NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time in program history, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team is dancing in the NCAA Tournament as the bracket was announced Monday on NCAA.com.
The Bisons will travel to Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday where they will take on the Butler Bulldogs in the first round at the Sellick Bowl. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (CT) and will be streamed live on Facebook Live via the Butler Bulldog FB page.
“It’s definitely exciting to see your name pop up, especially when it’s the first time,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “We are excited to play Butler. It will be a tough game because they are a good opponent, but we have a lot of homework to do since we don’t know a whole lot about them.”
The winner of the match will travel to No. 16 overall seed VCU on Sunday. As a national seed, the Rams earned a bye in the first round.
Lipscomb (11-7-2) clinched its first-ever berth to the tournament after capping a magical two-week run through the ASUN Tournament by downing Jacksonville, 2-1, on its home pitch in the Championship match on Saturday.
“It’s awesome,” senior Scout Monteith said on Lipscomb finally making it to the NCAA Tournament. “I’ve been here five years and every year we’ve been saying this was our year. To finally hear our name come up, it was a dream come true.”
The Bisons are led by strikers Logan Paynter and Ivan Sakou. The former leads the team and ranks second in the ASUN with nine goals and 23 points. He also has five assists and four game-winning goals.
“We really want to keep focused on what we are doing,” Paynter said. “We know that if we play the way we are capable, we can play with anyone, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is. We are just excited to get back to work.”
Sakou was named the ASUN Championship MVP after pouring in three goals to lead the vaunted Lipscomb attack. He has totaled eight goals, two assists and 18 points in his senior campaign.
Butler (12-4-2) won the BIG EAST regular season after finishing 8-1 in league play. They are ranked 14th in the NCAA RPI standings as of Monday. This will be the first-ever meeting between Lipscomb and Butler.
The Bulldogs offense starts with sophomore Brandon Guhl. The forward leads the squad with 10 goals and 24 points. His four assists are third on the team.