Nov. 11, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University will face Creighton in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships, the NCAA Selection Committee announced this afternoon. The Broncos, the 2001 National Champions, are the tournament's sixth overall seed, and will host the first and second rounds of the 21st NCAA Championship at Buck Shaw Stadium this Friday and Sunday.
The Broncos will face the Bluejays at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday. Pacific-10 schools Arizona State and Washington State will face each other in the other game at 5 p.m. The winners will face each other on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Broncos, ranked fourth in the country with a 15-4-1 record, will be making its 14th straight NCAA postseason appearance. Santa Clara received an at-large berth in the 2002 Tournament after earning a share of the West Coast Conference Championship on November 9. Pepperdine, by virtue of a tiebreaker, earned the league's automatic bid. The Broncos have advanced to the College Cup on eight occasions.
Creighton is 12-7-2 on the season and earned a berth into the tournament by winning the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament. The Sun Devils (11-6-2) and Cougars (11-6-2) were at-large bids.
Of the 64 teams selected, 12 are from the West Coast. Along with Santa Clara, California and Stanford were the other Bay Area teams selected. Additionally, West Coast Conference opponents Portland, Loyola Marymount, San Diego and Pepperdine were placed in the draw. SCU went 6-4 against the tournament field during the regular season. Stanford is the tournament's top seed, followed by North Carolina, Pepperdine, Connecticut, West Virginia, the Broncos, UCLA and Portland.
The third round will be held November 22-24 and the quarterfinals will be played November 29-December 1. The 2002 Women's College Cup will be held December 6 and 8 at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus the University of Texas at Austin.
North Carolina has captured the title 16 times, but in the 2001 championship game, it was Santa Clara who defeated the Tar Heels 1-0 for the Broncos' first National Championship. All-America midfielder Aly Wagner scored the game-winning goal and returns to the team after spending much of the regular season competing with the U.S. National Team.
This is the second year of the NCAA Championship's 64-team field. Four seasons ago, the women's bracket was increased from 32 to 48 teams. In the championship, 29 conferences were awarded automatic berths with 35 teams receiving at-large selections.