NCAA D3: Cal Lu women in, Redlands men out

Cal Lutheran's women's team got the news it was hoping for: A berth in the NCAA Division III tournament was theirs.

Not so fortunate: Redlands' men.

Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament champions Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (men) and Redlands (women) received automatic berths to the NCAA playoffs, and Chapman's women joined Cal Lu with an at-large berth when brackets were released Monday morning.

Play begins Thursday, and the finals will be played Dec. 4 in San Antonio. Messiah of Grantham, Pa., is the defending champion in both fields.

WOMEN: SCIAC regular-season champion Cal Lutheran (18-2-1) of Thousand Oaks, which was upset by Redlands in the SCIAC tournament semifinals, is the lone team to receive a first-round bye in the D3 women's bracket.

The Regals will be home for a second-round game Sunday against Redlands (10-9-0), which won the SCIAC tournament, or Chapman (12-6-0). They'll play Thursday in Orange. Waiting in the third round could be Hardin-Simmons (19-0-0) of Abilene, Texas, the No. 2 team in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, or No. 6 Trinity (17-1-0), from San Antonio.

Chapman beat Redlands, 3-2, on Sept. 22. Cal Lu shut out Redlands (1-0 on Sept, 29) and Chapman (2-0 on Oct. 18) during the regular season. The Bulldogs' tournament triumph ended Cal Lu's eight-game winning streak, six of the victories by shutout.

A PDF of the women's bracket is here.

Two-time reigning champion Messiah (19-0-0), from Grantham, Pa., has been No. 1 in the NSCAA rankings all season. Cal Lutheran was 17th in last week's poll, before the loss to Redlands. The next poll will be released Tuesday.

MEN: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (14-3-2) is headed to San Antonio for a first-round quartet at No. 1 Trinity after knocking off SCIAC regular-season champion Redlands (13-3-2) in the conference tournament final, the Stags' second victory this season over their rival.

CMS, ranked 16th two weeks ago, before an upset loss to Pomona-Pitzer, will open Friday against No. 21 Texas-Tyler (12-3-1). Trinity (18-2-0) takes on Pacific University (14-2-3), from Pacific Grove, Ore., in the other first-round game in the quartet, with the second-round game set for Saturday.

Former Galaxy captain Dan Calichman, one of the best central defenders in Major League Soccer's early years, has built CMS into a defensive power. The Stags have a dozen shutouts, have held seven of their past eight foes scoreless -- Redlands twice -- and have won 11 of their past 12 games.

Redlands, coached by former Galaxy assistant coach Ralph Perez, was ranked 16th in last week's NSCAA poll and had hoped to receive an at-large berth, but the SCIAC was ranked well behind other Western conferences.

A PDF of the men's bracket can be found here.