Five Squads Gear Up For NCAA Championship Action
Nov. 10, 2003
The 2003 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship bracket has been set and five Big Ten squads are among the 64-team field, including Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue. This marks the eighth-consecutive year the Conference has received at least three NCAA bids.
Big Ten Tournament winner Illinois is the No. 16 seed overall and will host first and second round action. The Illini will face-off against Western Michigan in their third-ever NCAA postseason appearance. Purdue will join Illinois in Champaign as the Boilermakers take on DePaul in the first round, marking their second-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship.
Penn State, making its ninth NCAA Championship appearance, is also hosting first and second round action. The Big Ten Champions claimed the No. 5 overall seed and will play Navy on Friday, November 14. The Nittany Lions lost to Connecticut, 2-1, in the semifinals of the College Cup last year.
In other first-round action, Ohio State will match up against Dayton, the Atlantic-10 Championship winner, in Morgantown, West Virginia. It is the Buckeyes' second-consecutive NCAA Championship appearance.
Michigan rounds out the Big Ten's field of five teams, as the Wolverines travel down the road to South Bend, Indiana to face Oakland. The Wolverines lost to the Golden Grizzlies, 1-0, earlier in the season. This marks Michigan's seventh-straight appearance in the postseason.
Three Big Ten squads have made the College Cup. Last year, Penn State was defeated by Portland, 2-1 and in 1999 the Nittany Lions also lost to North Carolina, 2-0 in the semifinals. Wisconsin advanced to the championship match in 1991 before falling 3-1 to the Tar Heels.