California Women’s Soccer (13-4-3, 5-3-3 in Pac-12) are back in the NCAA postseason after a one year absence. California Golden Bears, in a banner year that saw them upset both USC and UCLA (both earning regional 2nd seed) are placed in the regional with top seed North Carolina Tar Heels and second seed USC Trojans.
The entire bottom right corner of the #NCAASoccer bracket! pic.twitter.com/YCj9F2PpvL— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) November 11, 2019
Golden Bears will open against another familiar opponent in the Santa Clara Broncos. Cal defeated Santa Clara 2-1 back on September 15th from Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. This more important rematch will take place in Stevens Stadium in Santa Clara.
Let's go dancing! @CalWSoc punches a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. #Pac12Soccer pic.twitter.com/P1XKfqmuzh— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 11, 2019
Stanford, Virginia, Florida State, and North Carolina are the top 4 seeds of the 64 team field. UCLA (2nd seed in the FSU regional), USC (2nd seed in the North Carolina regional...same as Cal), Washington (4th seed in the FSU regional) are the ranked (top 16) teams in the field. Other Pac-12 squads to make the postseason includes Washington State and Arizona.
With a strong defense this year, Golden Bears are poised to reverse years of postseason early exits. Should the Bears make the College Cup (Final Four), they won’t have to go far as that will be hosted by San Jose, California.
Bears vs Broncos— Cal Women's Soccer (@CalWSoc) November 11, 2019
Saturday at Stevens Stadium. You won't want to miss it#GoBears pic.twitter.com/DzdGHd3TXP
Besides the annual match against each other, Santa Clara is a familiar postseason foe for the Bears as the NCAA love to pit regional teams against one another early to save on travel. In 2017, Cal lost in the first round 2-1 against Santa Clara despite having home field advantage. Bears suffered the same fate in 2014 to the Santa Clara Broncos. Those losses in 2017 and 2014 ended the splendid Cal careers of goalkeepers Emily Boyd and Emily Kruger, respectively. For the 2019 team, Cal Bears will again have a standout keeper but it will be freshman Angelina Anderson making her postseason debut.
Emma Westin leads the Bears with 11 goals; the junior from Sweden scored against Santa Clara in the early match. 9 different Cal Bears have tallied a goal in 2019. Seniors Abi Kim and Mia Corbin both tie for the team lead with 6 assists apiece.
Last time that the Golden Bears survive the first round, they were defeated in the 2nd round by a seeded Florida Gators team in 2015. A potential 2nd round foe for the Bears this year will be 3rd seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls.
Congratulations to the program for another successful campaign! We will have more on the rematch against Santa Clara and that match as we have more information.