Four Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Teams earn bids to NCAA Tournament
SAN FRANCISCO – Four Pac-12 men’s soccer teams were selected to participate in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, as announced by the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Committee. No. 9-seeded STANFORD, OREGON STATE, UCLA and WASHINGTON all earned bids to the 2018 NCAA Tournament, marking the seventh time in Conference history that four teams qualified for the postseason and only the fourth time in the last 13 years.
The four Pac-12 squads vie for a trip to play in the 2018 NCAA College Cup, to be held December 7 and 9 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif., with the first round of competition starting on Thursday, Nov. 15.
The Pac-12 currently holds an all-time record of 131-101-13 (.561) in the NCAA Men’s Tournament, with seven national championships and eight second-place finishes. Last season, Stanford won its third-consecutive national championship with a thrilling 1-0 double overtime win against Indiana for Stanford’s 12th-straight postseason game without allowing a goal.
Three-time defending NCAA Champion Stanford earned the No. 9 seed and a first-round bye in its sixth -straight and 17th overall NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cardinal broke the Conference record with its fifth-consecutive Pac-12 title after finishing league play with a 7-2-1 mark and 11-3-4 overall record. The Cardinal looks to become the second team in NCAA history to win four-consecutive national titles, matching Virginia’s four-straight from 1991-1994. Stanford is 27-12-6 all-time in the NCAA tournament and hosts either UC Irvine or Grand Canyon on Sunday, Nov. 18.
Oregon State earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014, making its fourth overall appearance (2014, 2003, 2002). Under first-year head coach Terry Boss, the Beavers placed second in the Pac-12 with a 6-3-1 Conference record, which has only been achieved twice in program history since the Pac-10 started sponsoring men’s soccer in 2000 (Pac-10 -2009, 2003). Oregon State posted an 10-5-3 overall record for its second double-digit win season in the last 15 years. Oregon State hosts SMU on Thursday to determine who will face No. 8 seeded Saint Mary’s (Calif.).
Washington earned its third-straight trip to the postseason for the team’s 25th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament after closing out the regular season with four-straight wins. The Huskies finished third in the Conference standings with a 6-4-0 Pac-12 record and 12-7-0 overall mark this season. Washington will host Lipscomb this Thursday to determine who plays No. 14 seeded Central Florida on Sunday. Washington has reached at least the third round in three of its last five NCAA appearances since 2012.
UCLA earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for its Conference-leading 45th all-time appearance, following a one-year absence after making 33 consecutive trips. UCLA placed fourth in the Pac-12 standings with a 5-5-0 record and went 10-8-0 on the season. The Bruins have advanced to the final four 14 times in program history and have won four national titles. The 2018 journey begins on Thursday against a familiar Portland team, as the two squads have faced off three times in the NCAA Tournament with the Bruins holding a 2-1 advantage.
The 48-team field is made up of the champions of 24 conferences, who qualified automatically, in addition to 24 teams that were selected at-large. The top 16 teams were all seeded and receive first-round byes. All first-round games will be played Thursday, November 15, while all second-round action takes place Sunday, November 18. The third round is played November 24 or 25, while the quarterfinals are played November 30 and December 1. The Men’s College Cup is held December 7 and 9 at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, CA
For more information, visit ncaa.com. The 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship bracket can be viewed here, Link
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