Lions Earn No. 4 Seed in NCAA Tournament
Nov. 11, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 20 Penn State women's soccer team has been awarded a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host Monmouth (N.J.) in the first round on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on Jeffrey Field. The Lions have now earned a seed in three-straight tournaments.
"I am very excited about a lot of things right now," said seventh year head coach Erica Walsh. "I am excited about what we have learned, I am excited about building on the experience we have and most importantly, I am excited about moving forward and enjoying this ride."
Penn State (14-6-1) will compete in the NCAA Tournament for the 19th consecutive year while Monmouth (17-1-2) has earned its third bid in program history and first since 2009. The Hawks earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's automatic bid after defeating Fairfield University, 2-0, to claim the MAAC Tournament crown last Monday.
Friday's meeting will be just the second between the two teams. The Lions and the Hawks last met in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament with Penn State claiming a 4-0 victory. Should the Blue and White defeat Monmouth, the Nittany Lions will advance to play the winner of the Wake Forest-Morehead State match-up on Friday, Nov. 22 at a site to be determined.
"I have coached against [Monmouth head coach] Krissy Turner several times," said Walsh. "I know that they will be organized and that they know how to win and those are two very important pieces."
Penn State is 36-17-2 in the NCAA Tournament all-time and has dominated when hosting, registering a 28-6-1 record at Jeffrey Field. The Lions have outscored their opponents 115-64 in the tournament, which includes a 90-28 mark at home.
"We feel very fortunate to be able to play in front of our home crowd again this season," said Walsh. "I don't think any of the players were ready for home season to be over."
Last season the Blue and White received a No. 1 seed and made a run to the National Championship match for the first time in program history. PSU overpowered LIU Brooklyn, Boston College, Michigan, Duke and Florida State en route to the title game but could not get past ACC powerhouse North Carolina as they finished out their phenomenal season as national runners-up with a 21-4-2 record.
The Big Ten is very well represented in this year's tournament with a conference-record eight teams making the cut. The previous record of six squads occurred in 1998, 2002 and 2010.
"We have felt all along that the conference was much better this year," said Walsh. "The Big Ten has proven to be one of the best conferences in the country this season and I think that the bracket just validates that point."
Joining Penn State in the national competition this season are Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio State. The Cornhuskers will host Southeastern Louisiana while Michigan welcomes Milwaukee and Indiana hosts DePaul. Iowa will travel to Notre Dame, Illinois matches up against Washington State, Minnesota is set to take on Texas Tech and Ohio State will face Kentucky.
Fans can purchase tickets for Friday's game by calling 1-800-NITTANY or in-person on game day. Tickets prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for groups of 20 or more.
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