Nov. 10, 2002
The 64-team field for the 2002 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship will be announced at 4:30 p.m. EST on Monday, Nov. 11. The selection show can be seen live on ESPN News (available on various cable packages, including Direct TV channel 207) and full information on the tournament then will be posted at www.ncaa.org.
Notre Dame (11-7-0) – which narrowly missed qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament after tying Georgetown for the fourth spot in the Mid-Atlantic Division – is hoping for an at-large berth into the NCAA field, by virtue of its strength of schedule and 4-1-0 finish to the regular season. The Irish were ranked 21st in the Nov. 4 NSCAA national coaches poll and ranked second in the Great Lakes Region, behind #17 Purdue.
The NCAA will seed the nation’s top eight seeds while designating a No. 1 seed at each of 16 sites that will serve as hosts for first- and second-round games (a host team will not necessarily be the top seed at that site). Campus sites will serve as the venues for action in the first (Nov. 15), second (Nov. 17), third (Nov. 22-24) and quarterfinal rounds (Nov. 29-Dec.1) while the College Cup semifinals (Dec. 6) and final (Dec. 8) will be played at the University of Texas.
Notre Dame’s 18-game regular-season schedule included eight opponents that were ranked in the Nov. 4 NSCAA poll: #7 Portland, #8 West Virginia, #9 Connecticut, #10 Santa Clara, #16 Maryland, #17 Purdue, #22 BYU and #24 Michigan. Another 2002 Irish opponent, Hartford, also received votes in last week’s NSCAA poll while three others (Villanova, Rutgers and Boston College) were ranked earlier in the 2002 season.
Notre Dame’s 2002 opponents have combined to win nearly 65 percent of their games (210-124-26, .619) and only four of the 18 opponents have losing records. The Irish closed the 2002 regular season by winning four of their final five games, highlighted by wins over UConn, Michigan and BC.
Four Notre Dame opponents – BYU (Mountain West), Santa Clara (West Coast Conference, tied), Hartford (America East) and UConn (BIG EAST) – won their conference titles (the Irish posted wins over the Hawks and Huskies) while West Virginia played in the BIG EAST title game. Four others reached the semifinal round of their conference tournaments: Villanova and Rutgers in the BIG EAST, Purdue in the Big Ten (failed to advance in game decided by penalty kicks) and Maryland in the ACC (lost to eventual champion UNC).