NCAA tourney field paced by ACC
Nine teams, led by No. 1 seed Florida State, come from league
INDIANAPOLIS -- The field of 64 teams, which will compete for the 31st Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, was announced Monday by the Division I Women’s Soccer Committee.
The four No. 1 seeds include: Brigham Young, the automatic qualifier out of the West Coast Conference; Florida State, an at-large selection from the Atlantic Coast Conference; Penn State, an at-large selection from the Big Ten Conference; and Stanford, the automatic qualifier out of the Pacific-12 Conference. Brigham Young will host Utah State, the Western Athletic Conference tournament champion, in the opening-round game. Florida State will host Mississippi Valley, the automatic qualifier from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Penn State will host LIU Brooklyn, the Northeast Conference champion, in a first-round match, and Stanford will host Idaho State, the Big Sky champion.
The No. 2 seeds include Florida, North Carolina, San Diego State and Virginia. Capturing the No. 3 seeds are Baylor, Duke, UCLA and Wake Forest. Marquette, Maryland, Ohio State and Portland complete the top 16 seeded teams, each earning a No. 4 seed.
North Carolina is the only team who has been invited to the tournament every year since its inception in 1982.
The ACC leads all conferences with nine teams in the tournament. Six teams will represent both the Southeastern Conference and the Pac-12, while five teams enter the tournament from the Big Ten.
Thirty conferences were granted automatic bids for the 2012 championship, while the remaining 34 teams were selected at-large. The top 16 teams are seeded and conference teams cannot play each other in the first or second rounds. When pairing teams, the committee follows geographic proximity parameters. Sites are selected for the first round to create the least number of flights.
The automatic qualifying conferences and their representatives are: America East Conference, Stony Brook; Atlantic 10 Conference, La Salle; ACC, Virginia; Atlantic Sun Conference, Florida Gulf Coast; Big 12, Baylor; Big East, Marquette; Big Sky, Idaho State; Big South, Radford; Big Ten, Ohio State; Big West Conference, Cal State Northridge; Colonial Athletic Association, Hofstra; Conference USA, UCF; Horizon League, Milwaukee; Ivy, Princeton; Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Loyola Maryland; Mid-American Conference, Miami (Ohio); Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State; Mountain West Conference, San Diego State; Northeast Conference, LIU Brooklyn; Ohio Valley Conference, UT Martin; Pac-12, Stanford; Patriot League, Colgate; SEC, Florida; Southern, Georgia Southern; Southland Conference, Stephen F. Austin; Southwestern Conference, Mississippi Valley; Summit League, Oakland; Sun Belt Conference, North Texas; West Coast, Brigham Young; and Western Athletic Conference, Utah State.
First-round matches will be played at campus sites Nov. 9, 10 and 11. Second-round matches will be played Friday, Nov. 16 at campus sites, and third-round matches will be played Sunday, Nov. 18, at the same campus sites. Quarterfinal matches will be played Nov. 23, 24 or 25 also on campus sites.
The 31st annual Women’s College Cup will be played Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif., with University of San Diego serving as host. The first national semifinal will be played at 8:30 p.m. ET and be shown live on ESPN3.com and in tape delay on ESPNU Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The second semifinal will begin at approximately 11 p.m. ET live on ESPNU. The national championship match will take place Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. ET and will also be broadcast live on ESPNU.