Six Big Ten Schools Earn Bids To NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament
Big Ten will send at least five programs to tournament for 23rd time in 24 years
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference will have six schools participating in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, it was announced Monday afternoon. Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin earned berths to this year’s NCAA Tournament, which kicks off Friday at campus sites around the country.
The Big Ten has now had at least five of its current women’s soccer programs selected for the NCAA Tournament in 23 of the past 24 seasons.
Minnesota (11-8-2) earned the Big Ten’s automatic qualifying berth into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of its penalty-kick shootout win over Penn State in Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament title game. The Golden Gophers will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and will travel to Auburn for a first-round game in the Chapel Hill Regional at 4 p.m. (ET) Friday.
Northwestern (10-4-4) is also penciled into the Chapel Hill Regional and extends its program-record NCAA Tournament bid streak to four in a row, with the Wildcats set to make their sixth overall postseason appearance. NU will head to N.C. State to open NCAA Tournament play at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday.
Ohio State (9-5-4) is also making its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance while earning the 13th NCAA berth in program history. The Buckeyes will visit Wake Forest Friday (time TBD) in a first-round matchup out of the Tallahassee Regional.
Big Ten Champion Penn State (15-5-1) will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 24th consecutive season, having won the national championship in 2015. The Nittany Lions will play host to Bowling Green in an opening-round game in the Tallahassee Regional at 6 p.m. (ET) Friday at Jeffrey Field in University Park, Pa.
Rutgers (11-3-5) received its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and the 13th in program history, highlighted by a trip to the NCAA College Cup in 2015. The Scarlet Knights kick off their postseason at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday in Durham, N.C., taking on fourth-seeded Duke in a first-round game in the Washington, D.C., Regional
Wisconsin (12-3-4) has received its fourth NCAA Tournament bid in five years and the 21st in program history. The Badgers will head to Memphis for a Palo Alto Regional first-round game on Friday (tie TBD) against the Tigers.
Following this weekend’s first-round matches, the NCAA Tournament continues with second-round play on Nov. 16 and third-round contests on Nov. 18, also at campus sites. The quarterfinals then will take place Nov. 23 or 24 on the campus of one of the participating institutions. The 2018 NCAA Women’s College Cup will take place at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., with the semifinals slated for Nov. 30 and the championship game on Dec. 2, and all three College Cup contests being televised live on ESPNU.
The remaining kickoff times and all television coverage for NCAA Tournament matches prior to the semifinals will be announced by the participating schools.