Five Big Ten Women's Soccer Teams Selected to NCAA Championship

Nov. 9, 2009

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Five Big Ten women’s soccer teams have been selected to the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, the NCAA selection committee announced on Monday. Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will all vie for the national title when competition begins Friday, Nov. 13. Of those five teams, three were selected to host opening first and second-round competition.

Penn State earned the conference’s only national seed at No. 4 after clinching an automatic qualifying berth by virtue of its Big Ten regular-season title.  The Nittany will play host at Jeffery Field in the opening weekend of tournament play, welcoming Colgate to Happy Valley for a 7:30 p.m. ET matchup on Friday. PSU is making its 15th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and could advance to play either Virginia or St. John’s on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The champion of that four-team pod will face the winner of the No. 1 UCLA bracket, which includes the Bruins, San Diego, San Diego State and Boise State. Penn State enters the postseason event having won its last nine contests.

Michigan State will travel to Santa Clara, Calif. to face the fourth-seeded Broncos on Friday at 6 p.m. ET. A win would pit the Spartans against either Southern California or Oklahoma State on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. MSU finished the regular season with a 4-4-2 conference record, highlighted by a pair of wins over Penn State and Big Ten runner-up Ohio State. The Spartans enter NCAA play with an 11-4-4 overall mark, earning their first back-to-back NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

Purdue will square off against MAC Champion Central Michigan in Friday’s opening round in South Bend, Ind., as the Chippewas make their debut in the NCAA Tournament. A win would advance Purdue to face either Notre Dame or IUPUI on Sunday. The Boilermakers tied for fourth place in the conference standings after stringing together a 12-5-3 overall record with a 5-3-2 Big Ten ledger. The Boilermakers are making their sixth NCAA appearance, and second in South Bend, since earning their inaugural berth in 2002.

Ohio State will host first and second rounds at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and will open tournament play against Oregon State on Friday. A win would place the Buckeyes against either Florida or Illinois State in Sunday’s second round of matchups. OSU is making its fifth overall NCAA Championship appearance on the heels of earning its best regular season record in program history (14-3-2). The Buckeyes finished their conference slate with a 7-2-1 mark, becoming the first OSU squad to ever post seven wins against conference foes in a single season.

Rounding out the Big Ten’s NCAA contingent, Wisconsin was also selected to host first and second round competition at the McClimon Soccer Complex, where the Badgers hold a 5-1 record in NCAA first-round action. UW will look to improve on their 11-14-0 tournament record as they face Arizona State on Friday while UW-Milwaukee will go head-to-head against third-seeded Central Florida. Times for the games are still to be determined. After finishing the regular season on a seven-game unbeaten streak, Wisconsin (9-5-5, 5-1-4) is making its 15th overall NCAA appearance, returning to the national stage for the first time since 2005. 

This season marks the eighth time in the 28-year history of the event that the Big Ten has sent five or more teams to the NCAA Championship, including in six of the last eight seasons. Michigan State and Penn State each earned bids in the field of 64 last year, while Ohio State and Purdue return to the bracket after a one-year hiatus.

The 2009 Women’s College Cup will be held at Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas, Dec. 4 and 6.  Texas A&M will serve as host.

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