MEDIA, Pa. -- Student-athletes from four of Penn State Brandywine's fall teams will be in Virginia Beach, Va., later this week as the Lions' men's and women's soccer and men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships.
Brandywine men's soccer will look to repeat as USCAA national champions after claiming the campus' first-ever title last season, topping Johnson & Wales (N.C.) 1-0 in a dramatic overtime thriller. Coming off its fourth-consecutive conference championship, Brandywine earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament.
A winner of 16 matches this fall, Brandywine opens pool play with a familiar opponent in Berkeley College (N.Y.) on Nov. 9 at 4:45 pm. The Lions and Knights have faced off twice in the last calendar year, including a USCAA Tournament pool play game in 2018. Brandywine defeated Berkeley 1-0, using a late second-half goal to claim the championship opener for both teams. The Lions staked themselves to a 2-0 lead when the teams met in Media earlier this fall, but Berkeley struck three times during the second half to prevail, 3-2.
Following the match with Berkeley, Brandywine has fewer than 24 hours to prepare for its final pool play game when it battles Southern Maine CC on Sunday at 2:15 pm. That will mark the first meeting between the teams.
The winner of Pool A will face the winner of Pool B, comprised of Johnson & Wales, Berkeley (N.J.) and Penn State Beaver, Monday for the USCAA National Championship.
Brandywine women's soccer, seeded fifth, will also face a familiar foe during its opening game. In a rematch of last year's national championship match, the Lions begin their tournament run against Cincinnati-Clermont Friday afternoon. UCC, the No. 1 seed, claimed a 2-0 victory behind a pair of first-half scores to secure the title.
Following a day off, Brandywine will be back in action Sunday against the No. 4 seed, Southern Maine CC. Like the men's side, the national title game will be played Monday afternoon between the winner of Pool A and Pool B, which features Johnson & Wales, SUNY ESF and Warren Wilson.
Brandywine earned a spot in the USCAA Tournament by landing the automatic bid from the Penn State University Athletic Conference after winning the league tournament. The Lions overcame a late deficit to force overtime and Brianna Banks, the four-time PSUAC Player of the Year, scored less than two minutes into the extra session to clinch Brandywine's fourth-straight league title.
Brandywine cross country will be represented by three national qualifiers in sophomores Brian Abel and Catharine Mooney and freshman Alex Rosenberry. Abel and Mooney both qualified for the second consecutive year for the national championships, which will be run Friday morning at 10:00 am at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.
Mooney became Brandywine's first-ever conference medalist after taking first place at the PSUAC Women's Cross Country Championship on Oct. 28. She smashed the school record 6K time, finishing in 24:59, nearly two minutes faster than her closest competitor. Last season in Virginia Beach, Mooney ran to 30th place, the top finish ever by a Brandywine woman at the national championship.
Abel also broke a school record at the PSUAC Championship, breaking his own 8K mark with a time of 25:55, finishing as the conference runner-up. He will look to improve on a 24th-place finish at the national championship during his freshman season when he posted a time of 28:38, which was the third-fastest in school history at the time.
Rosenberry landed first team all-conference accolades as he finished fifth at the PSUAC Invitational. His mark of 26:10 is currently the second-fastest in school history. Rosenberry has had a strong rookie campaign with three top-10 showings and two of the five quickest 8K marks in team history.
Live stat links for all of Brandywine's postseason matches can be found at www.psubrandywineathletics.com.
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