Nov. 16, 2009
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Four of the seven men's soccer teams will represent the West Coast Conference in the 2009 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, as Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, and Portland begin postseason play this week. WCC Champion San Diego will not compete until Sunday, November 22.
Loyola Marymount, which was ranked No. 15 in the most recently published NCAA Ratings Percentage Index, will be returning to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history. The Lions finished third in the WCC with a 10-8-2 overall record, marking Head Coach Paul Krumpe's fifth 10-plus victory season. The Lions will host Sacramento State (11-5-3) on Thursday, the official start date of first round play. The match start time is still to be determined. The winner of that match will move on to face No. 6 seed UCLA (10-3-4) at Drake Stadium on Sunday, November 22 at 5 PM.
Saint Mary's, after having its best season in program history, will enter its first ever NCAA Tournament. The Gaels, whose selection into the tournament was boosted by posting its best record in school history (10-4-5) and key wins over then-No. 16 UC Irvine (2-1) and two ties with then-No. 18 Portland (1-1) and then-No. 14 San Diego (0-0), will be traveling to Stanford (10-5-2) for its first round match. The winner will travel to No. 16 seeded UC Irvine to face the Anteaters on Saturday, November 22.
Portland, who finished fourth in the WCC and posted an 10-5-5 overall record, also received an at-large bid into the 2009 NCAA Tournament today, marking the Pilots' 14th appearance at the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Pilots advanced to the playoffs was in 2007 when Portland dropped a 1-0 decision at Washington in the first round. The Pilots will travel to Albuquerque to take on New Mexico (12-6-1) on Thursday at 6 PM. The winner of the match advances to play at North Carolina State in the second round on Sunday, November 22.
WCC Champion San Diego will not compete until next weekend, as the Toreros were seeded 11th for the 2009 NCAA Tournament, which automatically advances them to the second round. This marks the first time the Toreros have made an NCAA postseason appearance since 2003. San Diego (12-5-2) will host the winner of the first round matchup between Wofford (12-2-3) and UC Santa Barbara (15-4-2) on Sunday, November 22 at 5 PM.
This is the fifth time that the WCC has had at least four teams selected to the NCAA Tournament. This year, only three other conferences have had more than four teams chosen to compete for the College Cup: the ACC (7), Big East (5), and Big Ten (5).
The 2009 College Cup semifinal and final rounds will be held in Cary, North Carolina at WakeMed Soccer Park. The semifinals will be played on Friday, December 11. The championship game will take place on Sunday, December 13 and will be televised on ESPN2.