The entirety of this year’s NCAA men’s soccer tournament will be played in North Carolina, and seven Carolinas teams will chase the trophy.
COVID-19 pushed the 2020 tournament to the spring, and Monday, the NCAA announced pairings for its national championship tournament.
Last week, the NCAA Division I oversight committee approved a proposal to have all 36 men’s teams to play the entire tournament in North Carolina. The women’s tournament will also be played in the state.
Both will conclude with national championship games May 17 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
Only 36 men’s teams made the 2021 field, down from the usual 48. Eight teams will play in the first round April 29 (click here for full bracket).
Here are the pairings for Carolinas teams:
▪ The top overall seed is Clemson (13-3-2), the two-time national champions who are in the tournament for the 33rd time. Clemson will play the winner of Jacksonville and American.
▪ High Point (12-1) will play No. 8 Georgetown in a second-round game.
▪ Wake Forest (11-2-2) is a No. 5 seed and will play Coastal Carolina (9-4-2), which won a bid last fall.
▪ North Carolina, which missed the 2019 field, earned an at-large berth. The Tar Heels (7-4-3), two-time national champions (2001, 2011) will play the Charlotte 49ers (6-3-1). The 49ers are in the tournament for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
Charlotte, Wake Forest and UNC were among 14 schools receiving at-large bids.
▪ Southern Conference champion UNC Greensboro (9-2-2) has a first-round game with Denver (6-2-2).
Games will played at Campbell, East Carolina, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Greensboro and Wake Forest. Off-campus sites for tournament matches include Bryan Park in Greensboro, J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex in Wilson, the Matthews SportsPlex and WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.
The maximum allowable capacity for fans at games is 25%.
▪ Tournament dates: April 27-28 (women’s first round); April 29 (men’s first round); April 30-May 1 (women’s second round); May 2 (men’s second round); May 5 (women’s third round); May 6 (men’s third round); May 9 (women’s quarterfinals); May 10 (men’s quarterfinals); May 13 (women’s semifinals); May 14 (men’s semifinals).
NCAA men’s soccer tournament games and schedule
First round, April 29
Jacksonville vs. American, 6 p.m., at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem
Denver vs. UNC Greensboro, 6 p.m., at UNC Greensboro
Milwaukee vs. St. Francis, 6 p.m., at UNC Wilmington
Bowling Green vs. Monmouth, 6 p.m., at Bryan Park in Greensboro
Second round, May 2
Kentucky vs. New Hampshire, noon, at Bryan Park in Greensboro
High Point vs. George Town, noon, at Matthews Sportsplex
Fordham vs. Marshall, 1 p.m., in Wilson
Maryland vs. Missouri State, 1 p.m., at UNC Wilmington
Penn State vs. UMass, 1 p.m., at UNC Greensboro
Wake Forest vs. Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m., at Winston-Salem
Marquette vs. LMU, 1 p.m., at WakeMed Field in Cary
Oregon State vs. Virginia Tech, 4 p.m., at Bryan Park in Greensboro
Washington vs. Grand Canyon, 4 p.m., at Matthews Sportsplex
UNC vs. Charlotte, 5 p.m., at WakeMed Field in Cary
Stanford vs. UNCG/Denver, 5 p.m. at UNC Greensboro
Clemson vs. Jacksonville/American, 5 p.m., at Wake Forest
Indiana vs. Milwaukee/St. Francis Brooklyn, 5 p.m., at UNC Wilmington
Central Florida vs. James Madison, 5 p.m., in Wilson
Air Force vs. Seton Hall, 8 p.m., at Matthews Sportsplex
Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green/Monmouth, 8 p.m., at Bryan Park in Greensboro