December 15, 2012
FDU men 20th in final NSCAA rankings
The Fairleigh Dickinson men capped a successful season by finishing 20th in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings.
The Knights, who finished at 11-6-6, also took 17th place in the final College Soccer News poll and No. 16 in the final Top Drawer Soccer rankings.
"It's very satisfying to see the team rewarded with these top-20 rankings in the final national polls,” FDU coach Seth Roland said. “This achievement does not come without an immense amount of commitment, focus and determination.”
FDU completed one of the most successful seasons in the program's history after advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division I Tournament for the second time since 2000, having reached the Elite Eight in 2001.
The Knights went on the road and defeated No. 18 St. John's, 1-0, and No. 12 Saint Louis, the eighth overall seed, 2-1, in extratime before losing in extratime at defending national champion North Carolina, the No. 5 team in the country and the ninth overall seed, 1-0.
“The guys worked extremely hard this past year and set the bar high in order to challenge themselves to bring FDU soccer back to national prominence,” Roland said. “That goal has been accomplished, and we proved our mettle by defeating two top-20 programs on their home turf in the NCAA Tournament and then going toe-to-toe with the defending national champion before losing in overtime."
FDU, the Northeast Conerence champions (6-1-3), won an unprecedented seventh conference title and sixth since 2000, while becoming only the third NEC team to win games in the NCAA tournament. Only the 2001 FDU team (wins over Boston College, Princeton and Seton Hall) and the 2007 Central Connecticut side (victories over Harvard and Tulsa) had won.
In NCAA tournament play since 2000, the Knights own a 5-5-1 record, with the one tie coming in 2002 when FDU used a shootout to advance to the second round after a 1-1 draw with Holy Cross.
"We speak in the locker room often that if you want to be a great program, a nationally prominent program, that you have to beat the top teams in the country,” Roland said. “That's the path to excellence, and it is easier said than done. However, the guys committed themselves to making that happen this year, and we are proud to be counted once again as one of the best programs in the nation."