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Delaware and Rider punch tickets to NCAA tournament

Conference tournament wins on Sunday ensured the greater Philadelphia region a rooting interest in the Big Dance

Delaware erased an early 1-0 deficit and came back to beat William & Mary and avoid a third straight defeat in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final in Hempstead, New York on Sunday.

The Tribe took an early lead when Remi Frost set up Reilly Maw for a goal in the 18th minute, but Delaware got the benefit of a misplayed header that wound up an own goal in the 20th minute, and Jaime Martinez scored the eventual game winner in the 28th minute off assists from Carlos Perales and Marco Siverio.

Goalkeeper Todd Morton (West Chester, Pa.) made four saves in the match and senior defender Thomas de Villardi anchored a back line that held the Tribe in check the final 72 minutes.

Villardi was named the most outstanding performer of the tournament while right back John Schroeder, a Philadelphia Union Academy grad, Guillermo Delgado, and Robert Gillin (Marlton, N.J.) were on the all-tournament team.

The win gives the Blue Hens (12-7-1) an automatic berth into the field of 48 for the NCAA Tournament. The appearance will be the fourth in program history and the first since they earned an at-large berth in 2012.

Delaware beat the College of Charleston by an identical 2-1 score line in the semifinal on Saturday on a late goal from senior Guillermo Delgado.

Rider punch ticket for second straight year

Rider beat regular season champs Quinnipiac 3-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference final on Sunday to earn their second straight NCAA berth.

Elliott Otmani put the Broncs up late in the first half when he scored off an assist from Christian Flath, but a Conor McCoy goal in the 51st minute drew the game level. Clement Bourret put the Broncs back on top for good in the 62nd minute on an unassisted strike from near the top of the 18 and Flath set up Jose Aguinaga for an insurance goal in the 85th minute.

The NCAA appearance will be the fourth for Rider, which made back-to-back tournament runs in the late ‘90s with trips in 1997 and 1998.