August 29, 2001

NCAA Expands Women's Soccer Tournament Field

Aug. 29, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The NCAA Executive Committee has approved the expansion of the fields for the Division I men's and women's soccer championships, effective with the 2001 tournaments.

The men's bracket increased from 32 to 48 teams, while the women's bracket expanded from 48 to 64 teams. It is the first expansion for the men's tournament since the bracket was increased from 28 to 32 teams following the 1992 championship. The women's bracket was increased from 32 to 48 teams in 1998.

"Both committees (Division I Men's Soccer Committee and Division I Women's Soccer Committee) are excited about their respective brackets being expanded," said Tom Jacobs, NCAA director of championships. "Not only will it afford all eligible conferences the opportunity for an automatic berth, but it will provide an NCAA championship opportunity for 640 additional male and female student-athletes (352 female, 288 male)."

In the men's championship, 20 conferences will receive automatic bids with the remaining 28 being awarded to at-large teams. There will be no play-in games for qualification.

In the women's championship, 28 conferences will be awarded automatic berths with 36 teams receiving at-large selections.

Sixteen campus sites will host the first and second rounds of the men's tournament. Three teams will be selected to the 16 sites with the first round being played November 23. In the second round, the winning team of the first round will play the team with the first-round bye on November 25. The third round will be played the weekend of December 1-2, and the quarterfinals will be played December 8-9. The 2001 NCAA Men's College Cup will be played December 14 and 16 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

The format for the women's tournament will have 16 campuses hosting the first and second rounds of the women's tournament. Four teams will be selected to the 16 sites with the first and second rounds being played on November 16 and 18 respectively. The third round will be held November 23-25 and the quarterfinals will be played November 30-December 2. The 2001 Women's College Cup will be held December 7 and 9 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.