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Pilots, Toreros Begin The Road To The College Cup

Nov. 10, 2008

NCAA Tournament Bracket in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

The University of Portland and the University of San Diego were among the field of 64 selected to the NCAA Tournament announced the NCAA selection committee on Monday.

For the first time in four years, the Pilots have been rewarded with home field advantage in the opening rounds of the NCAA playoffs. Portland, ranked No. 2 in the latest NSCAA national poll, earned a No. 2 seed and will open the postseason by hosting Northern Arizona on Friday, Nov. 14.

The first round doubleheader at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex will feature Texas and Washington State at 5 p.m., followed by the Pilots and Lumberjacks at 8 p.m. The winners will advance to the second round game scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday at 11 a.m. through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling (503) 224-4400 or in-person at the Pilot Box Office.

The 14th ranked Toreros will open play against No. 25 Long Beach State University on Friday at 8 p.m at UCLA's Drake Stadium. The other two teams in the bracket are Fresno State University and No. 2 UCLA. Should USD win on Friday, they would face the winner of the UCLA/Fresno State match on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Toreros finished the regular-season with a 14-4-2 overall record and a 6-1-0 record in the West Coast Conference, good for a second place finish. USD is led offensively by Jen Mello, who has a team-leading 11 goals scored, to go along with a pair of assists for a team-leading 24 points. USD's defense is anchored down by senior goalkeeper Brittany Cameron, who has a goals-against-average of 0.78 and has recorded eight shutouts on the season.

The Pilots (17-1-0, 7-0-0 West Coast Conference) earned the WCC's automatic bid to the tournament after defeating No. 11 San Diego by a 4-1 margin on Saturday. Portland carries a 16-match winning streak into postseason play while outscoring opponents by a 58-5 margin. Portland's only loss this season was a 1-0 defeat to UCLA. The Bruins, Notre Dame and North Carolina are the other top seeds.

The Pilots are making their 16th NCAA appearance in the last 17 years. Portland claimed the 2005 NCAA Championship to become just the third program to ever win multiple championships (2002, 2005) and just the second to cap an unbeaten season with a title. Portland has advanced to three championship games, eight College Cups (semifinals) and at least the quarterfinals on 13 occasions, including last four years. Portland has lost in the quarterfinals the past two seasons at UCLA by one-goal margins, including a 3-2 double overtime heartbreaker last year.

The 2008 College Cup will be held in Cary, N.C. at the WakeMed Soccer Park with semifinal action on Friday, Dec. 5 and the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 7.