Men’s Soccer Tiebreakers? The Overtime! Staff Is On The Case.

It isn’t Rocket Science, but breaking down the myriad of tiebreaker scenarios as a sports season winds down does require a certain level of patience. Sometimes the year plays out in a way that leaves only a few potential outcomes.  Then you have the 2011 NEC men’s soccer season, aka “The Perfect Storm” of parity.

Heading into the final weekend of conference play, only one team had clinched a playoff spot and seven others were in contention for the final three berths. One day later, the situation is only slightly less muddled.

The Overtime! staff has been working, well, overtime, trying to sort things out.  We even enlisted some fact checking help from one of our crack PR directors in the Conference. Here are our detailed findings, along with some helpful links if you’d like to play along. You may want to brew up a cup of coffee or two as well.

NEC Men’s Soccer Standings
NEC Men’s Soccer Team-By-Team Schedules
NEC Men’s Soccer Composite Schedule
NEC Men’s Soccer Tiebreaker Procedure

Central Connecticut State has clinched a share of the NEC regular season championship, having accumulated 21 points and completed its 2011 regular season schedule. The Blue Devils would be the #1 seed, should Sacred Heart lose or tie Bryant on Sunday.  Should the Pioneers win, CCSU would be the #2 seed.

Sacred Heart would be the #1 seed and earn the right to host the tournament with a win Sunday at Bryant.  With a tie, the Pioneers would clinch a berth in the tournament, as either the #3 or #4 seed. The Pioneers could also qualify with a loss, should Saint Francis (PA) lose or tie Robert Morris on Sunday.

Fairleigh Dickinson has earned a berth in the tournament with 20 points, having concluded its regular season on Saturday. The Knights could qualify as high as #2 or as low as #4. If Monmouth and Sacred Heart both win on Sunday, the Knights would be the # 4 seed and play top-seeded Sacred Heart. If only Sacred Heart wins, FDU would be the #3 seed, facing #2 CCSU. If only Monmouth wins, FDU would again be the #3 seed, facing the second-seeded Hawks. If both Monmouth and Sacred Heart lose or tie, the Knights would clinch the #2 seed.

Monmouth needs a win over Mount St. Mary’s to clinch a berth in the NEC Tournament without additional outside help. A win would also clinch a share of the Hawks’ seventh consecutive NEC regular season title. Monmouth cannot host the tournament, which will be played at either Central Connecticut or Sacred Heart. Should the Hawks tie, they could qualify with a Saint Francis (PA) loss or tie. If Saint Francis (PA) wins and Monmouth ties, the Hawks would need Sacred Heart to lose. Monmouth could be seeded anywhere from #2 to #4.

Mount St. Mary’s needs a win as well as either a Saint Francis (PA) loss or tie or a Sacred Heart loss in order to guarantee a bid to the tournament. If Mount St. Mary’s, Saint Francis (PA) and Sacred Heart all win, the Mount can earn a spot if Quinnipiac beats St. Francis (NY). The Mountaineers would be eliminated with a loss or tie.

Saint Francis (PA) needs a win in order to keep its tournament hopes alive. A loss or tie would eliminate the Red Flash. Even with a victory, Saint Francis would be eliminated if both Monmouth and Sacred Heart win. Assuming the Red Flash win, they could qualify with a Sacred Heart loss or tie. If Saint Francis wins and Sacred Heart wins, then the Red Flash get in with a Monmouth tie. If Saint Francis and Sacred Heart win, and Monmouth loses, the Red Flash will claim a playoff berth if St. Francis (NY) beats or ties Quinnipiac.

Both Mount St. Mary’s and Saint Francis (PA) could finish as high as the #3 seed.

St. Francis (NY), Quinnipiac, Long Island, and Robert Morris have all been eliminated from contention for a berth in the NEC Tournament.  Bryant is not eligible for the NEC Tournament until the 2012 season.

CCSU Clinches Share Of NEC Regular Season Title

Sacred Heart Pushes Unbeaten Streak To Eight Matches

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