AKRON, Ohio – Amidst one of the greatest seasons in program history, the No. 1 nationally-ranked University of Akron men's soccer team was awared a No. 5 seed for the 2012 NCAA Tournament by the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee Monday.
As a top-eight seed, the Zips (17-1-2) earned a first-round bye and the right to host at least two NCAA Tournament games. UA, the 2012 Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament champions, will face the winner of Thursday's Michigan (10-9-1)/Niagara (13-1-4) first-round match-up at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
It is the seventh time the Zips, who will be looking to return to the College Cup for the third time in four seasons, have been seeded and the sixth consecutive year they have advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Akron was the No. 3 seed in 2010, No. 1 seed in 2009, No. 5 in 2008, No. 14 in 2007, No. 9 in 2005 and No. 15 in 2003. The Zips captured the school's first team national championship in any sport in 2010 and was the NCAA runner-up in 2009. UA has advanced to the Round of 16 in each of the last four seasons.
When Akron takes the field Sunday, it will mark the school's 27th appearance in the NCAA postseason all-time.
Also seeded in the Zips' region are No. 4 Connecticut (15-3-1), No. 12 Creighton (15-3-2) and No. 13 New Mexico (16-3-1). The remaining top-four seeds went to No. 1 Notre Dame (16-3-1), No. 2 Maryland (17-1-2) and No. 3 Georgetown (17-3-1). The 2012 College Cup will be played at Regions Field in Hoover, Ala., on Dec. 7 and 9.
Tickets for Sunday's match are on sale now and can be purchased on-line at GoZips.com/tickets, on the phone at 1-888-99-AKRON (25766) or by visiting the C.P. and Cornelia S. Chima Athletics Ticket Office at InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field (located at the southwest corner of the venue, near Gate 1, at the corner of East Exchange and South Union streets).