No. 10 UC San Diego Will Begin Program's 30th NCAA Championship Run at Home on Saturday as West's Top Seed
INDIANAPOLIS - Tenth-ranked University of California San Diego has earned the top seed in the West Region for the second year in a row, as the field for the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship was unveiled Monday afternoon.
UC San Diego's NCAA postseason run will thus begin right at home in La Jolla, where the Tritons are a perfect 10-0 this season, and an unbeaten 29-0-1 over their last 30 going back to Sept. 11, 2016.
This marks a milestone 30th NCAA Championship selection all-time for the storied program, now back-to-back-to-back double champions of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season and tournament. The Tritons made all 14 NCAA tournaments during their Division III days, and now have qualified for a 16th Division II edition in 19 seasons at that level.
UC San Diego entered the CCAA Tournament semifinals last Friday as the top-seeded host for a second successive year, and went on to a fourth consecutive banner, and record 12th in all. The Tritons had bumped down to No. 2 in the third official NCAA West Region poll after splitting the final weekend of the regular season on the road, behind rival Western Washington. The Vikings, however, lost at Concordia (OR) in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) final, 2-1 in overtime, on Saturday afternoon. That result, combined with UC San Diego outscoring two opponents 8-1 en route to Sunday's latest trophy, put the Tritons back on top.
The top seed has added significance in the West this year, as that is the only spot to gain a first-round bye and go directly into the second round. UC San Diego will await the winner between fourth-seeded city rival Point Loma (15-1-1) and fifth-seeded CCAA foe Chico State (10-1-6), in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Sea Lions and Wildcats square off on Thursday, Nov. 8. Both kickoff times are set for 12 p.m. at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla.
The Tritons will head into NCAA postseason activity in their own venue with a perfect home ledger, for the second year in a row, having entered at 11-0 in 2017.
UC San Diego, the CCAA's automatic NCAA qualifier, is making a fourth straight NCAA appearance as the reigning West Region champion. The Tritons knocked off 2016 national champion Western Washington, 2-0, in the 2017 West final at home. That matchup went in the Vikings' favor, 2-1 in overtime, in 2016 in Golden, Colo.
Point Loma is the champion of the Pacific West Conference (PacWest), wrapping up that slate an impressive 10-0-1 while outscoring opponents 21-1. The Sea Lions are an undefeated 15-0-1 overall since a season-opening home loss to then-seventh-ranked Western Washington, 2-1, back on Aug. 30.
Chico State is an at-large entrant. The Wildcats, like Point Loma, have only lost one match thus far in 2018. They are coming off a 1-1 draw as the second seed, against No. 3 seed Sonoma State in the first semifinal of the CCAA Tournament last Friday afternoon. Chico State was eliminated via penalty-kick tiebreaker, 3-1. UC San Diego dropped the regular-season meeting between the teams, 1-0 in Chico on Oct. 27.
Concordia (OR) is the West's No. 2 seed and hosts No. 3 Western Washington, No. 6 Sonoma State and No. 7 Seattle Pacific on the other side of the regional in Portland, Ore. WWU and SSU square off on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m., followed by Concordia and SPU at 2 p.m. The winners meet on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices for this week's activity are $10 for general admission, and $5 for seniors (65+), students with valid identification, and youth (2-12). Children under two years of age are admitted free of charge. Parking will be free on Saturday only.
Both matches will be broadcast live in high definition, free of charge, on UCSDtritons.tv, which can be accessed on smartphones and tablets in addition to desktops and laptops.
The top remaining seed in the West Region after this weekend, will travel to the home of the top remaining seed in the South Central, with Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden, Colo., in that position heading into the tournament. Whatever that venue ends up being, it will host a pair of regional title clashes and a national quarterfinal. That occurs on an annual rotational basis. Therefore, UC San Diego fans only have one final chance to see their Tritons in La Jolla, this Saturday afternoon.
The 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship begins this Thursday, Nov. 8, with a newly-expanded 56-team field, up from 48. The semifinals and championship game will be held Nov. 29-Dec. 1, at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. Central Missouri went a perfect 26-0 en route to its first national title a year ago in Kansas City. Mo.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (UCSDtritons). For more information on UC San Diego Women's Soccer, follow on Instagram (@ucsdwsoc).