Seton Hall men’s soccer wins first Big East title in 30 years, punches ticket to NCAA Tournament
The Seton Hall men’s soccer team is preparing to make its first NCAA Tournament appearance in more than a decade after coming off a historic conference championship.
When the final horn sounded in the Big East Championship game earlier this month, reality set in for the team.
“Being one of the local guys, being able to help contributed to something that’s very big in history for Seton Hall, 30 years since we last one the Big East Championship, it just means so much,” says junior Maurice Williams.
The Pirates upset second-ranked Georgetown 2-1 to capture their first Big East title since 1991. It earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It was Georgetown’s first conference loss since October 2018.
“Just not for the program, I think for the whole university and athletic department, all the struggles everyone has been having and what we’ve been going through, to do that after 30 years and who we did it against, unbelievable,” says coach Andreas Lindberg.
This is the first time since 2006 that Seton Hall has qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates are the sixth overall seed and will face Air Force in the second round.
“Just keep staying together. We have to mentally stay sharp, not look down at any opponent and just give it our all every single match,” says junior JP Marin. “Take one match at a time.”
All tournament games will be played in North Carolina as a safety precaution. And after everything the team has been through – including a postponed season and several COVID pauses – the players say that they are prepared to overcome anything.
“We’re very resilient, a lot of things come at us. But we can take it, we show that we can take it,” says Williams.
“We have to prepare to be there for three weeks. We want to go to try to win a national championship and I don’t think there’s anybody going down to the tournament to take part. We want to take over,” says Lindberg.
Seton Hall and Air Force kick off NCAA Tournament play this Sunday at 8 p.m. in North Carolina.