INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament champion Trinity University (16-1-1) has earned its ninth-straight berth into the 64-team NCAA Div. III Women’s Soccer Tournament, as the league’s automatic qualifier. Interactive bracket | Printable bracket
The Tigers earned the SCAC automatic bid by virtue of their 1-0 win over Southwestern University Sunday afternoon. The SCAC championship was the 10th consecutive league crown for Trinity and assured the Tigers of their 24th appearance in NCAA postseason play since 1992.
Trinity will travel to Abilene, Texas for its NCAA opening round contest against Occidental (10-2-5), the automatic qualifier out of the Southern California Intercollege Athletic Conference (SCIAC). Oxy is making its first-ever NCAA appearance. The winner of the Trinity/Oxy match will take on the winner of the Puget Sound (13-5-2)/Hardin-Simmons (16-1-1) at Hardin-Simmons. Times and dates are TBD.
Trinity, which holds a 28-17-10 all-time record in NCAA postseason play, will be led by third-year head coach Dylan Harrison. The Tigers got strong performances this season from SCAC Offensive Player of the Year Chelsea Cole and Halleanne Dure as the duo combined for 39 goals and dished out 10 assists for 88 total points. On the defensive side of the ball, Trinity is led by SCAC Defensive Player of the Year, Kristen Canepa who anchored a defense that has allowed just three goals all season and sustains a 0.16 goals against average.
Forty-three conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the 2018 championship. One team was selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions, as well as members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final 20 berths were reserved for Pool C, which includes institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that did not win their conference championship and any remaining Pool B teams.
Sixteen four-team sites will conduct first- and second-round play on the first weekend of the championship, November 9 and 10 or 10 and 11. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites November 16 and 17 or 17 and 18. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. Winners of the four sectionals will advance to the semifinals November 30 and December 1, at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Greensboro Sports Commission serving as hosts.+
Williams College is the defending national championship, having defeated the University of Chicago 1-0 in last year’s championship game.