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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/6/2023, Last updated: 11/7/2023
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Big Ten Conference Record Nine Schools Earn Bids to 2023 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference will have nine schools participating in the 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, it was announced on Monday. Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin earned berths to this year’s 64-team NCAA Tournament, which begins this weekend at campus sites around the country. The 42nd annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played on Dec. 1 and 4 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

The nine NCAA Tournament selection sets the Big Ten Conference record for the most postseason selections in a given season. Five of the nine Big Ten programs earned top-six seeds in their respective quadrants of the bracket and will play host to first-round matches later this week. As the No. 2 seed, Penn State would also serve as the host for the second-and-third round matches on Nov. 17 & 19, should the Nittany Lions advance this weekend.

With the announcement, the Big Ten has now had at least four of its current women’s soccer programs advance to the NCAA Tournament for 29 consecutive seasons.

Indiana (12-3-4) earned a draw with Atlantic 10 Champion and six-seed Saint Louis. It will be Indiana’s fifth NCAA appearance in program history and first since 2013. The Hoosiers advanced to the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2019, falling to No. 4 Penn State in the quarterfinals, 3-0. Forward Paige Webber led the Hoosiers with 12 goals this season, earning a spot on the Big Ten First Team alongside goalkeeper, Jamie Gerstenberg.

Following its second-ever Big Ten Tournament title, Iowa (12-4-4) was an automatic qualifier into this year’s NCAA Tournament and fourth time overall. Iowa won the Big Ten title as the first-ever eight seed to win the tournament. Fifth-year defender Samantha Cary was named Defensive Player of the Tournament after anchoring a defensive effort that surrendered just one goal throughout the tournament, upsetting three, top-12 ranked opponents. The fifth-seeded Hawkeyes meet Bucknell in Iowa City this week and will play the winner of No. 5 Georgia/Liberty should they advance to the second round.

Michigan (7-6-4) secured its at-large bid vs. seventh-seeded Princeton in the first round. The berth is the 16th time in program history and first since the Wolverines’ advanced to the tournament’s quarterfinals in 2021. With a win, Michigan will play the winner of No. 2 seed Texas Tech and FGCU.

Michigan State (12-4-3) shared the Big Ten regular season title and advances to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history and second consecutive season. The Spartans will open NCAA Tournament play later this week welcoming MAC Champion Ohio to East Lansing, Mich., the second time in program history that Michigan State will host an NCAA postseason match. With a win, the Spartans would take on either No. 4 seed Harvard or first-time NCAA qualifier, Maine.

Nebraska (14-3-3) paced the Big Ten in goals, assists and points this season, helping the No. 5 seeded Huskers to a postseason berth for the 13th time in program history and first time since 2016. The Huskers won a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a 7-1-2 mark in the conference and fell, 3-1, in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to Wisconsin.

Ohio State (9-7-2) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year and will head to No. 7 seed Pittsburgh for the opening round of the tournament. Should the Buckeyes win, they will meet the winner of No. 2 seeded Arkansas/Grambling.

Penn State (13-2-4) heads to the NCAA Tournament for the 29th consecutive time since their first appearance in 1995. The Nittany Lions’ selection-streak became the second-longest active streak among all Division I women’s soccer teams. Penn State was selected as the No. 2 seed and welcomes NEC Champion Central Connecticut State to Jeffrey Field on Friday. With a win, Penn State would play No. 7 seed Santa Clara or Arizona State in the second round at home.

Rutgers (9-6-4) earned the program’s 18th NCAA Tournament berth and 12th consecutive appearance, facing No. 8 seed Columbia in the opening round. A first round win would advance Rutgers into a second-round matchup with either No. 1 seed Clemson or Radford. The Scarlet Knight defense has tallied 10 shutouts this season, with goalkeeper Olivia Bodmer ranking 16th in the NCAA with nine shutouts.

Wisconsin (13-4-4) earned the No. 4 seed in this year’s tournament and will face Milwaukee this week after falling 1-0 in the Big Ten Championship match on Sunday. It will be the Badgers’ 24th NCAA appearance and first since 2021. With a win, Wisconsin will meet the winner of No. 5 seed Texas and Lamar University.

Dates, times and television coverage for NCAA Tournament matches prior to the semifinals will be announced soon. The NCAA College Cup semifinals and national championship will be televised lives on ESPNU.