UCLA Men’s Soccer Earns No. 1 Overall Seed in NCAA Tournament
The UCLA men’s soccer team has earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament and will host the winner of Thursday's first round matchup between Elon and Clemson in the second round on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. at Drake Stadium.
The Bruins (11-3-4, 6-1-3 Pac-12) received the top seed and a bye in the first round after earning an at-large bid to this year's tournament. It is the first time since 2003 that UCLA has been selected as the No. 1 overall seed. That season, the Bruins made it all the way to the Quarterfinals before losing to eventual national champions Indiana. Additionally, this is UCLA's 31st consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and 41st appearance overall. The Bruins' NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation behind Virginia (33 straight appearances and their 41 all-time NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 47.
UCLA is one of four Pac-12 teams to make the Tournament, joining No. 2 seed Washington, No. 4 seed California and Stanford. It marks the first time since 2006 that the Pac-12 has had four teams selected for the tournament. In the last four seasons, the Bruins have lost only four of the 40 conference games they have played (32-4-4 record).
Elon (15-4-2) received an automatic bid to this year’s NCAA Tournament after winning the Southern Conference Tournament for the third consecutive year. Clemson earned an at-large bid to the Tournament by virtue of its 11-7-2 record and 5-4-2 record in the ACC. UCLA has played Clemson six times in its history, winning five of those matches, while the Bruins and Elon have never met on the soccer field. Elon and Clemson will play each other at Rudd Field in Elon, N.C. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. PT.
“We are honored and very happy to be the number one seed in the NCAA tournament,” head coach Jorge Salcedo said. “With the responsibility comes high expectations and we will work hard to be prepared for Sunday. Our team has improved over the last half of the season and the guys are motivated to make a good run in the tournament.”
The seeded teams in the tournament are: 1. UCLA, 2. Washington, 3. Notre Dame, 4. California, 5. Maryland, 6. Georgetown, 7. New Mexico, 8. Virginia, 9. Marquette, 10. UC Santa Barbara, 11. Michigan State, 12. UC Irvine, 13. Charlotte, 14. Wake Forest, 15. Cal State Northridge, 16. UMBC.
UCLA has won four NCAA titles (1985, 1990, 1997, 2002) and has advanced to the College Cup 13 times, making the final four most recently in 2011. The Bruins have also advanced to at least the NCAA Quarterfinal stage in three of the last four seasons.