Embry-Riddle takes two top seeds into soccer playoffs

The Embry-Riddle soccer teams are both No. 1 seeds in their bids to reach this month's National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Tournament.

The men's team enters the playoffs ranked No. 18 in the NAIA; the only of the four soccer sides to carry a national ranking into this weekend's Cal Pac Conference Tournament at California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif. The Eagles have won six of their last seven matches, with the only loss over that span coming in a one-goal setback to La Sierra (Calif.) University on the regular season's final day.

ERAU opens the Cal Pac tourney with the top seed, according to the NAIA's ranking formula. The Eagles will face 4-seed Simpson out of Redding, Calif., in Friday's first semifinal match at 4 p.m. The nightcap pits 3-seed Menlo (Calif.) against 2-seed William Jessup (Calif.) at 6 p.m.

The two winners meet Saturday at 6 p.m. for the right to compete in this month's NAIA National Tournament in Montgomery, Ala., starting Nov. 26.

Embry-Riddle (12-2-3 overall record, 2-0-2 Cal Pac South) is in its first season in the Cal Pac. The Eagles' first-round opponent, Simpson, sits at 6-9-2 overall after a 5-2-1 trip through the Cal Pac North.

Menlo ran the table in the North division (12-3-3, 8-0 Cal Pac North) and is the defending conference men's champions. Marymount enters the fray at 9-5-4 overall and 2-1-1 in the Cal Pac South.

The Riddle women, meanwhile, take their No. 1 seed into Friday's Cal Pac Tournament semifinal against 4-seed UC Merced (6-6, 2-4 Cal Pac North), out of Northern California's San Joaquin Valley. The Eagles (12-4-2, 4-0 Cal Pac South) closed the regular season with five wins and a tie in their final six matches.

Their match starts Friday at 4 p.m. on the campus of Soka University in Aliso Viejo, Calif.

The day's second semifinal features 3-seed Menlo (Calif.) (12-5, 3-3 Cal Pac North) against 2-seed William Jessup (Calif.) (12-3-2, 6-0 Cal Pac North) at 6 p.m.

The two winners meet in Saturday's Cal Pac title game at 6 p.m., with the last team standing punching its ticket to nationals in Orange Beach, Ala., later this month.