[VIDEO] PREVIEW: 2013 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament -- George Mason vs. William and Mary

The Mason men's soccer team was honored during the men's basketball game on Tuesday night (photo by John Irwin).
The Mason men's soccer team was honored during the men's basketball game on Tuesday night (photo by John Irwin).

After defeating Virginia Commonwealth University in a dramatic 3-2 overtime win to advance to the final game of the Atlantic 10 Championship, and defeating St. Louis for the title, Mason men’s soccer team will now face another former conference rival – the College of William and Mary – in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Soccer Championship.

Unlike Mason, the Tribe (11-5-2) lost the final of their conference’s championship 1-0 to Drexel University, but secured a spot in the tournament through an at-large bid. The Tribe has shown more effectiveness in attack than the Patriots, scoring 29 goals thus far in the season (as opposed to 25 for Mason). Twenty-one of these goals were spread among four players – Jackson Eskay, Chris Albiston, Chris Perez, and Josh West – who combined for 19 assists as well.

However, the Patriots have the statistical advantage in defense. The Tribe’s goalkeeper Mac Phillips, who started in all 18 of his team’s games, and the backline in front of him have conceded 18 goals. In comparison, Mason’s Steffen Kraus has taken the ball out of his net only 13 times in 19 games.

The two teams have a long history of contests, with Mason leading the all-time series 24-17-4. However, the six contests in the last five seasons are split right in the middle. One of Mason’s wins includes the 1-0 triumph in the 2008 CAA conference championship final, the Patriots’ last conference title before the one they earned this season.

The luck of the draw determined that William and Mary will host the match and the winner will face the University of New Mexico in the second round of the tournament on Sunday, Nov. 24. Kick-off in Williamsburg, Va. is set for today at 7 p.m.

Fourth Estate spoke with a few Mason players at the Field House yesterday morning before the team left for Williamsburg: 


Video by Marcus Miller. 

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)
Student Media Group: