Niagara Gazette

Sports

November 15, 2012

NU knows what's ahead

Niagara Gazette — The Niagara men’s soccer team is playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s 43-year history, but its leader has been there before. 

Second-year head coach Chase Brooks reached this level as an assistant with Dayton and Northern Illinois, so he knows what it takes to compete for a College Cup.

“Soccer this time of year isn’t always pretty,” Brooks said after viewing Monday’s selection show with his team. “It’s about the team that is going to work the hardest, do the little things right and take their chances. Mistakes are gonna happen in this game. It’s about who capitalizes on them.”

That’s the style the Purple Eagles (13-1-4) have taken into every matchup this season.

“We don’t have the star players,” Brooks said. “We have the guys that are down in the ditches digging, going to work every day and not afraid to play anybody in the country.”

Niagara opened its season with a draw at Pittsburgh and later won at Syracuse, another NCAA tournament team.

The first Western New York team to reach the NCAA Division I tournament since Buffalo State in 1970, Niagara won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship on Bryan Da Cruz’s double-overtime goal. Senior Rene De Zorci was the MAAC defensive player of the year and sophomore Callum Willmott leads the team with eight goals on the year.

“Every game we have somebody new that steps up, somebody new that’s the hero,” Brooks said. “So you can’t tee off on one of our guys or stop one of our guys. They really do have to watch every single player on our team.”

The Purple Eagles will play their first-round game at 7 p.m. tonight at Michigan. If they win, they will play No. 5 seed Akron, a recent national champion and one of 16 teams that received a first-round bye.

Michigan received an at-large bid after going 10-9 this season and losing in the Big 10 championship game to Michigan State. The Wolverines are 3-0 all-time in first-round games and 7-3-1 at home this season. This is the first time the two schools have met.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page