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NCAA Tournament: First round action and the contenders

The 2017 edition of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament kicks off today with 15 matches.  While there will certainly be a smattering of one-sided affairs in the opening round, there will also be a few upsets, late-game and penalty kick shootout drama. Here’s all the information you need to enjoy this weekend’s action and also a quick look at the contenders.

The Contenders

Stanford

Record: 18-0-1

Why they could hoist the trophy:

They’ve got top-level talent all over the field from senior and MAC Hermann hopeful Andi Sullivan and freshman sensation Catarina Macario to defender Tierna Davidson. While Sullivan has one of the nation’s best since her freshman campaign, Macario has been a real revelation this season for the Cardinal. The technical, dynamic forward has 14 goals and 10 assists on the season.   As illustrative of the Cardinal’s talent level,  Stanford is the only team to boost a goals per game and goals against average in the top 5. Stanford could be the last team standing, in short, because they are the most complete team in the tournament.

Duke

Record: 19-0-2

Why they could hoist the trophy:

After making the College Cup Final in 2015 and the 2016 quarterfinals, the Blue Devils are an experienced team. Admittedly, many members of the squad weren’t healthy for both of those campaigns but most of their starters have been involved in at least one of those runs. Imani Dorsey,  recently named ACC Offensive Player of the Year, is one of the veterans of both campaigns. Her ability to go at defenders and put backlines under pressure will be key to a deep run by the Blue Devils.

UCLA

Record: 15-2-2

Why they could hoist the trophy:

The Bruins have multiple players who are capable of being the key that unlocks the opposing side’s backline. In other words, they’ve got several player makers most notably Jessie Fleming. The Canadian international not only appeared in last night’s United States vs Canada match but was the player of the match. Needless to say, a player of her caliber doesn’t come around too often. Fleming combined with other Bruins with a penchant breaking down backlines, will be a formidable challenge for any team in the tournament.

 

DayTimeTeams Broadcast Info
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmRice vs Baylorbaylorbears.com
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmNorth Texas vs TexasLonghorn Network(WatchESPN)
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmHofstra vs AuburnSEC+(WatchESPN)
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmSouth Alabama vs FloridaSEC+(WatchESPN)
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmOhio State vs Vanderbilt OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Friday (11/10)6:00 pmAlabama State vs South CarolinaSEC+(WatchESPN)
Friday (11/10)7:00 pmPrinceton vs Monmouth Ivy League Network
Friday (11/10)7:00 pmClemson vs Alabama www.facebook.com
Friday (11/10)7:00 pmOle Miss vs Florida Stateseminoles.com
Friday (11/10)7:00 pmGeorgetown vs Wake Forestwakeforestsports.com
Friday (11/10)7:30 pmPenn State vs Stony Brookgopsusports.com
Friday (11/10)8:00 pmWisconsin vs ToledoBTN2Go
Friday (11/10)8:30 pmTexas A&M vs Lamar UniversitySEC+(WatchESPN) 
Friday (11/10)9:00 pmArizona vs TCUPAC-12.com
Friday (11/10)10:00 pmUCLA vs San Diego State PAC-12.com
Saturday (11/11)1:00 pmHigh Point vs UNCACC DN/(WatchESPN)
Saturday (11/11)1:00 pmArkansas vs NC StateSEC+(WatchESPN)
Saturday (11/11)1:00 pmWVU vs BucknellWVUsports.com
Saturday (11/11)1:00 pmMissouri State vs Oklahoma StateYoutube
Saturday (11/11)1:00 pmUSF vs FGCUUSFBulls.com
Saturday (11/11)3:00 pmUSC vs Eastern WashingtonPAC-12.com
Saturday (11/11)4:00 pmPepperdine vs CSU FullertonWCC Sports
Saturday (11/11)4:30 pmCal vs Santa ClaraWCC Sports
Saturday (11/11)5:00 pmRutgers vs LaSalleBTN2GO
Saturday (11/11)5:00 pmMurray State vs Tennessee SEC+ (WatchESPN)
Saturday (11/11)6:00 pmNotre Dame vs IUPUIACC DN (WatchESPN)
Saturday (11/11)7:00 pmDuke vs UNC-GACC DN/WatchESPN
Saturday (11/11)7:00 pmSt. Francis vs UVAACC DN/WatchESPN
Saturday (11/11)7:00 pm UCF vs Washington StateUCF Knights TV
Saturday (11/11)10:00 pmStanford vs Utah ValleyFacebook
Sunday (11/12)2:00 pmButler vs NorthwesternBTN2Go
Sunday (11/12)2:00 pmColorado vs Denver PAC-12.com

 

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