The UNCW men’s soccer team is hoping to use prior experience to its advantage when the Seahawks host Presbyterian Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Current Seahawks seniors played a big role in UNCW’s 2-0 win over Bucknell in 2014, the last time the program made the NCAA tournament.
“Definitely one of my favorite games that I have ever played in,” said Kalvin Kromer, who scored the game-winning goal against Bucknell.
Seahawk seniors are eager to tell their teammates about the experience.
“They have been asking us what it’s like,” senior Brayden Smith said. “We are hoping to see a lot of people out here again just like against Bucknell.”
More than 2,000 fans packed the UNCW Soccer Stadium to cheer the Seahawks to victory in 2014.
Head coach Aidan Heaney said he will never forget that game.
“It was an unbelievable atmosphere, and one of the best nights that we have had here since I have been with the program,” Heaney said.
UNCW will take on a Presbyterian team that won the Big South tournament title, but has just six wins.
“Sometimes you start out slower, but you get things rolling,” Heaney said about the Blue Hose. “That appears to be the case with them, and we are not underestimating them by any stretch.
“They are in the NCAA tournament, and you can’t look past anyone in this tournament,” Smith added. “They are here for a reason. We are not looking past it. We know they are going to give us a good defensive game, and we are going to give it to them.”
The winner of Thursday night’s contest will advance to take on North Carolina Sunday.
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