Holy Cross, New Hampshire Advance To The NCAA FCS Tournament

Matthew Sluka and the Holy Cross football team secured the eighth seed in this year’s NCAA FCS Tournament. ((PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

A pair of New England NCAA Division I FCS teams are headed to the postseason.

Holy Cross and New Hampshire heard their names called Sunday afternoon when the NCAA unveiled its 24-team tournament.

The Crusaders were one of eight teams to earn a spot in the second round – Holy Cross clinched its first 11-0 season in 31 yesterday after capturing its fourth-straight Patriot League title earlier this month with a 42-14 win over Lehigh University.

Holy Cross will host the winner of New Hampshire-Fordham University, which is scheduled to commence Saturday, November 26 at 2 p.m. The Wildcats will host the Rams after concluding their regular season as co-champions of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).

William & Mary shared the CAA title with the Wildcats after New Hampshire outlasted Maine and the Tribe beat Richmond.

Like Holy Cross, William & Mary earned a first-round bye and will compete against the winner of Eastern KentuckyGardner-Webb.   

Holy Cross is making its four-straight appearance in the NCAA FCS Tournament. The Crusaders boast a 1-4 record in postseason play with their initial playoff win occurring last November with a come-from-behind victory over Sacred Heart University.

New Hampshire last competed in the FCS Tournament in 2017, winning back-to-back contests against Central Connecticut (14-0) and Central Arkansas (21-15) before falling to South Dakota State in the quarterfinals.  

In 2014, the Wildcats competed against the Rams of Fordham in the second round, scoring a 44-19 win, which was followed by a quarterfinal victory against Chattanooga. Illinois State ended New Hampshire’s championship run in the semifinals.

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