Indianapolis, Indiana - The 48-team field for the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship was unveiled Monday evening, with UC San Diego the automatic qualifier from the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
The fourth-seeded Tritons (15-5-1) will head to the Pacific Northwest Tuesday as the CCAA Tournament champions and take on fifth-seeded Seattle Pacific (13-4-2) in a first-round match this Thursday, Nov. 12, in Bellingham, Wash. Kickoff at Harrington Field is set for primetime under the lights at 7 p.m. Top seed Western Washington (18-1-1), ranked No. 2 in the latest national poll, serves as the host.
Thursday's winner will face Western Washington in the second round on Saturday, Nov. 14, with that one an afternoon start at 1 p.m. WWU earns a bye directly into the second round. The Vikings are unbeaten over their last 17 (16-0-1), since their only loss, a 2-1 defeat at Humboldt State of the CCAA.
The Tritons are making their 13th appearance in the NCAA Division II Championship, and first since collecting the West Region title en route to a national runner-up showing in 2012. UCSD has won six straight, out-scoring its opponents, 18-3, and eight of nine.
WWU is the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) champion and like UCSD, one of 22 automatic qualifiers in the field after posting a 3-1 victory over Seattle Pacific in Saturday's GNAC Tournament final in Burnaby, B.C. SPU is thus one of 26 at-large entrants.
The NCAA tournament is made up of eight six-team regionals, and Bellingham constitutes one half of the six-team, double-site West Regional. Azusa Pacific (15-2) of the Pacific West Conference (PacWest) is the No. 2 seed, and will host the other side of the bracket in Azusa. Third-seeded CCAA regular-season champion Sonoma State (13-2-3) takes on the sixth seed, Point Loma (14-4), on Thursday, with the winner getting the APU Cougars on Saturday. Point Loma took the PacWest's automatic berth over Azusa Pacific by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker, having taken a 1-0 win over the Cougars in San Diego.
Sonoma State was ranked No. 10 in the latest national poll, with Azusa Pacific at No. 19, and SPU receiving votes just outside of the top 25.
UCSD is 6-3 outside of La Jolla in 2014, with three successive road victories.
The semifinals and championship game of the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship will be held Dec. 3-5 at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium in Pensacola, Fla., hosted by the University of West Florida and the Pensacola Sports Association. Grand Valley State topped Rollins, 3-0, in Louisville, Ky., to capture its second straight national championship in 2014.