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UCSD women’s soccer team gets NCCA bid as campus hosts sub-regional

After advancing to a 10th straight CCAA Championship Tournament last week, the UCSD women’s soccer team received an at-large bid into the 2009 NCAA Soccer Championship field of 48, it was announced on Monday.

The second-seeded Tritons will face the winner of No. 3 seed Seattle Pacific and No. 6 Chico State Saturday evening in the second round of the West Sub-Regional.

The Falcons and Wildcats will square off Thursday night in the opening round. Both games will be played at 7 p.m. at UCSD’s Triton Soccer Field.

Fourth-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills will take on No. 5 Dixie State in the other West Sub-Regional, with top-seeded Cal State L.A. awaiting the winner.

Ranked as high as No. 8 this season, the Tritons posted an overall record of 14-5-0 during the regular season and finished tied for second in the CCAA South Division standings at 11-5. UCSD earned a No. 3 seed in the CCAA Championship Tournament in Turlock over the weekend, where they battled second-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills to a 1-1 draw through regulation and two overtime periods, before falling 5-3 in a penalty kick shootout.

Seattle Pacific enters the NCAA Tournament after winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship with a 6-0 rout of Northwest Nazarene on Saturday. The 17th-ranked Falcons finished the regular season with an overall record of 16-3-1 and went 9-2-1 in conference play to claim a second title in three years.

Chico State enters Thursday’s contest at 8-5-8 overall after dropping a 1-0 decision to Cal State L.A. in the first round of the CCAA Championships on Friday. The Wildcats won the CCAA North Division at 6-2-8.

The Tritons and Falcons have met three previous times, with SPU holding a 2-1 advantage in the series. The Falcons defeated UCSD 3-1 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008.

Despite losing its only meeting with Chico State this season, UCSD holds a 7-4 advantage in the all-time series. The Wildcats defeated the Tritons 2-0 on September 20 in Chico.

UCSD has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 23 out of the last 24 years and has won seven national titles during that span. The Tritons’ last national championship came in 2001, when UCSD won back-to-back titles in the program’s first two seasons at the Division II level.

Head coach Brian McManus’ squad defeated BYU-Hawaii 1-0 in the first round last season, before falling to host Seattle Pacific two days later.