Championship Bracket

INDIANAPOLIS --- The field of 64 teams, which will compete for the 24th NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship, was announced today by the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Committee.

The top 16 teams are seeded and conference teams cannot play each other in the first round; however, second round conference match-ups are permissible. When pairing teams, the committee is restricted by geographic proximity. Sites are selected for the first and second rounds to create the least number of flights; therefore, only 10 of the top 16 seeds will be hosting first- and second round competition.

The four No. 1 seeds include the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, an automatic qualifier from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Pennsylvania State University, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Portland.

North Carolina will host Western Carolina University, the Southern Conference champion, in a first-round match on Friday, November 11. Penn State, an at-large selection from the Big Ten Conference, will host Bucknell University, the Patriot League champion, in its opening-round game. Portland, the West Coast Conference champion, also earned a No. 1 seed and will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, for a match up against Iowa State University, an at-large bid from the Big 12 Conference. UCLA, the Pacific-10 Conference champion, will host Mississippi Valley State University, which garnered the first ever appearance in the tournament from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

North Carolina and the University of Connecticut are the only two teams who have been invited to the tournament every year since its inception in 1982.

The No. 2 seeds include the University of Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, Florida State University, and Santa Clara University. Capturing No. 3 seeds are the University of California, Berkeley, Connecticut, Duke University, and California State University, Fullerton. Brigham Young University, Pepperdine University, Marquette University and Texas A&M University, College Station, complete the top 16 seeded teams, each earning a No. 4 seed.

The Atlantic Coast leads all conferences with seven teams in the tournament. Five teams will represent the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Pac-10; four teams will represent the West Coast Conference, the Big East Conference, and the Southeastern Conference.

Thirty conferences were granted automatic bids for the 2005 championship. The remaining 34 teams were selected at-large.

The automatic qualifying conferences and their representatives follow: America East Conference, Boston University; Atlantic 10 Conference, Saint Louis University; Atlantic Coast Conference, North Carolina; Atlantic Sun Conference, Florida Atlantic University; Big 12, Texas A&M; Big East, Notre Dame; Big Sky Conference, Weber State University; Big South, Liberty University; Big Ten, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Big West Conference, Cal State Fullerton; Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra University; Conference USA, Rice University; Horizon League, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ivy Group, Yale University; Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Fairfield University; Mid-American Conference, Bowling Green State University; Mid-Continent Conference, Valparaiso University; Missouri Valley Conference, Creighton University; Mountain West Conference, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Northeast Conference, Central Connecticut State University; Ohio Valley Conference, Samford University; Pac-10, UCLA; Patriot League, Bucknell; Southeastern Conference, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Southern, Western Carolina; Southland Conference, Northwestern State University; Sun Belt Conference, University of North Texas; West Coast, Portland; and Western Athletic Conference, California State University, Fresno.

First-round matches will be played Friday, November 11, at campus sites, and second-round matches will be played Sunday, November 13, at the same campus sites. The two first round contests hosted by the University of Utah will be played Thursday, November 10 with the second round game to be played Saturday, November 12. Third-round games will be played on campus sites November 18, 19 or 20, as will quarterfinal matches on November 25, 26 or 27. Times will be announced.

The 24th annual NCAA Division I Women's College Cup will be played December 2 and 4 at Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M is hosting the championship for the first time.

Eleven teams are making their first appearance in the tournament and include: Florida Atlantic, Mississippi Valley, Western Carolina, Hofstra, Valparaiso, Samford, the University of Texas, El Paso, Gonzaga University, Iowa State, the University of California, Riverside, and Saint Louis.

North Carolina has captured the title 17 times. In the 2004 championship game, Notre Dame defeated UCLA in penalty kicks 4-3, after a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtime periods.

-- Courtesy NCAA