There are just a few days left for Division I women’s soccer teams to secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament — the 64-team bracket will be announced at 4:30 p.m. ET Monday, Nov. 9 on NCAA.com.
But before we get to Selection Monday, conference tournament action heats up and leagues without a tournament play their season finales this weekend. Several squads have locked up their NCAA bids, but lots of teams still have the opportunity to make some waves in the final days of the season. Here’s a look at some of the more intriguing races across the nation:
No. 3 Stanford has already claimed the Pac-12 title after shutting out USC and UCLA last weekend. It is the Cardinal's 10th championship in program history and the fifth in the last seven years. But the Cardinal isn’t likely to put on the brakes when they host No. 20 California Friday to conclude regular season play. Stanford will be looking to remain unbeaten against Pac-12 opponents and conclude the season with a perfect conference mark for the first time since 2012.
The ACC Tournament once again will serve as a preview to the NCAA Tournament as four teams ranked among the top 10 in the NSCAA poll will compete for the league title Nov. 6-8, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Top-ranked and No. 1 seed Virginia faces sixth-ranked and No. 4 seed Clemson in Friday’s first semifinal match, while fourth-ranked and No. 2 seed Florida State will take on No. 8 and third-seeded North Carolina in the second match of the tournament. The winners of Friday’s games will tangle in Sunday’s championship match (12 p.m., ESPNU) with the champion earning the league’s automatic berth. Florida State defeated Virginia in the ACC title game last season, and the Seminoles went on to win their first NCAA championship.
The Big Ten Tournament also looks like the perfect tune-up for the NCAA postseason action as No. 9 Penn State earned the right to host the championship after the Nittany Lions claimed their 17th regular season league title. Top-seeded Penn State, looking to capture its first Big Ten Tournament Championship since 2008, will play fifth-seeded Michigan at 6 p.m. Friday live on the Big Ten Network. In the first semifinal at 3:30 p.m., No. 7 and third-seeded Rutgers will match up with seventh-seeded Ohio State as the Scarlet Knights vie for the school’s Big Ten team championship in any sport. Rutgers needs just one victory to tie the school’s season-record win total of 16.
No. 2 West Virginia, the first team in Big 12 history to win four consecutive outright regular season championships, extended its 16-game winning streak with a 2-1 defeat of Oklahoma State Wednesday in league tournament quarterfinal action. WVU faces Texas Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday as the Mountaineers look to advance in their quest to defend last year’s Big 12 title.
LSU, the No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament, upset second-seeded Missouri, 2-1, in Wednesday’s quarterfinal action. The Tigers pushed their unbeaten streak to six games and advanced to the semifinals to face Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. Friday (SEC Network).
San Francisco has already set a program-best mark with 13 victories this season, but the Dons are looking to add one more history-making accomplishment to the list. USF controls its own destiny in the West Coast Conference race and needs just a win or tie against Portland on Saturday to claim its first-ever league title. If the Dons fall to the Pilots and No. 13 BYU defeats Saint Mary’s on Saturday, the Cougars will capture their fourth consecutive WCC title. Against the Gaels, BYU will look to extended the nation’s longest 16-game home winning streak. The Cougars have also shutout 10 straight opponents at home.
After winning its first BIG EAST regular season title in program history and a school-record 15 games, No. 22 St. John’s looks to follow that up with its first conference tournament championship since 1994. The Red Storm faces Butler at 5:30 p.m. in Friday’s semifinal match-up which will be held at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. St. John’s ranks 10th nationally with a 0.49 goals against average and has posted a school-record 12 shutouts this season. Georgetown and Providence will meet at 8 p.m. in Friday’s second semifinal.
Long Beach State shared the Big West regular season title with Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara — its first since 2008 — but the 49ers are hoping to take home the tournament trophy for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011.
North Dakota State finished its Summit League schedule unscathed for the first time in program history with a 7-0-1 league mark. The Bison won their only league title in 2010.
To view the NCAA Tournament selection show Monday, visit:
Amy Farnum Patronis covers Division I Women's College Soccer for College Soccer News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org