Nov. 8, 2010

NCAA Release

The field of 64 teams, which will compete for the 29th NCAA Division I Womens Soccer Championship, was announced today by the NCAA Division I Womens Soccer Committee.

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 and second rounds to create the least number of flights. Thirteen of the top 16 seeds will be hosting first- and second-round competition.

The four No. 1 seeds include Stanford University, an automatic qualifier from the Pacific-10 Conference, University of Portland, the automatic qualifier from the West Coast Conference, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and University of Maryland, both at-large selections from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Stanford will host California State University, Sacramento, the Big Sky Conference champion, in a first-round match on Friday, November 12. Portland will host University of Texas at San Antonio, the Southland Conference champion, in its opening-round game the same day. North Carolina will host Jackson State University, the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion. Maryland will host High Point University, the automatic qualifier from the Big South Conference.

North Carolina is the only team who has been invited to the tournament every year since its inception in 1982.

The No. 2 seeds include Boston College, University of Florida, Florida State University and University of Virginia. Capturing No. 3 seeds are Marquette University, The Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University and West Virginia University. University of Central Florida, University of Notre Dame, Texas A&M University, College Station and Wake Forest University complete the top 16 seeded teams, each earning a No. 4 seed.

The Atlantic Coast leads all conferences with eight teams in the tournament. Seven teams will represent the Pacific-10. Six teams enter the tournament from both the Big East Conference and the Big Ten Conference.

Thirty conferences were granted automatic bids for the 2010 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, University of Dayton; Atlantic Coast, Wake Forest; Atlantic Sun Conference, Mercer University; Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma State; Big East, West Virginia; Big Sky, Sacramento State; Big South, High Point; Big Ten, Ohio State; Big West Conference, Long Beach State University; Colonial Athletic Association, James Madison University; Conference USA, University of Memphis; Horizon League, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ivy Group, University of Pennsylvania; Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Siena College; Mid-American Conference, Central Michigan University; Missouri Valley Conference, Creighton University; Mountain West Conference, Brigham Young University; Northeast Conference, Saint Francis University (Pennsylvania); Ohio Valley Conference, Morehead State University; Pacific-10, Stanford; Patriot League, Lehigh University; Southeastern Conference, Florida; Southern Conference, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Southland, UTSA; Southwestern Conference, Jackson State; The Summit League, North Dakota State University; Sun Belt Conference, Middle Tennessee State University; West Coast, Portland; and Western Athletic Conference, Fresno State University.
Eleven teams are making their first appearance in the tournament and include: Jackson State, Lehigh, Mercer, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico, North Dakota State, St. Francis (Pennsylvania), Siena, South Florida, UTSA and UC Irvine.

First-round matches will be played Friday, November 12, at campus sites, and second-round matches will be played Sunday, November 14, at the same campus sites. The first-round contests hosted by UCLA will be played Thursday, November 11 with the second-round game to be played Saturday, November 13. Third-round games will be played at on-campus sites November 19, 20 or 21. Quarterfinal matches will be played November 26, 27 or 28. Times will be announced.

The 29th annual NCAA Womens College Cup will be played December 3 and 5 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. North Carolina State University, Town of Cary and Capital Area Soccer League will serve as hosts. National Semifinal No. 1 will be played at 4:00 p.m. Eastern while National Semifinal No. 2 will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. Eastern. On Friday, December 3, both semifinals will receive live national television coverage as one semifinal will be broadcast or simulcast on ESPN2/ESPNU/ while the other semifinal will air exclusively on ESPNU. The NCAA Womens College Cup national semifinals television coverage will be determined after the quarterfinals have been played. The national championship match will occur on Sunday, December 5 at noon Eastern and will be broadcast live on ESPN2/

In the 2009 championship game, North Carolina captured its 20th NCAA title with a 1-0 victory over Stanford. Tarheel Casey Nogueira was named the Most Outstanding Player on offense and North Carolinas Whitney Engen was named the Most Outstanding Player on defense.