Nine Pac-12 women's soccer teams to compete in NCAA Tournament
SAN FRANCISCO - A league-record nine Pac-12 women’s soccer teams earned berths to the 2014 NCAA Women’s College Cup, the Division I Women’s Soccer Committee announced today. The nine teams are the most of any conference in the country. Two Conference teams earned top seeds, with UCLA and STANFORD taking home two of the four No. 1 spots. Other teams receiving berths are No. 4-seeded WASHINGTON, ARIZONA, ARIZONA STATE, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, USC and WASHINGTON STATE.
The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 150-104-21 in the NCAA Women’s College Cup, with three national championships and five second-place finishes. The league has previously had eight teams compete in the postseason once in 2009, and had seven teams compete in the postseason seven times. Following the national-best nine teams was the SEC, which has eight teams, while the ACC and Big 12 will have six representatives each.
UCLA got a top seed with an 18-0-2 record and will face San Diego in the first round on their home turf. The Bruins, who clinched their second-straight Pac-12 Championship on Friday to earn the league’s automatic qualifier spot, ride an unbeaten streak of 41-straight games entering the NCAA Tournament dating back to 2013. The Bruins are 52-15-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, and this will be their 19th appearance in the Women’s College Cup, with this being their 18th-consecutive berth.
Stanford got another top seed and will host Cal State Fullerton in the first round. The Cardinal has appeared in the postseason 23 times, and this will be its 16th-consecutive bid in the tournament. Stanford is one of three teams to win an NCAA Championship, taking home the crown in 2011.
Washington snagged a No. 4 seed in the tournament, and will host Rider in the first round. The Huskies, who finished with a winning record for the first time since 2008, get their fifth NCAA Tournament berth in seven years. UW finished the season with a 12-6-2 record, which tied for fifth in the Pac-12.
USC will travel down to Pepperdine, a No. 4 seed, in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013. The Trojans, which are 12-6-2 this season, finished fourth in the Pac-12 standings with a Conference record of 6-5-0. USC is 13-10-2 in postseason play all-time. The Trojans own one of the league’s three NCAA Championship titles after taking home the hardware in 2007.
Arizona State will host in-state rival Northern Arizona in the first round. The Sun Devils have an overall record of 11-5-4 and came in at eighth in the league, including a key tie against the top-ranked Bruins in Conference play. The postseason bid is Arizona State’s fourth in six seasons, and the Sun Devils are 3-5-1 all-time in the Women’s College Cup.
Arizona will travel to Oklahoma State in their first-round matchup. The Wildcats are 10-7-2 and finished the regular season at ninth in the Pac-12. It marks Arizona’s first appearance in the Women’s College Cup since 2005, and just its third all-time as UA holds a 2-2-0 record in postseason play.
Washington State hosts Seattle in their fourth-consecutive appearance in the postseason. The Cougars finished 2013 with a 10-4-4 record and tied for fifth in the Pac-12. In Washington State’s eight overall appearances, the Cougars hold a record of 2-6-3.
Colorado hosts BYU in the first round, earning its second-consecutive bid to the postseason. The Buffs finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak to come in third in the Pac-12 with an overall record of 13-6-1. It will be Colorado’s eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, as the Buffs hold a 6-7-1 record in postseason play.
California hosts San Diego State 13-5-2 in its 22nd-overall appearance in the Women’s College Cup. The Golden Bears were one of three teams tied for fifth place in the Pac-12, rounding out the regular season with a 13-5-2 record. Cal is 14-21-2 all-time in the postseason with two third-place finishes and one fourth-place.
First-round games will be played at campus sites November 14, 15 and 16. Second-round games will be played Friday, November 21 at campus sites, and third-round games will be played Sunday, November 23 at the same campus sites. Quarterfinal games will be played November 28 or 29, also on campus sites.
The 33rd-annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played December 5 and December 7 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, with Florida Atlantic University and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission serving as co-hosts. The first national semifinal will be played and shown live on ESPNU at 5 p.m. Eastern time Friday, December 5. The second semifinal will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Eastern time live on ESPNU. The national championship match will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, December 7 and will also broadcast live on ESPNU.