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Cal Women’s Soccer in South Carolina’s Region, to host Santa Clara in NCAA 1st round

The road to the 2017 College Cup (in Orlando) will start with a home match against Santa Clara on Saturday 11/11 at 1:30 pm PT.

Golden Bears will be dancing for the 14th consecutive year!
Cal Women’s Soccer Twitter

UPDATED: The game time is now announced as 1:30 pm PT on Saturday

The road to the 2017 Women’s College Cup, to take place from Orlando, Florida, is unveiled today. As expected, the top 25 ranked California Golden Bears (13-5-1, 6-4-1 in Pac-12) are one of 7 Pac-12 teams to make the field of 64. The Bears will be dancing for the 14th consecutive year (13 11 of which is under current head coach Neil McGuire). Golden Bears will host their first round match against local rival Santa Clara (NCAA likes to minimize travel for the first rounds) before a potential trip East to (most likely) South Carolina.

The unseeded Bears are in the same regional as the seeded South Carolina (No.1), Central Florida (No.2), Florida (No.3), and Ohio State (No.4). South Carolina is the 4th No.1 seed.

Here is the Bears’ 1/8th of the bracket.

The other side of this Regional have the following teams, including another Pac-12 team in Washington State.

Not surprisingly, top ranked Stanford earned the overall No.1 seed. Should the Bears somehow find the way to win their regional to make it to Orlando, a rematch with Stanford is likely in the semifinal.

Top 10 ranked USC (the defending NCAA champs) and UCLA also earned a 3rd and 2nd seed in an regional as two of 16 seeded teams. Arizona and Colorado are the other Pac-12 team to make the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats are in the same region as Stanford. The Buffs are in the same region as UCLA. A total of 7 Pac-12 teams are dancing this fall.

The four 1-seeds are Stanford, South Carolina, Duke, and North Carolina. The full bracket can be found on the NCAA site.

The bracket is listing a kickoff time of 1 pm 1:30 pm PT on Saturday, November 11th, when Cal will host a familiar Santa Clara Broncos team in the NCAA first round from Edwards Stadium. Given the fondness of NCAA to minimize travel for teams, Cal has face Santa Clara (13-6-1, 8-1-0 WCC) in the first round of the NCAA tournament fairly frequently. Bears also played Santa Clara in the regular season, beating then No.24 Broncos 2-1 on August 20th - the 2nd match of the season.

Should the Bears make it past the Broncos, they will likely have to travel to Columbia, South Carolina to play Ohio State (or Vanderbilt) in the 2nd round the following weekend. A win there will likely pit the Bears against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 3rd round - two days after the 2nd round. Bears have not made it to the third round since 2005.

Nevertheless, the Golden Bears do have the talent to make a deep run into the postseason. A very experienced goalkeeper in senior Emily Boyd will look to extend her Cal career and her school record for shutouts. She will also look to extend her school record in number of saves made.

Offensively, the Bears have a very dynamic forward in sophomore Abi Kim. The postseason is of course the time for the best players to shine.

We shall see if this is the year that the Bears can put it all together and win these tight matches in the postseason that often comes down to the penalty kicks.