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Nov. 7, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- No. 11 Penn State women's found out its NCAA Tournament fate on Monday afternoon as it was awarded a four seed and will host the first round against Army on Friday night. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at Jeffrey Field against the Black Knights.
"This is a great opportunity for our team," Head coach Erica Walsh said. "We're excited to defend Jeffrey Field for the ninth time this year and look forward to a successful tournament. This team is energized and ready to go."
The Nittany Lions (19-4-0) will play in the NCAA Tournament for the 17th straight year and earned a seed for the first time since 2009 with a matching four seed. Army defeated Navy, 2-0, this past weekend to earn the automatic bid out of the Patriot League. The two teams have never met in women's soccer. Army finished fourth in the Patriot League this season with a 3-0-3 record.
Should Penn State find its way past Army (13-2-5) on Friday, the Nittany Lions will play the advancing team from the Marquette-Toledo matchup in Milwaukee, Wis. The site of that potential second round match is undetermined at this point, but if top-seeded Wake Forest wins, the Lions and Eagles will tangle in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Penn State is 30-15-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, out-scoring its opponents, 94-51. Friday's match will be the 31st NCAA Tournament game at Jeffrey Field as PSU looks to improve upon its 24-6-0 all-time mark at home. Last season the unseeded Nittany Lions advanced to the second round, falling to third-seeded West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., 2-1, after a 1-0 win over Penn. The last time PSU hosted a first-round match at Jeffrey Field, Penn State downed another Patriot League squad, Colgate, by a score of 5-0.
Penn State was one of three Big Ten teams to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament and the only squad to be seeded. Illinois will host Notre Dame, while Ohio State travels to fourth-seeded Tennessee this weekend.