IU earns 5th-overall seed in NCAA Tournament

Indiana earned the No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face the winner of Monmouth-Xavier at home Sunday at 1 p.m. Read on for reaction from head coach Todd Yeagley and senior defender Patrick Doody.

The Indiana men's soccer team earned the No. 5 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host the winner of Monmouth-Xavier Sunday at 1 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

"Very excited," senior defender Patrick Doody said. "That's the highest seed that I've ever had in my four years. It shows that the hard work we put in in the regular season paid off."

Indiana earned a first-round bye in its 39th NCAA Tournament appearance.

In addition, 11 of the 18 teams IU faced in the 2014 season earned an a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers went 7-4-3 against those teams.

"Our schedule was one of the toughest in the country," Yeagley said. "And I think our committee continues to reward teams that do that."

Indiana finished the regular season 12-4-5 and fell to Maryland 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament title game. Its seeding is the highest since 2007 when it earned the No. 4 seed.

Xavier enters the tournament following a 2-1 loss to Providence in the Big East tournament final. It has a similar balanced scoring attack to IU with 10 different players accounting for the team’s 30 goals.

Should Xavier advance, it would be the second-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament between the two programs. The first came in the 2012 NCAA Tournament when the Hoosiers came away victorious 4-1.

IU faced Xavier earlier in the season in the first exhibition match of the season for both teams. The Muskateers won the exhibition 1-0 on a goal by junior midfielder Alex Ridsdale.

However, should IU face Monmouth, it would be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

Monmouth won the MAAC Tournament championship 2-1 over Fairfield on a golden goal from sophomore forward Dave Nigro, who is second on the team in goals scored with five.

”Don’t know much about Monmouth, but I know Xavier’s a great side,” Doody said. “It’ll be a tough game Sunday.”

Should Indiana advance on Sunday, it could potentially face Creighton in a rematch of the 2012 NCAA College Cup semifinals. The Hoosiers defeated the Bluejays 1-0 in that game.

IU also has the chance to face familiar opponents from the 2014 season.

No. 4 seed Maryland and No. 13 seed Louisville were both teams IU has faced this season. The Hoosiers defeated the Cardinals 3-0 in Louisville, Ky., in what was considered a big road win on the season. The same success can’t be said of IU’s matchup’s with Maryland, though, as it is 0-2 against the Terrapins this season, losing 2-1 at home on Oct. 19 and 2-1 in the Big Ten Tournament final on Nov. 16.

Another familiar opponent on the other side of the bracket and potential matchup could be against Saint Louis. The Billikens fell to the Hoosiers 3-1 in Bloomington on Oct. 1.

For the matchup to happen, Saint Louis would have to beat Tulsa in the first round then Louisville in the second round. IU would have to beat either Xavier or Monmouth, depending on who advances, in the second round.

The Hoosiers aren’t focused too far ahead in the tournament, though, but recognize the possibility of facing well-known opponents.

”One game at a time,” Doody said. “But that would be a fun matchup.”

Sunday’s game will mark Indiana's 28th-straight appearance in the Big Ten Tournament.

"I'm really proud of this group," Yeagley said. "It's not easy to achieve a five seed. They deserve this.

"It's now a new season. The number is what it is, and now we just got to go and get going."

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