The men and women’s soccer teams both earned a place in their respective NCAA Division II soccer tournaments, something never before achieved in the history of the school.
The women’s team knew they were locked into the tournament, as the Lady Jackets received an automatic bid for winning the G-MAC tournament.
Heading into the conference tournament, Cedarville was a four-seed. But after the women’s team won their first game, they traveled to West Virginia and defeated top seed Davis & Elkins in overtime, 1-0, then knocked off Ursuline, 1-0, to punch their ticket to the national tournament.
“We kind of had to climb the hill, had to go through the past three G-MAC champions, and had to go against three teams that we didn’t have winning records against,” head coach John McGillivray said. “But we felt that if we played our best, we could win, and obviously, the girls brought their A game, and they got it done.”
The six-seed Lady Jackets will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 12 to play Truman State, a three-seed. If Cedarville passes this test, they will continue on to play two-seed Bellarmine.
McGillivray praised his players for the way they carried themselves off the field.
“They’re good players, they love each other, they love the Lord, they challenge me with their walks with Christ, just how they go about doing things, how they live their lives and how they challenge each other,” he said. “They’re awesome. Incredible, fantastic young ladies.”
The men’s team, however, was not guaranteed a spot in the tournament, despite winning their conference and the conference tournament.
The Jackets are a four-seed and will play Thursday, Nov. 12, in Kansas City, Missouri, against five-seed Quincy. If the Jackets win, they will face one-seed Rockhurst.
Head coach Bret Faro said he was confident his team would receive a bid because of the work the team had put in during the season.
This at-large bid has come after years of patiently waiting, Faro said.
“I’ve foreseen this the last three seasons, and we haven’t gotten in, so I think this is just a culmination of good year after good year, continuing to do the little things right, and believing that sooner or later we were going to show up in the bracket,” he said. “I thought we could do it. I was a little unsure how this team was going to continue to develop because we got a lot of new guys, so that’s been good to see.”
Faro said he likes his team’s chances of winning games in the tournament.
“We’ve talked all year about trying to become a team that could not only get in but also win games, and I think we’ve put ourselves in a good position to do that,” he said. “Every game in the tournament’s going to be tough, but I think this team is more than capable of making some noise.”
Jonathan Gallardo is a senior journalism major and sports editor for Cedars. He loves writing fiction, listening to metalcore and watching basketball. His favorite cinematic character is Gollum.