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Forum staff reports, Published November 10 2009

Women's soccer: Cobbers get berth in D-III playoffs

Concordia has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III women’s soccer tournament and will play Dubuque (Iowa) on Saturday in the first round.

The game will be played at Macalester College in St. Paul. Macalester (13-5-2) plays St. Scholastica (17-3-2) on Saturday. The winners of those games will play Sunday in the second round.

The No. 7-ranked Cobbers (16-0-2) were hoping to host in the NCAA, but likely lost that chance when they didn’t make it out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals.

Macalester was the runner-up in the MIAC tournament.

“It’s a little bit tougher of a situation because of our location. The NCAA has a 500-mile rule,” Cobbers coach Dan Weiler said. “I think what it came down to is that they (the NCAA) wanted to give us the advantage to play some of the lower ranking teams in our region.”

Concordia was ranked No. 1 in the final North Region rankings. Macalester was ranked No. 2. St. Scholastica and Dubuque (15-5-1) weren’t ranked in the top seven in the region.

“We wanted to be at home, but what’s more important is the selection that we got,” Weiler said. “I feel that the draw we got was one of the best ones in the MIAC for sure. … I think our draw is the best it’s been of the three times we’ve been in the (NCAA) tournament.”

A record four MIAC teams made the NCAA tournament. Concordia, Macalester, St. Thomas and MIAC tournament champion Carleton.

“I was a little surprised,” Weiler said. “I thought we would get three. The four was a little bit unpredictable.”