Nov. 7, 2011
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --For the first time since 2005, four West Coast Conference women's soccer teams will compete for the NCAA Women's College Cup. WCC co-champion and automatic qualifier Pepperdine, along with co-champion San Diego, Portland, and Santa Clara have earned berths in the 2011 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament.
Pepperdine, a No. 3 seed, will host Big West tournament champion Long Beach State in the first round. The match will take place at Pepperdine's Tari Frahm Rokus Field in Malibu on Saturday at 1 p.m. Boasting an overall record of 15-1-4, the Waves are unbeaten at home, with an 8-0-1 mark on their home pitch. The Waves shared the WCC title for the first time since 2002, and are making their first NCAA appearance since 2005. Meanwhile, the 49ers are 15-5-1 overall after upsetting No. 16 UC Irvine on its home pitch in the Big West title match.
San Diego, meanwhile, earned a share of its first-ever West Coast Conference crown in 2011. The Toreros enter the postseason as the WCC's hottest team, putting together a seven-match winning streak. San Diego (12-7-0) will visit UC Irvine (14-4-2) in the opening round on Friday at 7 p.m. The Anteaters won the Big West regular season crown before bowing in the championship match. During the regular season, UC Irvine earned a 3-2 victory over San Diego at Torero Stadium.
Portland (9-9-1) earns an NCAA berth for the 12th consecutive season. An at-large selection, the Pilots will play at Oregon State on Friday at 7 p.m. When these two teams squared off earlier this season, Portland earned a 2-1 overtime victory at Merlo Field. The Beavers, 13-5-2 in 2011, are an at-large selection from the Pac-12.
No. 7 Santa Clara (13-2-5) garnered its 22nd all-time NCAA Tournament bid, and the Broncos will host regional rival Cal on Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium at 2 p.m. Cal, an at-large bid from the Pac 12 Conference, posted a 12-6-2 overall record in 2011. The two teams met at Santa Clara in September, with the Broncos earning a 3-0 victory over the Golden Bears.
With four bids to this year's field, the West Coast Conference equals the Big East Conference for number of bids to this year's field, surpassing the likes of the Big Ten Conference. In all, the WCC has made 65 NCAA appearances, culminating in 19 Final Four trips and three national titles. Portland won the College Cup in 2002 and 2005, with Santa Clara winning the title in 2001.
The 2011 College Cup will be held at KSU Soccer Stadium in Kennesaw, Ga. The College Cup semifinals will take place on Friday, December 2, with the championship match on Sunday, December 4.