BUIES CREEK — For the third time in four seasons, Campbell is heading to the NCAA men’s soccer tournament. The Big South Conference regular season and tournament champion Camels (15-3-2) will travel to Virginia Tech (10-5-3) for a 6 p.m. match Thursday.
The winner of Thursday’s match will play at 11th-seeded West Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 21.
Ranked No. 29 in this week’s College Soccer News national poll, the Camels carry a 10-match unbeaten streak (9-0-1) into Thursday’s contest following Sunday’s 3-2 win over High Point in the Big South final in Buies Creek.
“We’re glad to be in the tournament, excited to play at Virginia Tech in a great environment and looking forward to the task at hand,” said Big South coach of the year Dustin Fonder of CU. “We want to show off our brand, and the best way is to get into the national tournament; that always helps build the program. But we’re even more excited for the guys who are here and now who get to play in an NCAA tournament and feel what that’s all about.
Campbell enters Thursday’s play as the nation’s second-leading scoring offense (2.7 goals per game) and tops in the 48-team field. Entering the postseason, CU leads all Division I programs in total goals (54), assists (56) and points (164), while rating second in goal differential (35) and 12th in won-lost-tied percentage (.800).
Big South offensive player of the year Tyler Young finished with a league-leading 27 points on nine goals and nine assists. Big South all-conference, all-freshman and all-tournament team member Kemy Amiche is second in the league with 25 points (7G, 11A) and rates fifth in the country in assists. Jake Morris (5G, 8A, 18 pts.) and Daniel Hernandez (8G, 1A, 17 pts.) stand tied for fifth and seventh, respectively, among Big South leaders.
Junior center back Bissafi Dotte was named Big South defensive player of the year after anchoring a defense that allowed less than a goal per game (0.95). Holding midfielder George Bediko was chosen as Big South tournament MVP after the Camels outscored their two opponents by a combined 10-2.
Camel keeper Edu Rodriguez had his personal shutout string snapped at 617 minutes during the first half of Sunday’s Big South final. He leads the league in goals-against average (0.89) and is second in shutouts (6).
In its last trip to the NCAA College Cup, the Camels won 3-1 at No. 15 James Madison in the 2019 first round before falling at top-ranked Virginia 2-0 in the second round. Campbell made its first postseason appearance in 11 years in the 2018 tourney, when it fell 4-1 at NC State in the opening contest.
Campbell, which made its first NCAA postseason appearance in 2007, stands 1-3 all-time in NCAA tournament play.
The Hokies, who are ranked No. 27 by College Soccer News, are one of five teams to make the tournament each of the last six seasons, joining Maryland, Washington, Wake Forest, and Indiana.
During the regular season, Virginia Tech defeated top-ranked and defending national champion Marshall and finished 3-4-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
In Blacksburg, the Hokies stand 7-1 at Thompson Field. Those results included overtime wins against Virginia and eventual ACC champions Notre Dame.
Virginia Tech is 10-7-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Hokies earned an overtime win against Oregon State before falling in penalties to No. 6 Seton Hall in the Sweet 16.
Tickets to Thursday’s NCAA tournament first-round match between Virginia Tech and Campbell will be available on site for $10 to the general public and $5 to fans ages 18 and under.