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Coast Guard Academy was rewarded for its successful season Monday with a berth in the ECAC New England Division III men's soccer tournament.
It is the sixth time in the last 10 years that the Bears (11-6-1) made the ECAC tournament.
Coast Guard, the No. 2 seed, opens postseason play by hosting seventh-seeded Western New England College (9-8-3) at 7 tonight, a day earlier than originally planned because of the bad weather expected on Wednesday.
In their last postseason appearance in 2008, the Bears won the ECAC championship. Coach Chris Parsons, who's in his 11th season, has been at the helm for six ECAC trips.
During the regular season, the Bears finished second in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference with a 4-1-1 record and then lost to Springfield, 2-0, in the conference tournament semifinals.
Senior defender Greg Kennerley leads a balanced attack with a team-best 12 points on four goals and four assists while junior goalie Richie Burns (10-4-1) has had a breakout season, posting a 0.85 goals-against-average and four shutouts.
WNEC went 4-3-2 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and lost in the conference tourney quarterfinals to Nichols, 2-1 in OT.
Other first-round matchups are top-seeded Roger Williams hosting No. 8 Lesley, fourth-seeded Norwich playing No. 5 Husson and third-seeded Lasell taking on No. 6 Endicott.
The semifinals and championship will be played on Saturday and Sunday, at the highest remaining seed entering the weekend.
- Gavin Keefe