In what has become a rite of winter for the University of Charleston men’s soccer team, the Golden Eagles are back in the NCAA Division II national semifinals.

Charleston remained perfect defensively in the postseason, recording yet another shutout to beat Franklin Pierce 2-0 Saturday in Erie, Pennsylvania, to win the Super Region 1 championship. The Golden Eagles’ next match will come at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh in the national semifinals. Their opponent is yet to be determined.

UC will play in its fifth national semifinal in the last six seasons. Charleston (20-2-1) won a national title in 2017 and finished as runner-up twice in its previous four trips.

Defense once again led the way in Charleston’s quest for the 2019 semifinals. Franklin Pierce (15-4-2) could muster just three shots on goal the entire match, and Charleston goalkeeper Alvaro Dean stopped all three.

UC’s offense needed until late in Saturday’s match to get rolling, but did all it needed to do for the victory. Freddy Tracey scored his 12th goal of the season off an Ettore Ballestracci pass in the 69th minute. Williams N’Dah followed in the 73rd minute with a goal off a Christos Charalambous pass.

Not only will this be Charleston’s sixth overall visit to the national semifinals — before this five-of-six streak, UC reached that point in 1999 — Saturday also marked the fifth time in team history that it hit 20 wins in a season. The Golden Eagles got there in 1999, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as this season.