MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Big 12 regular-season champion West Virginia women’s soccer team will start its quest for the 2012 NCAA College Cup against Princeton in the opening round of 2012 NCAA Championship on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
The Mountaineers are serving as one of 32 host schools for the first round of the national tournament – the second season under this format. Saturday’s match will begin at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to Provo, Utah, for second and third round action (on-campus at the highest remaining seeds in that portion of the bracket) on Nov. 16 and 18.
“It’s so important for our seniors to get an opportunity again to perform at Dick Dlesk,” said coach Nikki Izzo-Brown. “Obviously being in the Big 12 now and the travel we’ve had to face, it’s really nice we have this home game, and not have to get back on the road because the travel has been pretty tough.”
WVU is 1-0-0 all-time against Princeton, a 2-1 Mountaineer victory in the 2008 NCAA tournament (at Virginia).
Princeton earned an automatic bid following its Ivy League regular-season championship to finish with a 13-3-1 record. The Tigers, currently on an 11 match win streak, went unbeaten in league play, becoming only the fifth team in the 22 seasons of eight-team Ivy League women's soccer to go 7-0-0.
West Virginia holds a record of 11-4-4 this season (7-0-1 Big 12), going 8-1-1 in its last 10 matches. The Mountaineers own Top 25 wins over No. 1-ranked Stanford and No. 7-ranked Oklahoma State.
“The losses are your best opportunity to learn and I think that we learned a good lesson being on the road (against TCU), and coming out and not performing the way we felt should have,” said Izzo-Brown. “I’m hoping with that type of performance, that we’ll turn a negative into a positive and learn from the experience, and get our second life in the third part of our season with the NCAA tournament. I know we’ve been talking a lot as a team that we have to look at our last game and learn from it.”
The Mountaineers have advanced to the NCAA tournament in 13 consecutive seasons, advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2007. WVU has hosted the NCAA tournament in six previous seasons (2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2011).
Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and senior citizens. Admission is free for West Virginia University students with a valid student ID. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $2 through the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME.
NCAA quarterfinal matches will be played the weekend of Nov. 23-25. The 31st annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif.