MEDIA, Pa. -- Penn State Brandywine will be represented by its three fall Penn State University Athletic Conference championship-winning teams at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Fall Championships when they begin on Thursday in Virginia Beach, Va. The Lions' volleyball, men's soccer and women's soccer teams all earned bids to the USCAA Tournaments, while three Brandywine cross country runners will also compete at the USCAA Championships after posting national qualifying times.
Brandywine volleyball (18-0), men's soccer (11-0) and women's soccer (7-0) combined to win all 36 games against PSUAC opponents this fall, while winning all three league crowns. Brandywine will be one of five schools sending all three teams to Virginia Beach.
The Lions won their second PSUAC championship during the last three years, sweeping Penn State Fayette in the title match on Oct. 31. Brandywine rallied from a 12-point deficit by scoring the final 14 points of the third set to claim the 3-0 triumph.
Led by two-time PSUAC Player of the Year Nikki Poissant, Brandywine brings a record of 25-2, the second-highest win total in the nation, into the USCAA Tournament. The Lions, under the direction of first-year Head Coach Fabiana Scavicchio-Fields, own the longest active winning streak in the USCAA at 19 matches.
Brandywine is seeded eighth in the 10-team national tournament. The Lions are members of Pool A, along with No. 1 Florida National, No. 4 Illinois Tech, No. 5 Carlow and No. 9 Maine-Fort Kent. Brandywine will play each team in the pool with the top four advancing to the national quarterfinals on Friday evening.
The Lions open play Thursday morning against Florida National at 9:30 am and then face Illinois Tech at 2:00 pm. Brandywine closes out pool play on Friday versus Maine-Fort Kent (9:30 am) and Carlow (2:00 pm). During Brandywine's 2015 appearance at the USCAA Tournament, the Lions recorded the final nine points of the third set to rally past Maine-Fort Kent for a 2-1 victory. Brandywine will be meeting its additional three opponents for the first time.
Brandywine, which completed its second-straight undefeated run through the PSUAC this fall, lost just once in 12 matches overall (10-1-1) entering the USCAA Tournament. Brandywine bested Penn State Schuylkill 5-0 on Nov. 1 to earn its second consecutive PSUAC title in the team's third season as a varsity program. The Lions feature seven first team all-conference standouts, including two-time PSUAC Player of the Year Brianna Banks.
Seeded ninth in the 12-team field, PSUAC Coach of the Year Michelle Jacquette's team will be aiming for its first-ever win at the national tournament. The Lions dropped both matches during pool play last season as the No. 9 seed despite taking first-half leads in both matches.
Brandywine's tournament run begins on Friday morning at 10:00 am against No. 4 Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The Lions, members of Pool D, will also face No. 5 Johnson & Wales (N.C.) on Saturday at 10:00 am. Brandywine will be facing both of its opponents for the first time and does not have any common opponents with either team this fall. The top team from Pool D advances to the national semifinals on Sunday morning.
Brandywine makes its fourth trip to the USCAA Tournament this week after winning four of the last five PSUAC championships. In a rematch of last year's title game, top-seeded Brandywine ousted No. 3 Penn State Hazleton 3-1 on Nov. 1 to clinch its second-straight conference crown.
Entering the USCAA Tournament, Brandywine owns a 16-3 overall record under the direction of second-year Head Coach Jesse Zafiratos, who was named PSUAC Coach of the Year for the first time last week. The Lions' current 12-game winning streak is tied for the longest in the USCAA with fellow national tournament qualifier Florida College.
Brandywine is the No. 10 seed and will be a member of Pool B along with No. 3 Florida National and No. 6 Johnson & Wales (N.C.). The Lions open the tournament Friday at 2:30 pm against Florida National and then battle Johnson & Wales at the same time the following day. While Brandywine will be facing Florida National for the first time, it has already seen Johnson & Wales this season. The Lions dropped a 4-0 decision on their home field to the Wildcats in September during the teams' first meeting. Brandywine and Florida National both faced Penn State Beaver this fall with Brandywine posting a 6-1 triumph over Beaver, while the Conquistadors rolled 11-0 at Beaver.
