Five Pac-12 Teams Make NCAA Tournament
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — STANFORD, UCLA, CALIFORNIA, OREGON STATE and WASHINGTON STATE were selected to the field of 64 for the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship, the NCAA announced Monday. The five teams will compete for the opportunity to play in the Women's College Cup, which takes place December 2 and 4 at the Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga.
The Cardinal (19-0-1) grabbed the overall top seed after producing its third consecutive undefeated regular season. NCAA analyst Jenn Hildreth picked the 2011 Pac-12 champion to win it all this year, calling Stanford "the team that everyone's gunning for." This is the program's 14th-straight and 21st overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Stanford's best postseason performances came in 2009 and 2010, finishing as NCAA runners-up both years. The Cardinal hosts Montana in the first round on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. PT at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium.
UCLA (15-1-3) is one of four No. 2 seeds after hovering around the NSCAA top-five for the majority of the season. This is the program's 14th-straight and 16th all-time appearance in the tournament. The Bruins have made it to the College Cup eight times—including a seven-year streak from 2003 to 2009—and finished as runners-up in 2000, 2004 and 2005. UCLA hosts New Mexico in the first round at Drake Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. PT.
California (12-5-2) earned an at-large bid after finishing sixth in the Pac-12 and sitting in or near the NSCAA top-25 for most of the season. The Golden Bears take on Santa Clara in the first round in Santa Clara, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. PT. When the teams met on Sept. 25 in Santa Clara, the Broncos prevailed 3-0.
Oregon State (13-5-1) also received an at-large bid after finishing third in the conference and spending all but one week in the NSCAA top-25, peaking at No. 18. Head coach Linus Rhode is bringing his team back to the tournament for the third consecutive year in just his fourth season at the helm, marking OSU's fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Beavers host Portland in the first round at Lorenz Field on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. PT. When Oregon State faced Portland on Sept. 11, the Beavers lost 2-1 in overtime.
Washington State (12-6-2) finished fourth in the conference to earn another at-large bid for the Pac-12, punctuating a huge turnaround for the program that finished second-to-last in the conference last season. This is WSU's sixth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, most recently in 2009. The Cougars face Kentucky in Lexington in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. PT.