The Mercer Bears won the Southern Conference championship over the weekend, earning them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Today, they learned who their first round foe would be:
This will be the second time Mercer meets South Carolina this season. On August 30, the Bears defeated the Gamecocks 3-2 in Columbia behind goals from Kobe Perez, Will Bagrou, and Jake Mezei.
The Bears went 13-6-1 this season, with a solid 5-3 record on the road. Key road wins included Furman, Wofford, and Lipscomb. Junior forward Bagrou was the teams leading scorer with eight goals and four assists. He is a graduate of Dacula High School.
South Carolina went 10-7-1 in 2016. They lost in the first round of the Conference USA tournament to Old Dominion on November 9. Senior midfielder, and MLS SuperDraft prospect, Danny Deakin led the Gamecocks in scoring this season with seven goals and six assists.
2016 is the third NCAA Tournament for the Bears. They previously made it in 1999 and 2001. In their last appearance, they fell in the first round to the Kentucky Wildcats 1-0.
Mercer will face South Carolina on Thursday, November 17 in Columbia, South Carolina. The kickoff time and TV/streaming options are to be announced.