Men Take The Third Seed In NCAA Tourney

The Saint Louis University men’s soccer team has an opportunity unlike any other: to host three soccer matches on its home turf in the 1999 NCAA Tournament. The Billikens grabbed the No. 3 seed in the tourney field, sitting behind Duke and Indiana. SLU, with a record of 16-3-2, will play the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames (17-3-0) in the first round of the tourney on Sunday at noon at Hermann Stadium.

“We might never have the opportunity to play all three games at home on our way to the Final Four,” Warming said. “You’ve got to realize what you’ve got and take advantage of the present situation because you never know, it may never happen again.”

The Bills earned the No. 3 seed, despite dropping a 4-0 contest to UAB on Sunday in the Conference USA Tournament championship game. The loss to the Blazers was the second defeat the Bills suffered to UAB this season.

SLU knocked off Cincinnati 3-2 in four overtimes on Friday night to advance to the final.

“We had to play a team that was on fire,” Warming said. “In the long run. it was the best thing to happen to our conference.”

If SLU would have won the tournament, there would have been only one C-USA team in the NCAA tourney. UAB became the second team from C-USA with the tourney win.

In the UAB game, SLU dominated the first 22 minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net. Because the game was televised, a timeout occurred at the 22-minute mark. UAB picked up the pace after the break. In the 26th minute, the Blazers’ Josh Brinkley scored to put UAB up 1-0.

The Bills kept applying pressure after the goal. SLU had three one-on-one chances from Jeff DiMaria, Dominic DaPra and Jack Jewsbury and a close shot from Jason Mims, but all four couldn’t hit the back of the net.

UAB scored in the 65th minute to go up 2-0. After that goal SLU pushed everyone up for a chance to trim the lead, but UAB countered with another goal the 87th minute.

But Warming is looking forward to Sunday’s game at noon against the Flames. The Flames got into the field of 32 by beating Fairfield in an NCAA play-in game.

“They play high pressure. They keep a hold of the ball,” Warming said. “Probably as wide open as any game as we will have this year.”

Warming thinks that the key factor to this game and the entire postseason is that his team is emotionally prepared.

“Anybody can win one game on emotion,” Warming said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re that team.”

“I think the big thing to that’s going to help us is how people will respond on campus,” Warming said. “We need our student body.”