SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western New England University men’s soccer team beat Roger Williams University to win the Commonwealth Coast Conference last Saturday, and the championship meant a birth to the NCAA tournament.

It was an exciting day on campus as the soccer team got on the bus and headed off to Vermont for their first NCAA tournament game in seven years. The university had a special send-off event for the soccer team as they began their travel up to Middlebury College for their game at 11 a.m. this Saturday.

Athletes from every other sports team at WNEU as well as other students and the Golden Bear mascot cheered on the team when walking out to the bus. This is the first time any of the players have made the NCAA tournament and it’s a thrilling moment for them all.

“It’s a great tradition that an NCAA team gets cheered on as they leave, and as I’ve watched other teams do it, I’ve kind of said to myself I hope someday for us and here we are,” said Devin O’Neill, head coach of the WNEU men’s soccer team.

Once the team got on the bus, it was all smiles and enthusiasm for the team as they were pumped up and ready for their three hour drive on the way to the biggest game of their life.

It’s supposed to be in the 30’s Saturday during the game but if WNEU can brave the cold and come out with the win, they’ll face off against the winner of Babson and Johns Hopkins.

Local News

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.