ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference will send eight of its schools to compete in the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, it was announced Monday afternoon. Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin earned berths to this year’s NCAA Tournament and all eight Big Ten programs will play host to first-round matches this weekend.
The eight NCAA Tournament selections ties the Big Ten record for the most postseason selections in a given season, first set in 2013.
Michigan (10-5-4) will make its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since it reached the quarterfinals in 2013. The Wolverines, who advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament last weekend, will entertain Illinois State on Saturday.
Big Ten Champion and Tournament Champion Minnesota (16-3-3) earned the No. 4 seed in the Palo Alto Regional and will make its 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Gophers kick off their postseason at home against North Carolina State on Saturday.
Nebraska (11-5-4) was chosen for its 12th NCAA Tournament berth, with the Cornhuskers slated to welcome South Dakota State to town on Friday.
Northwestern (14-2-4), which earned a share of the Big Ten Championship, will play in back-to-back NCAA tournaments for the first time in program history. The Wildcats will open their fourth postseason appearance overall when they play host to Kent State on Saturday.
After advancing to the third round of last year’s NCAA Tournament, Ohio State (10-6-3) collected its 11th postseason bid in 2016 and will be at home in Columbus on Saturday for a first-round match against Dayton.
Reigning NCAA and Big Ten Champion Penn State (11-4-4) opens defense of its 2015 national title with a first-round contest on Friday at home against Bucknell. The Nittany Lions will be making their 22nd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this season.
Coming off its first-ever NCAA College Cup berth in 2015, as well as a second consecutive trip to the Big Ten Tournament title match this year, Rutgers (11-4-6) opens the 2016 NCAA Tournament on Saturday by welcoming Harvard to town. The Scarlet Knights earned a postseason berth for the fifth year in a row and 11th time in school history.
Wisconsin (8-4-8) returns to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence as the Badgers garner their 19th postseason bid. Wisconsin will play host to in-state rival Marquette in a first-round match on Friday.
Following this weekend’s first-round matches, the NCAA Tournament continues with second-round play on Nov. 18 and third-round contests on Nov. 20, also at campus sites. The quarterfinals then will take place Nov. 25 or 26 on the campus of one of the participating institutions. The 2016 NCAA Women’s College Cup will take place at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif., with the semifinals slated for Dec. 2 and the championship match on Dec. 4, and all three College Cup contests being televised live on ESPNU.
Kickoff times and television coverage for NCAA Tournament matches prior to the semifinals will be announced by the participating schools.