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NCAA Women’s College Soccer Tournament Preview

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NCAA Women’s College Soccer Tournament Preview

Stanford, the number one seed in this year's tournament, celebrating its national championship last year

Stanford, the number one seed in this year's tournament, celebrating its national championship last year

Stanford, the number one seed in this year's tournament, celebrating its national championship last year

Stanford, the number one seed in this year's tournament, celebrating its national championship last year

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    As the regular season comes to an end, the 2018 women’s soccer NCAA tournament begins. In order to qualify for the tournament, a team must end the season with a winning record as well as a relatively high ranking in the Division 1 college soccer ranks. However, there are ways around these qualification rules. There are approximately 35 conferences in Women’s College Soccer which include the Pac- 12, the SEC, the ACC, and the Big East. After the regular season, each conference holds an intra- conference tournament in which all the teams in one conference play each other until one is named the winner of the conference– “conference champs.” If a team wins its conference, it automatically qualifies for the NCAA tournament.

       A total of 64 teams qualify for the tournament every year. Considering there are over 300 Division 1 teams in the country, being one of these 64 qualifiers is a huge accomplishment in itself. Among the qualified teams are juggernauts such as Stanford University, who is ranked number 1 in the nation with a record of 17-0-2. Because of its superb record, Stanford was awarded one of four number one seeds in this year’s tournament. The other three were given to Florida State University, the University of North Carolina, and Georgetown University who are ranked two, three, and four in the nation, respectively.

UCLA Women’s Soccer celebrates a goal

   Given the array of powerhouse teams in the tournament, one can only expect a very competitive few weeks of college soccer. If a team is able to make it through all six rounds– 1, 2, 3, quarters, semis, and finals– they will be named the women’s college soccer national champs, a huge accomplishment. Who that team will be is hard to say, however, I do have some predictions going into the tournament. Stanford appears to have a pretty easy first couple of rounds, and, if they play the way they have been playing, they should have no trouble getting past their first, second, and third round opponents. I have no doubt in my mind that the juggernaut program will make it into the quarters, especially with such a dynamic, well- rounded freshman up top. My prediction for who the other seven teams in the quarters will be is less certain; however, I believe that we will be seeing a Stanford, Florida State, Duke, and UCLA final four. When it comes down to it, I want to say UCLA will be named national champs, however, Stanford is definitely a huge contender so I cannot say that with any certainty in my mind.

      It should be an exciting few weeks of soccer and I am eager to see who will be named women’s college soccer national champions of 2018.

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NCAA Women’s College Soccer Tournament Preview