Six Women's Soccer Teams Head To The NCAA Championship

NCAA Championship Bracket

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Six BIG EAST women's soccer teams will participate in the 2010 NCAA Championship, including first-time entrant USF. In addition, three BIG EAST schools will serve as host sites for the First-and Second Rounds: Notre Dame, Marquette and West Virginia. Connecticut and Georgetown also were picked to round out the BIG EAST contingent.

The 64-team field was announced earlier this evening on ESPNU and on ncaasports.com. Thirty conferences earned automatic berths, while 34 teams were selected at-large. Only the top four teams in each region were seeded.

The BIG EAST record for most teams selected is eight set in 2001. Last year seven BIG EAST teams earned an NCAA berth.

West Virginia (16-4-1) captured its second BIG EAST tournament championship on Nov. 7 with a 1-0 victory over USF earning the league's automatic berth. The Mountaineers earned a No. 3 seed and will host a First and Second Round site, beginning with a contest against Morehead State (13-6-1) on Nov. 12. If the Mountaineers advance they would take on either Penn or Penn State. It is the fourth time WVU has been seeded. Penn-Penn State will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET, following by WVU-Morehead State at 6 p.m. ET. The Mountaineers are ranked No. 7 in the Soccer America poll. West Virginia has advanced to the NCAA Championship in 11 consecutive seasons, advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2007.

Following its first 11-0-0 mark in BIG EAST Conference action, Marquette (15-4-2) earns its third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championship and its ninth overall. The Golden Eagles will host Central Michigan (16-4-1) on Nov. 12. If the Golden Eagles advance, they would take on either Milwaukee or Wisconsin. Marquette won the league's American Division this season and captured their second-straight regular-season crown. Marquette is ranked No. 9 in the Soccer America poll.

Notre Dame (15-2-2) captured its 13th BIG EAST regular-season title this year winning the league's National Division crown. The Irish were selected for their 18th straight NCAA Championship berth and have advanced to the College Cup in each of the last four years. Notre Dame will host a First and Second Round site, beginning with a contest against New Mexico (12-2-5) on Nov. 12. If the Irish advance they would take on either Illinois or Southern California.

USF (13-5-3) earned in first NCAA Championship berth and will take on Auburn (11-7-2) in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., ET. The meeting between the Bulls and Tigers will mark the first between the two schools. USF is 1-5-1 all-time against members of the SEC. If the Bulls advance they would take on either Middle Tennessee or host Florida State. USF is two wins shy of tying the school's highest mark for wins in a season of 15 set in 1998. The Bulls are in the midst of arguably the most successful season in program history making their first appearance in the title game of the BIG EAST Championship. USF is ranked No. 25 in the Soccer America poll.

Connecticut (10-9-3) returns to the NCAA Championship field for the second consecutive season and 28th  time overall. The Huskies will face Hofstra (18-2-0) in their First Round matchup on Nov. 12. The Pride are ranked No. 23 in the Soccer America poll. UConn is undefeated all-time in four games against Hofstra holding a 3-0-1 mark. The teams have never met in the NCAA Championship, and will be square off on the Newton Soccer Field. If the Huskies advance they would take on either host Boston College or crosstown rival Boston University. BC will open the tournament on Nov. 12 against Boston University at 4 p.m., while Connecticut will play Hofstra in the second game at 7 p.m. The second round will be on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.

Georgetown (13-6-1) will play Siena (17-3-0) on Nov. 12 at Ludwig Field on the campus of the University of Maryland. The Hoyas are making their second NCAA Championship berth in looking for their first win. Georgetown also earned an at-large berth in 2007. If the Hoyas advance they would face either High Point or No. 1 seed and host Maryland on Sunday, Nov. 14. Georgetown started the season off with a program-best 7-0 record and the team had two wins over NCAA Championship teams, a 1-0 road win against James Madison on Sept. 10 and a 3-1 win over USF on Oct. 1.

First-round matches will be played Friday, Nov. 12, at campus sites, and second-round matches will be played Sunday, Nov. 14, at the same campus sites. Third-round games will be played at on-campus sites Nov. 19, 20 or 21. Quarterfinal matches will be played Nov. 26, 27 or 28. The 29th annual NCAA Women's College Cup will be played Dec.  3 and 5 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

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. ET, while National Semifinal No. 2 will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET. On Friday, Dec. 3, both semifinals will receive live national television coverage as one semifinal will be broadcast or simulcast on ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN3.com while the other semifinal will air exclusively on ESPNU.

The NCAA Women's College Cup national semifinals television coverage will be determined after the quarterfinals have been played. The national championship match will occur on Sunday, Dec. 5 at noon ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN2/ESPN3.com.

A BIG EAST team has advanced to the College Cup 11 times in the past 15 years (since 1995). In addition, a BIG EAST squad has played for the women's soccer national championship seven times in the last 12 seasons and claimed a pair of national titles (Notre Dame in 1995 and 2004).