Thanks to another impressive regular season, the UCF women’s soccer team has earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship, and will host FIU Friday in a first-round contest. The Knights and the Panthers will meet at 7 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.
UCF enters the tournament 11-4-5 overall. The at-large berth to the postseason is the fifth-straight for head coach Amanda Cromwell’s Knights. UCF has advanced to the second round of the tournament in each of the last four seasons. The Knights are one of 32 teams nationally hosting a first-round match.
“It is a great honor to host,” Cromwell said. “We are very excited to be at home for the first weekend. The team is ready. It is tournament time, so they are very excited.”
The Knights will be making their 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament, which is the most of any school in Florida.
The winner of the UCF-FIU match will meet either No. 2 seed Florida or Florida Gulf Coast in the second round on Nov. 18. If the Gators defeat Florida Gulf Coast, they will host second and third round games next weekend in Gainesville.
The Knights spent much of the year in the top-25 nationally and posted a 6-3-3 mark in Conference USA play. The team faced a challenging schedule as the Knights faced five ranked opponents during the regular season, earning victories over No. 19 Penn State and No. 24 San Diego, both away from home. UCF also tied No. 22 San Diego State in California. Six of UCF’s foes will compete in the NCAA Championship.
FIU claimed the Sun Belt Championship title this past weekend and enters the NCAA Championship 13-6-3. The Knights and Panthers did not meet this season, and UCF has a 26-4-3 edge in the all-time series.
“FIU is very well-coached,” Cromwell said. “They are always very good. They are athletic and well-organized. It is going to be a test for us.”
Tickets for the contest are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the UCF Athletics ticket office at Bright House Networks Stadium.