to play on the all-new turf fields. The fields also have brand-new scoreboards and lighting. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex will be the largest stadium to ever host USCAA Soccer National Championship games. The Sportsplex is a three-level concrete structure with a 6,000-person seating capacity and complete with turf field, lighting, oversized scoreboard, and club suites.
The location and facility aren’t the only changes in store for the 2016 National Championships. The USCAA has adopted a world cup pool-play format for the event, expanding the men’s and women’s field to 12 teams and constructing it as four pools of three, with each pool winner advancing to a single elimination semifinal bracket to determine the National Champion.
The men’s field features multiple teams returning from last year’s tournament, including defending National Champion and 2016 #1 seed, University of Maine-Fort Kent. Last year’s runner-up, Bryant & Stratton College-Syracuse, will also return as the #3 seed in this year’s field. After an undefeated season, Florida College earns a trip to Virginia Beach as the #2 seed, the highest in school history. The last team headlining a pool will be #4 Dean College, making their first trip to the tournament in the school’s first year as a member of the USCAA.
Dean College will face a tough test in their pool due to the presence of another first-time tournament participant, #5 Florida National University. The Conquistadors of Florida National completed their regular season with just one loss, to a top-ranked NAIA program. Joining Bryant & Stratton College-Syracuse in Pool B will be #6 Penn State Brandywine, or the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) champion. After completing a perfect regular season in conference play, Brandywine is the heavy favorite to secure the sixth seed. SUNY Delhi returns to the field for a second straight year as the #7 seed after a 12-4 regular season. Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) champion SUNY-ESF secured the eighth spot in the field with their first conference championship and a 7-3 record against USCAA foes.
Rounding out the pools will be #9 Berkeley College-New Jersey, Yankee Small College Conference champion #10 University of Maine-Machias, #11 Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS), and #12 College of St. Joseph’s-Vermont making their first trip to the Soccer National Championships.
In the women’s soccer tournament, the #1 seed will also feature the defending National Champion, University of Maine-Fort Kent. A perennial contender, the SUNY-ESF Mighty Oaks will be seeded second after joining the men in capturing the HVIAC conference championship. SUNY-ESF’s conference rival, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, will be the #3 seed after a 10-5-1 regular season in which they split with the Mighty Oaks. Leading Pool D will be Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse, making their third straight appearance in the USCAA Women’s Soccer National Championships.
Cleary University will make their debut in the women’s soccer field, securing the #5 seed with a 10-3 record. They’ll be followed by Florida College at #6, with the Falcons heading to Virginia Beach after earning their first bid since the 2013 tournament. The Yankee Small College Conference Champions, NHTI, secured the seventh seed in the field after an impressive 15-1 regular season record. The #8 seed will go to Alfred State College, with the Pioneers punching their third-straight ticket to the USCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship.
The rest of the women’s soccer field will feature the winner of the PSUAC as the ninth seed. Penn State Brandywine is the current favorite in that tournament as well, scheduled to be finished on November 2nd. Washington Adventist University will return to the field as the #10 seed, following by first time participants #11 Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte and #12 SUNY Delhi.
Tournament play begins on Thursday, November 10th at 10:00 AM with action in Women’s Soccer Pool B and D. Men’s soccer begins later in the day, with Pool B and D kicking off at 2:00 PM. Championship games are scheduled for Monday, November 14th at 12:00 PM (women) and 2:30 PM (men). All times are eastern standard.
All games from the tournament will be broadcast live at the soccer tournament website, soccer.theuscaa.com. Commentary will be included for the semifinals and final games. Standard streaming will be free of charge and high-definition games can be purchased for $6.95. Click below to view full brackets with seeding and times, and be sure to the follow all of the action from the tournament on the USCAA Soccer National Championship Website.