MSoc: Gauchos to play Penn State in NCAA tourney

UCSB will play host to Penn State in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament on Sunday at 6 p.m., at Harder Stadium.

Penn State defeated St.Francis of Brooklyn, N.Y., 1-0, in a first-round match Thursday night at State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions scored in the first half and shut down St. Francis in a physical match.

Penn State (12-5-2) won the Big Ten regular season championship and has one of the top defenses in the country, led by 6-foot-6 goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton. The Nittany Lions have allowed only 16 goals.

Penn State is in the tournament for the first time since 2010 in coach Bob Warming’s first year. Warming formerly coached at Creighton. His teams are noted for being solid defensively, tough and organized.

UCSB, the No. 10 seeded team in the tournament, received a first-round bye. The Gauchos, 12-5-3, are making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 12 years. They hold an 11-1 record in tournament matches at Harder Stadium.