The No. 14-ranked West Virginia University women’s soccer team earned a No. 2 seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament and will face Radford in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m., at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
Tickets for Saturday’s match will go on sale at WVUGAME.com at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and youth 12 and under and $3 for groups of 10 or more. WVU students will be admitted for free with a valid WVU student I.D.
The 2018 Big 12 Soccer Championship victors, the Mountaineers (14-4-3, 7-2) earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This year’s appearance will be WVU’s 19th straight, the fifth-longest active streak nationally.
WVU has been seeded No. 2 in three of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The 2016 NCAA National Runner-Up, the Mountaineers were seeded No. 1 in 2016.
“If you watched what this team did in the hardest, top-ranked conference in the country, you would see we gutted it out, grinded it out and had a winning mindset,” Mountaineer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown said. “I’m so proud of this team, but we’re not done.
“You’ll hear me talk a lot about the different seasons. There’s preseason, there’s nonconference season, there’s regular season and now it’s postseason. We’ve been through so many different experiences to get to this point. I know there’s a lot of players who want to get back. We’re going to take it one game at a time. I know Radford is going to be tough because they win, and they made it to this tournament. We’re not going to take anyone lightly.”
WVU is serving as one of 32 hosts for the first round of the national tournament – the seventh season under this format. Saturday’s winner will advance to play the winner of Wake Forest (8-8-1) – Ohio State (9-5-4).
As a No. 2 seed, the Mountaineers have secured home field advantage through the NCAA Third Round. WVU has hosted the NCAA Tournament in 12 previous seasons (2001-03, 2007, 2010-17).
The Mountaineers are 2-0 all-time against the Highlanders (16-2-1, 9-1 Big South). The teams last met in 2004, a 5-0 WVU win at Radford.
The Highlanders claimed the Big South Conference’s automatic bid with a 1-0 win over Gardner-Webb on Nov. 4. Radford’s 16 wins match its program single-season record.
The Mountaineers ride a three-match win streak into the NCAA Tournament, having outscored their opponents, 7-0, en route to the 2018 Big 12 Soccer Championship title. WVU clinched its ninth Big 12 crown and 17th conference championship with a 3-0 win over No. 9 Baylor, the conference’s regular-season champion, on Nov. 4, at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.
The WVU defense, anchored by 2018 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Bianca St. Georges and 2018 Big 12 Soccer Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player Easther Mayi Kith, has posted 11 clean sheets this season, 10 credited to junior Rylee Foster, and has held 20 of 21 opponents to one goal or less.
The Mountaineers rank No. 7 nationally, No. 1 in the Big 12, with a 0.505 goals-against average (GAA). Foster ranks No. 12 nationally with a 0.512 GAA.
Senior forward Sh’Nia Gordon, the 2018 Big 12 Soccer Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player, paces the Mountaineers with 16 points (7 G, 2 A). Gordon tallied a team-best five points (2 G, 1 A) at the Big 12 Championship, including game-winners in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches.
Thirty-one conferences were granted automatic bids for the 2018 NCAA Tournament, while the
remaining 33 teams were selected at-large. The top 16 teams are seeded and conference teams cannot play each other in the first or second rounds. When pairing teams, the committee follows geographic proximity parameters. The top 16 teams will host and all other sites were selected for the first round to create the least number of flights.
First-round games will be played Nov. 9, 10 and 11 at campus sites. Second-round games
will be played Friday, Nov. 16, at campus sites, and third-round games will be played Sunday, Nov. 18, at the same campus sites. Quarterfinal games will be played Nov. 23 or 24 also on campus sites.
The 37th annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, with Campbell University and the Town of Cary serving as co-hosts. The first national semifinal will be played and broadcast live on ESPNU at 5 p.m. ET Friday, Nov. 30. The second semifinal will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET live
on ESPNU. The national championship match will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, Dec. 2 and will also broadcast live on ESPNU.