By the Pac-12 Conference
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Defending national champion Stanford finds itself in familiar territory after edging UCLA, 2-1, in its NCAA quarterfinal matchup. The Cardinal has reached its fifth consecutive College Cup semifinal (sixth overall), where it will take on North Carolina. The Tar Heels were granted a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament after posting a 10-5-2 regular-season record and earning a No. 13 billing in the NSCAA’s final regular season poll. The College Cup is set to take place Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif. Six Pac-12 teams earned NCAA tournament bids in 2012, and four teams hosted first-round matches.
NCAA TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP
No. 1 Stanford (21-1-1) vs. No. 2 North Carolina (13-5-3)
Stanford rode a pair of second-half goals by Lo’eau LaBonta to a 2-1 victory over UCLA in the quarterfinals. The Cardinal trailed 2-1 at the half, but a late surge lifted the Pac-12 champs over the Bruins for the second time in less than a month. Prior to its quarterfinal deficit, Stanford had not trailed in a game this postseason. North Carolina upset top-seeded BYU in its quarterfinal matchup to earn a berth in the College Cup. The Tar Heels, who are appearing in their NCAA-record 26th semifinal, have scored 14 goals in four tournament games, including a 9-2 victory over Illinois in the second round.
•Stanford, which is playing in its fifth consecutive College Cup, boasts the longest active streak in the nation. The Pac-12 has placed at least one team in the College Cup in each of the last 10 seasons (since 2003) and has produced two semifinalists on three occasions. During that span, the Conference has posted a winning record in the tournament. Additionally, the Pac-12 has been represented in four of the last five National Championship games, with two teams (USC and Stanford) taking home titles.
•Pac-12 schools have appeared in 15 distinct College Cup semifinals since the Conference began sponsoring women’s soccer in 1983. Only the ACC, which has placed at least one team in 29 semifinals since 1983, has been represented more during that span.
•Stanford midfielder Mariah Nogueira is one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the student-athlete in his or her sport who best demonstrates achievement in four key areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The winner will be announced this weekend during the College Cup Championships. Nogueira, who carries a 3.63 GPA, is a member of the 2012 All-Pac 12 and Academic All-Pac-12 first teams. She has scored seven goals, including three game-winners, while starting all 23 games for the Cardinal this season.
(Times local to site)
Friday, November 9 (NCAA First Round)
Idaho State at No. 1 STANFORD, STAN, 3-0
No. 3 Baylor at ARIZONA STATE, BAY, 3-1
WASHINGTON STATE at Portland, POR, 2-2 PKs
Auburn at WASHINGTON, AUB, 2-1
Saturday, November 10 (NCAA First Round)
Wisconsin at No. 3 UCLA, UCLA, 1-0
CALIFORNIA at Pepperdine, CAL, 1-0
Friday, November 16 (NCAA Second Round)
No. 3 UCLA vs. Kentucky, UCLA, 5-0
Santa Clara at No. 1 STANFORD, STAN, 2-1
CALIFORNIA at No. 2 San Diego State, SDSU, 2-1
Sunday, November 18 (NCAA Third Round)
No. 3 UCLA at No. 2 San Diego State, UCLA, 3-0
Denver at No. 1 STANFORD, STAN, 3-0
Friday, November 23 (NCAA Quarterfinals)
No. 3 UCLA at No. 1 STANFORD, STAN, 2-1
Friday, November 30 (College Cup Semifinals)
No. 1 STANFORD vs. No. 2 North Carolina (San Diego. Calif.), 8 p.m. PT
Sunday, December (College Cup Final)
STANFORD/North Carolina vs. Florida State/Penn State, 1 p.m. PT