UNH Men’s Soccer Team Flies to Oregon onboard Patriots AirKraft
The #16 seed UNH men's soccer team flew to Oregon for their Third Round NCAA Tournament matchup with #1 Oregon State in style aboard AirKraft, the plane used by the New England Patriots.
The Wildcats advanced to the tournament with a 4-1 win over defending champion North Carolina in Durham on Nov. 21 after going undefeated during the season and earning a bye in the first round.
But it appeared the biggest challenge was off the field in arranging a last minute flight to Oregon. UNH Athletics turned to the Patriots for help.
"It was a last minute request we made. We were having trouble finding charters and the Patriots worked with the NCAA and our travel partners to make it a reality. The players were told the day before," UNH Athletics spokesman James Wrobel told Seacoast Current.
It also helped that the Patriots are home Sunday to take on the Tennessee Titans.
"I want to thank the Patriots organization for coming through when we were desperate to find a way to get out west as efficient as possible," head soccer coach Marc Hubbard said in a statement released by the Patriots.
The team tweeted their thanks to the Patriots upon their arrival on Friday.
"We have arrived in style for our @ncaasoccer Round of 16 game versus No. 1 Oregon State on Sunday! Thank you so much to the Kraft Family and the Patriots," the team said.
UNH Men's Soccer Team Flies to Oregon onboard New England Patriots Plane
Members of the team were excited to take the trip on board the plane which left from Providence's TF Green International Airport where it is housed.
The plane is a Boeing 767 retrfitted to carry the number of people and the amount of equipment that travel to away games.
"To have the support of the Patriots and New England is amazing and on behalf of the players I'd like to thank the New England Patriots for helping us get to Oregon and the aircraft staff who sacrificed some of their holidays to get us there safely. Go Pats! Go Revs," midfielder Adam Savill said.
The New England Revolution soccer team is also owned by Kraft.
This is the second time in the history of the men's soccer team that the Wildcats have advanced to the Third Round. The previous time was 2017 when the Wildcats fell to No. 2 Indiana, 2-1.
The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the quarterfinals and will play either No. 8 seed Clemson or No. 9 seed Kentucky.