Brandywine will be sending three student-athletes to compete at the USCAA National Championships on Friday morning.
Junior John Li earned his third all-conference award following an eighth-place finish at the PSUAC Championship on Oct. 28 and will be making his third appearance at the national level. Li, who owns seven of the top 10 8K times in program history, finished 82nd at last year's national championship, improving on his freshman time by 1:47.
Freshman A'Nasia Love will represent the Brandywine women's team as she also finished eighth at the PSUAC Championship to earn her spot in Virginia Beach. Love will be the first woman from Brandywine to compete at the USCAA Championship since 2015 when the Lions won the PSUAC title for the first time and qualified to run as a team. Love's top 6K time this fall came at the PSUAC Championship as she clocked in at 33:40.
Freshman Brendan Cleary also qualified to run at nationals after posting the top 8K time in school history during the Lions' home meet on Oct. 7. Cleary's time of 28:58 was the second sub-30-minute 8K time run by a Brandywine student-athlete since 2011.
The women's national championship will be run at 9:30 am on Friday, while the men's will follow at 10:30 am.
January 2, 2018 Forty-One Student-Athletes Earn PSUAC Fall All-Academic Honors
November 14, 2017 Eight Fall Student-Athletes Claim USCAA National Academic Team Honors
November 13, 2017 Freshman Duo Lands USCAA Soccer All-American Awards
November 11, 2017 Lions Drop Season Finale 3-1 To Johnson & Wales
November 10, 2017 Brandywine Downed By Florida National At USCAA Tournament
November 8, 2017 Brandywine’s Fall Conference Champions Set For USCAA Championships
November 1, 2017 Brandywine Men’s Soccer Continues Reign As PSUAC Champion
November 1, 2017 Three Brandywine Athletes Earn Final PSUAC Fall Weekly Awards
October 30, 2017 Fall Teams Headed To State College For PSUAC Championships
October 28, 2017 Men’s Soccer Rolls Into PSUAC Title Match With 5-0 Triumph
October 26, 2017 Brandywine Hosts New Kensington In PSUAC Semifinals Saturday
October 24, 2017 Riebman Secures Third PSUAC Player Of The Week Award
October 20, 2017 Lions Top Williamson 7-1 To End Regular Season
October 17, 2017 Crochunis, Scott-Norris Land PSUAC Weekly Awards
October 14, 2017 Brandywine Secures Top Seed In PSUAC Tournament On Senior Day
October 7, 2017 Lions Best GA In First-Place Showdown
October 4, 2017 Brandywine Rides Big Second Half Past Hazleton
October 3, 2017 Riebman Lands Third PSUAC Player Of The Week Selection
September 30, 2017 Lions Continue To Roll With 7-1 Victory At Mont Alto
September 28, 2017 Brandywine Runs Away From Schuylkill Behind Big Second Half
September 27, 2017 PSUAC Names Riebman Player Of The Week
September 25, 2017 Eight Players Score In Men’s Soccer Triumph Over York
September 23, 2017 Riebman Nets Three In Victory Over New Kensington
September 21, 2017 Johnson & Wales Tops Brandywine 4-0
September 19, 2017 Brandywine Shuts Down Rosemont
September 16, 2017 Lions Bounce Back With 3-1 Triumph At Bryn Athyn
September 13, 2017 Men’s Soccer Freshmen Earn National Awards From USCAA
September 13, 2017 Brandywine Downed In Final Minutes By Delaware Valley
September 5, 2017 Brandywine Tops Gwynedd Mercy 2-1 In Home Debut
September 2, 2017 Brandywine Edges Pitt-Greensburg 2-1 For First Win
September 1, 2017 Saint Vincent Ousts Brandywine In Overtime
August 30, 2017 Brandywine Fall Teams Kick Off 2017 Seasons Friday
August 4, 2017 Men’s Soccer Announces 2017 Recruiting Class
July 11, 2017 Coaches Corner: Men's Soccer Coach Jesse Zafiratos