#2 Men's Soccer Set to Host #14 SNHU in NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 PM in Rindge

#2 Men's Soccer Set to Host #14 SNHU in NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 PM in Rindge

First 300 Franklin Pierce students who show their college ID at the gate will have the cost of their ticket covered, courtesy of SGA and Friends of Franklin Pierce Athletics

RINDGE, N.H. (November 14, 2011) -- Two of the nation's top men's soccer teams will be squaring off on Saturday night when #2 Franklin Pierce University plays host to #14 Southern New Hampshire at 7 p.m. in Sodexo Field in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament. The winner will punch its ticket to the Final Four, which will be held Dec. 1-3 on the campus of the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

Tickets for the game are $8 for adults, $4 for students (must show their school ID) and senior citizens, and $1 for children (ages 2-12 years). Children under two years of age will be admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult. The first 300 Franklin Pierce students who present their valid University ID at the gate will have the cost of their ticket paid for, courtesy of the Student Government Association (SGA) and friends of the Department of Athletics.

Franklin Pierce (20-0-1) is making its second-consecutive appearance in the national quarterfinals. The Ravens' 20 wins this season are a program record for most victories in a year, while its 21-consecutive matches without a loss is also a program record. Franklin Pierce, seeded first in Super Region 1 of this year's national tournament, is fresh off a satisfying 5-0 triumph over St. Thomas Aquinas this past Saturday in the second round.

Senior midfielder Paul Latif (Newcastle, England) turned in one of the finest performances in program history as he scored two goals and assisted on two others for a six-point evening. Junior forward Greg Giguere (East Bridgewater, Mass.), sophomore midfielder Gareth Dudney (North Andover, Mass.) and junior William Holland (Londonderry, N.H.) also chipped in offensively for the Ravens with a goal apiece. Classmate Vinny Papageorgiou (Wilmington, Mass.) needed to make just one save in net to earn his fourth-straight shutout victory while also running his record to 20-0-1 on the campaign. Franklin Pierce's defensive effort was just as outstanding as it's offensive effort as the Ravens limited St. Thomas Aquinas to just two shots in the match (one per half).

SNHU (18-3), seeded second in Super Region 1, enters Saturday's quarterfinal match-up after dispatching of third-seeded C.W. Post, 2-0, in the second round on Sunday. Chris Tsonis and Jordan Branco each scored to spark the Penmen offensive attack, while Jon Mayo (making his first start of the postseason in goal) made one save to earn the shutout victory.

Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire are no strangers as Saturday's meeting will be the third this season between the two schools. The Ravens have won the two previous meetings, including a 2-1 overtime triumph in Manchester on Sept. 17, and a 1-0 victory in the Northeast-10 Championship in Rindge on Nov. 6.

In the regular season meeting at SNHU, Giguere and senior back Tom Reilly (Wallasey, England) scored to lead the Ravens. Reilly scored the match's first goal and Giguere scored the overtime-winner with just four minutes remaining in the extra session to lift the Ravens to victory. Papageorgiou made seven saves to earn the victory in net. Tsonis scored the only goal for the Penmen in the setback.

In the NE-10 title match, Latif scored the only goal of the contest in the 53rd minute to secure the Ravens second-straight conference championship. Both teams played strong defense throughout the 90 minutes limiting the other to just six shots. SNHU was able to muster just one shot on goal, but it was stopped by Papageorgiou to preserve the victory.

Saturday's meeting will also be the 60th all-time match between the schools with SNHU leading the series by a count of 30-22-7. Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire will also square off in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight year as the two met in the 2010 second round with the game being played to a 1-1 draw. The Ravens, though, advanced to the quarters via a 4-1 advantage in penalty kicks.

A Franklin Pierce win on Saturday night would send the Ravens to their fourth Division II Final Four in program history. The 2011 Ravens would join the 1991, 2005 and 2007 Raven teams as the only ones in program history to do so. The 2005 squad advanced all the way to the national championship match before falling to Fort Lewis, 3-1, while the 2007 team clinched the first NCAA title in program history by downing Lincoln Memorial 1-0 in the finals. 

Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire have a storied rivalry in several other sports as well. The two schools won't just meet on the pitch Saturday night, but also on the ice during the afternoon leading up to the NCAA contest. The Ravens men's ice hockey team will play host to SNHU at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Jason Ritchie Ice Arena on the campus of The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass.

Saturday night's soccer match will be broadcast via live audio on the radio (WFPC-LP FM 105.3) and on the internet (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu).

For more information on Franklin Pierce men's soccer, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceAthletics).