CORRECTION: 2nd and 3rd round are played one day apart meaning that the Bears would only host 2nd and 3rd round if they beat LMU AND West Virginia is upset in the first round
The tough fought 1-1 draw with Stanford on Sunday, which ruined Stanford's perfect conference record, was enough to push the California Golden Bears (13-5-3) up from 20th in RPI last week to a top 12 overall seed (and a RPI of 18) in the announced NCAA women's soccer tournament bracket today.
Bears will host Loyola Marymount University (13-5-1) on Saturday at noon PT. Hopefully, that match will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks or streamed online. Last year, the Golden Bears won a thrilling OT win over San Diego State University at a first round match hosted by the Bears at Edwards Stadium. Perhaps giving her the confidence to have a spectacular season, Arielle Ship was the one who scored the Golden Goal for the Golden Bears.
The smile you give when you're the 2015 Pac-12 regular season individual champ in Points (34), Goals (14) & GWG (6) pic.twitter.com/UcUNAYYWs9— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) November 7, 2015
In addition to Ship and a fairly well balanced attack, the Bears also have a big time goalkeeper in Emily Boyd.
When you know you're saving it because you're the Pac-12 champion in Shutouts (11) & Save Percentage (.860) pic.twitter.com/2HQJUDK6MF— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) November 7, 2015
In addition to being the best in the Pac in shutouts and save percentage, Boyd is also 3 for 3 in STOPPING PENALTY SHOTS. That is really really good and a huge asset to have in the post season when many matches end up in PK.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Bears are a very impressive 8-1-0 at Edwards Stadium in 2015 and could use all the fan supports that they get to make it a true Bear Territory.
@SFD911 they'll be available at the door starting Saturday! $10 adults $5 students, all general admission! ⚽️— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) November 9, 2015
Should the Bears get past LMU, they will host the winner of South Dakota State and Minnesota. Bears have not had the chance to host a NCAA 2nd round in my recent memory. Depending on how the 1st round played out in their bracket, the Bears will play the winner of South Dakota State and Minnesota at the site where they may also play their 3rd round match.
With at least another home match, the team is pretty happy about this draw.
LMU is 41st in RPI. South Dakota State are 161st! by RPI but Minnesota (39 on RPI) got lucky due to the NCAA wanting to minimize travel in these early rounds.
For yours truly, living out in Philadelphia, a potential 3rd round match at West Virginia and an Elite Eight match at Penn State are potential road trips. West Virginia is 7th in RPI while Penn State is 2nd. I think the Bears got a fairly decent draw.
Don't forget, this Cal team is the same one that went to Durham for a tournament at the beginning of the season where the Bears drew with North Carolina and defeated Duke. The team has that success on the East Coast under its belt.
DYK: Cal went unbeaten against Top 5 teams this season, drawing both #3 Stanford & #4 UNC (in Durham) on the road. pic.twitter.com/kNj63cimPL— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWomensSoccer) November 8, 2015
The full bracket can be found here.
A total of 6 Pac-12 teams have made the NCAA tournament in 2015. Stanford earns a 1 seed and home field to the College Cup (NCAA soccer's version of the Final Four, which will take place in Cary, NC this year).
USC earns a 4 seed in the Virginia region. Washington State is in the Bears' region (Penn State). Arizona is in Stanford's region. Washington is in the Florida State (top overall seed) region.