Pitt, Penn State earn first-round byes in NCAA men’s soccer tournament

Pitt and Penn State earned first-round byes as the NCAA revealed the bracket for its men’s soccer tournament Monday.

Pitt, seeded fifth, will host the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between Northern Illinois and Oakland in the second round Sunday.

Penn State, seeded 12th, will face the winner of Thursday’s first-round game between Hofstra and Lipscomb in Sunday’s second round.

Should the Panthers and Nittany Lions advanced past the second round, they will play each other in the third round. Pitt defeated Penn State, 1-0, on Sept. 13.

Pitt is in the NCAA field for the third consecutive season and has a first-round bye for the second straight year. The Panthers went 11-5-1 in the regular season and at 5-2-1 in conference play, tied Duke for the top spot in the ACC Coastal.

Penn State, also making its third straight NCAA appearance, won the Big Ten tournament title with a 3-0 victory over Indiana last Sunday. The Nittany Lions went 13-6-1 in the regular season and had the top record in the conference at 6-2.

Penn State’s women’s soccer team also qualified for the NCAA tournament, defeating Monmouth, 3-1, in a first-round match. The Nittany Lions will face third-seeded Southern Cal in the second round Friday.

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