NCAA Women's Soccer Quarterfinals Preview
Nov. 23, 2004
Ohio State and Illinois continue the march toward the 2004 College Cup as both teams advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2004 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.
The Buckeyes won their ninth straight match at home as they defeated No. 11 seeded Tennessee, 1-0, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sunday. Ohio State earned its place in the Elite Eight on the foot of junior Lisa Grubb, who scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute to help the Buckeyes remain unbeaten at home in 2004 at 15-0-1. Ohio State will look to continue its streak when it hosts UCLA on Saturday, November 27 at Noon EST. College Sports Television (CSTV) will air the match live. The Bruins, the No. 14 seed in the championship, advanced through the first three rounds with wins over Pepperdine (1-0), San Diego (3-0) and Duke (2-0). UCLA tied Arizona for the PAC-10 championship with a 6-3 conference mark and is currently 16-6 overall. Ohio State recorded first and second round victories over Bowling Green, 2-0, and Detroit, 3-0, respectively. The No. 6 seeded Buckeyes are making their third straight appearance in the championship after they claimed the Conference crown and earned the League's automatic bid with a 2-0 win over Penn State in the Tournament final.
After playing its first and second round games on the road, Illinois returned home to take on Nebraska in the third round of the championship. The Fighting Illini didn't disappoint the record-breaking crowd at Illinois Soccer Stadium as the team defeated the Cornhuskers, 2-1, on Saturday. Junior midfielder Paula Faherty and sophomore defender Sarah Brown scored for the Illini as they advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history. The Orange & Blue are 4-3 all-time in NCAA postseason play and will travel to California to take on a Santa Clara team that posted a 1-0 upset over top-seeded North Carolina in overtime. The Broncos, a member of the West Coast Conference and the No. 16 seed in the championship, are 17-4-2 overall. Santa Clara claimed first and second round victories over California, 2-1, and Stanford, 1-0 (2OT), respectively. Illinois and Santa Clara match-up begins at 1 p.m. PT on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Five Big Ten teams were awarded bids to the 64-team field of the 2004 Championship, as Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin also joined Illinois and Ohio State. Michigan was the only Big Ten team to lose in the first round, as the Wolverines dropped a 3-2 decision to Detroit in Columbus. Wisconsin and Penn State were victorious in the first round as the Badgers downed Dayton, 2-1, in overtime, while Penn State defeated Binghamton, 6-1. However, both teams saw their seasons end in second round action. Wisconsin lost to Notre Dame, 1-0, on a last minute goal by the No. 4 seeded Fighting Irish, while Penn State dropped a heart-breaker at home to Maryland, 1-0.
Penn State and Wisconsin are the only Big Ten teams to have made it to the College Cup. The Nittany Lions lost in the semifinals in 2002 to Connecticut, 2-1, and in 1999 to North Carolina, 2-0. Wisconsin advanced to the championship match in 1991 before falling to the Tar Heels, 3-1.