LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The fifth-ranked UC San Diego women's soccer team will travel to Denver, Colo., this week to continue its quest for an eighth national title.
The Tritons (15-2-3) will take on No. 23 Western Washington in Denver on Friday, Nov. 16, with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m. PT. Metropolitan State University of Denver serves as host for the next two rounds as the highest remaining seed in the South Central Region. The South Central Region hosts the West Region for the Third Round and Quarterfinals this season in the NCAA's yearly rotation.
UCSD and Western Washington thus contest the West Region final at a neutral venue at Auraria Field. The winner will play Friday's South Central survivor in a national quarterfinal on Sunday, Nov. 18. The remaining South Central participants are the host Metro State Roadrunners, and 15th-ranked Colorado Mines Orediggers. Both schools are members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).
The Tritons are the No. 2 seed in the West Region, with Western Washington seeded fifth. The Vikings knocked off back-to-back California Collegiate Athletic Association foes in the First Round and Second Round, edging past fourth-seeded Cal Poly Pomona and top seed Sonoma State, respectively, in Rohnert Park, both by the identical 2-1 scoreline in double overtime.
Western Washington (19-3), like UCSD, was an automatic qualifier for the 2012 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship, as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship winner.
UCSD, which itself topped Seattle Pacific 2-1 in double overtime on Saturday night following a first-round bye, is an undefeated 4-0-1 all-time against the Vikings, including 1-0 in the NCAA tournament. That lone postseason meeting came in La Jolla in the 2006 First Round, with the hosts taking a 4-0 decision.
The Tritons are 2-1 against Metro State, with the sides splitting a pair of match-ups in the NCAA Division II Championship in 2003 (3-2 UCSD in La Jolla) and 2006 (2-0 MSU in Denver). They would meet Colorado Mines for the first time should each team advance to Sunday's action.
Metro State (15-5-2) is the No. 3 seed in the South Central Region, with Colorado Mines (17-4-1) seeded fourth. Both squads pulled off road upsets of the top two seeds in that region on Sunday, with Metro State overturning a one-goal deficit to get by second-seeded and 18th-ranked St. Edward's, 2-1, in Austin, Texas, and Colorado Mines posting a 3-0 shutout at No. 1 seed and fourth-ranked Dallas Baptist. The RMAC rivals will square off at 10 a.m. PT in Friday's first Third Round tilt.
-- UCSDtritons.com --