Nov. 18, 2000
The top-ranked Notre Dame women's soccer team (22-0-1) will face a familiar foe in next week's NCAA quarterfinal round, as Santa Clara advanced on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 overtime win at BYU.
The ND-SCU game will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24, at Notre Dame's Alumni Field.
Notre Dame will be making its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals (one of three teams able to make that claim, see notes below) while SCU will be making its ninth trip to the quarterfinals and sixth in the last seven years.
Santa Clara has faced Notre Dame five times during the last six seasons (ND holds a 3-2-0 series edge), including three meetings in the last 13 months. The Irish dropped a 4-2 game at SCU's Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 17, 1999, before avenging that defeat with a 1-0 win over the top-ranked Broncos in the 1999 NCAA semifinals (at Spartan Stadium).
Notre Dame posted a 6-1 win over a depleted SCU squad earlier this season (Sept. 8), on the first day of Notre Dame's Key Bank Classic.
SCU (16-6-1)-which gained one of 24 at-large berths in the NCAAs-is riding a five-game winning streak, including a 2-0 second-round win at California to eliminate the 8th-seeded Golden Bears.
Fifth-seeded North Carolina (18-3-0) also advanced to the quarterfinals, overcoming a second-half deficit on Saturday night to defeat Virginia, 2-1. UNC avoided its first-ever true road game in NCAA competition (outside of the semifinals or title game), thanks to Connecticut's Friday-night win at 4th-seeded Nebraska (UConn next plays at UNC, with the date and time TBA).
One other quarterfinal date is set, with Clemson playing host to the winner of Sunday's Texas A&M at UCLA game on Saturday, Nov. 25 (7:00 p.m.).
Sunday's other third-round game-Portland at Washington-will determine the site of the fourth quarterfinal. If 2nd-seeded Washington wins, it would play host to Penn State in the quarterfinals. If Portland pulls the upset at UW, the Pilots then would travel to PSU.
The quarterfinals will include two teams from the BIG EAST Conference (ND and UConn) and two from the Atlantic Coast Conference (UNC, Clemson), plus one from the Big Ten (PSU), one or two from the West Coast Conference (SCU, Portland), 0-2 from the Pacific-10 (UCLA, UW) and possibly one from the Big-12 (Texas A&M).
NCAA Quarterfinal Schedule
Friday, Nov. 24
Santa Clara at #1 seed Notre Dame (7:00 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 25
Texas A&M/#6 seed UCLA winner at #3 seed Clemson (7:00 p.m.)
Connecticut at #5 seed North Carolina (time TBA)
Undetermined site, date and time
Portland at #8 seed Penn State (if Portland beats Washington)
#8 seed Penn State at #2 seed Washington (if UW beats Portland)
* SCU/ND winner faces UConn-UNC winner in NCAA semifinals (Dec. 1 at San Jose's Spartan Stadium).
* ND, UNC and UConn are the only teams to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals every season since 1994 (7 straight), followed by SCU (6 quarterfinals in last 7 years), Portland (4, pending Sunday's game), Clemson and Penn State (3 each), five teams with two each (William & Mary, Hartford, Maryland, Nebraska and Florida) and seven with one each: Stanford, Duke, SMU, NC State, Harvard, Dartmouth and UCLA (pending Sunday's game).
* Since ND began sponsoring varsity women's soccer in 1988, just three schools have advanced to more quarterfinals than ND's seven: UNC (13 of 13), UConn (10) and SCU (9), followed by Portland (5, pending Sunday's game), Hartford, Colorado College and NC State (5 each), Wisconsin, Stanford, W&M and UMass (4 each), Clemson, PSU and UVa (3 each), six teams with two each (George Mason, UC Santa Barbara, Duke, Maryland, Florida, Nebraska) and seven with one each: California, Central Florida, Harvard, SMU, Dartmouth, Florida International and UCLA (pending Sunday).
* ND is tied with CC for 6th on the NCAA list for most all-time appearances in the quarterfinals (7), behind UNC (19), UConn (15), UMass (10), SCU (9) and NC State (8).
* The NCAA Women's Soccer Championship included just 12 teams in the first two years of the event (1982-83) and expanded to 14 teams in '84 and '85 before returning to 12 from '86-`92 ... the tournament then expanded to 16 teams in '93, to 24 beginning in 1994, to 32 in '96 and to the current 48-team format in '98.