The tournament will be played at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex and is being hosted by the City of Salem and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
The Blugolds will carry a 35-12 season record into the national tournament while Rhode Island College comes in with a 41-5 mark.
Linfield College of Oregon (40-6) is the top seed and will open the tournament at 11 a.m. Friday against eighth-seeded Emory University of Georgia (32-6). In the second game, fourth-seeded DePauw of Indiana (36-5) takes on fifth-seeded Moravian of Pennsylvania (35-5). In the final game of the first round, second-seeded Washington University of Missouri (32-5) will meet seventh-seeded Plattsburgh State of New York (35-12).
The double elimination tournament continues through Monday, possibly Tuesday, to determine the national champion.
The Blugolds, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, have made two previous appearances in the championship tournament, finishing fourth in both 1999 and 2000.
The Blugolds qualified for their sixth NCAA appearance by winning the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament for a second consecutive year. The Blugolds finished fourth in the WIAC regular season standings but beat regular season champion UW-Oshkosh in the conference tournament