Men’s Soccer Readies for NCAA Finals at UT

Published: Dec 1, 2008
The University of Tampa men’s soccer team will look to capture its fourth national championship this week as the team competes in the NCAA II Soccer Championship, which is being held at UT.

Both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals will be held from Dec. 4-7 at UT’s Pepin Stadium.

UT will face Cal State-Dominguez Hills in the men’s semifinals on Friday, Dec. 5. A full listing of game times and ticket information is available at the UT Athletics Web site. Each finals game will also be televised live on CBS College Sports.

UT was chosen to host the championships, in part, due to the school’s location in a warm climate as well as the high quality of its athletic facilities and the athletic department’s experience in hosting postseason events, said Gil Swalls, UT’s associate athletic director.

“All of it combines to make for a good experience and an opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful campus and athletic facilities,” Swalls said. He added that UT’s soccer field was also renovated during the past summer in anticipation of the championships.

UT men’s soccer Coach Adrian Bush said the team recognizes that it is going in as an underdog. “We are approaching this game just as we have each game this year – one at a time.”

Bush credited a demanding game schedule and the team’s winning attitude toward each game for their success in a year that brought 16 new players after losing eight of 11 starters from last year’s team.

Thus far, the Spartans have assembled a record of 18-3-1, marking a consistent improvement in their overall performance since 2004. Most recently, the team overcame a two-goal deficit against Tusculum College for a 3-2 double overtime win in the national quarterfinals.

“It is nice to come back home after being on the road for the last month with elimination games on the line,” Bush said. “I know the community and school support will be huge, but our players are the ones responsible for getting it done on the field.”

Among UT’s star players are Ryan Thompson, Dan Ingvarsson, Ryan Maxwell, and Pascal Milien – all of whom received numerous honors throughout the 2008 season, including placement on the NCAA South Region Tournament Team.

UT athletic teams have captured a total of 12 national championships, most recently in baseball (2006, 2007), volleyball (2006), and women’s soccer (2007). Men’s soccer has previously taken the national title in 1981, 1994 and 2001.

For more information about UT Athletics, visit www.tampaspartans.com.