The UCLA Women’s Soccer team (14-4-1, 8-3 Pac-12) ended its regular season in awesome fashion last Friday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium, dominating the Southern Cal Trojans, 4-2, and earning second place in the final Pac-12 conference standings. It was UCLA’s fourth straight win over its crosstown rivals.
Now, the Bruins will see their postseason fate determined today during the NCAA Selection Show. The 64 team bracket will be revealed today at 1:30 pm PT. Fans can stream the show in real time.
Although the Bruins were ranked #14 going into the weekend, team RPI is typically more predictive of where a team will be seeded for postseason purposes.
Seeding is critical in the NCAA women’s soccer postseason because the higher seeded team retains home field advantage until the Women’s College Cup (i.e., the final four teams). That means that, provided it keeps winning, a #2 seeded UCLA would be set up to host the first three rounds of postseason play, while a #3 seed would only set UCLA up to host two rounds. Again, this is obviously contingent on continuing to win.
UCLA was at #8 in RPI and Southern Cal was at #7 going into the weekend. Simply beating the Trojans flipped the respective RPI of those two teams, with UCLA moving up to #7. If the selection committee sticks to RPI, the Bruins would receive one of the four #2 seeds
There was not enough movement to the RPI otherwise this weekend to benefit the Bruins other than their win over Southern Cal. One loss UNC beat previously unbeaten Virginia, moving Stanford to #1 in RPI, followed by #2 UNC, and #3 Virginia. When they are selected, I expect UCLA to be the #2 seed in either UVA’s or UNC’s bracket.
Florida State remained at #4 in RPI despite losing in the ACC semifinals, although the ‘Noles have five losses. UCLA beat FSU earlier this year. Could the committee drop Florida State below UCLA? Perhaps, but doubtful. Even if they did, UCLA would likely still remain a #2 seed.
By tying Yale on Saturday, one loss Brown fell in RPI from #5 to # 10. But previous #9 RPI South Carolina upset #5 RPI Arkansas in the SEC Tournament, moving the Gamecocks to #5, with the Razorbacks dropping slightly to #6, but with both SEC teams ahead of the Bruins.
If UCLA were to snag a #2 seed and win its three home games, it could set up the Bruins for a date in ACC country (again, providing that said ACC team keeps winning) with a Women’s College Cup berth on the line. The Women’s College Cup will be played this year in San Jose, California, at Avaya Stadium, home of MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes.
It is an exciting day to be a UCLA women’s soccer fan. Let us know your thoughts on UCLA’s seed in the comment section and check back later in the day after the selection show for BN’s thoughts on UCLA’s postseason fate.