IU soccer earns No. 3 seed for NCAA Tournament

Fresh off completing the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championship double for the third straight year, the Indiana men’s soccer team was awarded the No. 3 overall seed for the 2020-21 NCAA Tournament, which will be played entirely in Cary, N.C., and surrounding areas starting April 29.

The postseason field consisted of just 36 teams this season, making for just 14 at-large selections to go with the 22 automatic qualifiers, which included the Hoosiers following Saturday’s penalty-kick shootout win over Penn State.

IU (9-1-1) will be making its 34th straight NCAA appearance and the 45th in program history, extending the longest active streak in the nation.

“We are really pleased that we were able to receive the No. 3 seed,” Indiana coach Todd Yeagley said in a release. “I think that reflects the body of work that the team put together. It is very well deserved. Now, we will look forward to the challenge of whoever we play in our first game. We are just excited to be in the field and be honored with the third seed.”

The top four seeds — No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Pittsburgh, No. 3 Indiana, and No. 4 Stanford — will open play against the winner of a first-round game that will pare the field to 32. The Hoosiers will await the winner between Milwaukee (8-4) and St. Francis Brooklyn (5-1-2). IU’s second-round match will take place on May 2 at 5 p.m.

Since the NCAA began its current seeding format in 2003, the Hoosiers have now earned a top-16 seed in 16 of the 18 tournaments and a top-8 seed 11 times.

IU will be seeking a record 21st College Cup appearance and is in search of a ninth national title and its first since 2012 despite College Cup appearances in 2017 and 2018.

The unique setting for this year’s tournament prevents Indiana from hosting matches as would normally be the case for a top-four seed, but the NCAA is offering 25% capacity fan attendance for the postseason with ticket information available at ncaatickets.com.

Two other Big Ten teams — Penn State and Maryland — made the NCAA field. Neither are in Indiana’s region. As a matter of fact, the field features a wider cross-section of matchups due to the centralized location that meant the NCAA men’s soccer committee wasn’t bound by regional constraints, although actually selecting teams was difficult with the lack of cross-conference matchups.

“(We) did a little more national seeding than we’ve been able to do in the past due to travel restrictions,” committee chair Chris Schneider said during the selection show. “… This year the committee relied on regional advising committees made up of coaches from the conferences within the region (to select the field).”

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