Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #2 North Carolina / #3 South Carolina Regional Breakdown

Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #2 North Carolina / #3 South Carolina Regional Breakdown

North Carolina is the most successful program in women’s soccer, having won a record 21 NCAA Championships over the years. However, the Tarheels find themselves in an extremely tough bracket with the likes of BYU, South Carolina, Clemson, and Washington State. All four of these teams were ranked in the NSCAA Coaches Top 25 at the end of the regular season and could make things more difficult for the No. 2 seed.


#3 South Carolina vs. Clemson

Clemson is seeing NCAA Tournament action for the first time since 2007. The Tigers traveled to South Carolina back in early September and left Columbia with a 1-0 victory, so it wouldn’t be a monumental upset if Clemson were to come out on top again. Both sides possess a solid defensive corps, so it could be the Tigers balanced scoring (led by Catrina Atanda) that makes the difference in this one.


Washington State vs. Seattle

Seattle will bring one of the top scoring offenses in the country to Pullman when the Redhawks visit Washington State in the first round. Seattle’s Stephanie Verdoia is second in the nation in goals (21) and total points (55), but the Cougars don’t have the luxury of focusing entirely on her. Redhawks players Natasha Howe, Taylor Ritzman, Julia Moravec and Kiana Kraft have all registered double-digit point totals this season, so they’ll have to be accounted for as well. Since scoring isn’t one of Washington State’s strengths, the Cougars will have to rely on their defense, which has gotten them this far.  


Colorado vs. BYU

BYU will be looking to avenge last season’s tournament loss to Colorado when the Cougars visit Boulder this Saturday. The Cougars were riding a 13-game unbeaten streak prior to their 3-2 defeat to Pepperdine on November 8th. BYU boasts a strong attack, which is led by sophomore forward Ashley Hatch. Her 18 goals and 42 points both rank 8th in the country. Though Hatch provides an offensive advantage for the Cougars, Colorado’s strength of schedule and home crowd should make this a tough-fought match.


#2 North Carolina vs. South Dakota State

North Carolina’s 12-game unbeaten streak was snapped by Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals, but that did little to sway the selection committee. The Tarheels earned a No. 2 seed for the eighth time and have now made the NCAA Tournament every year since its inception in 1982. Though the Jackrabbits are led by Diana Potterveld, one of the country’s assist leaders, South Dakota State will be hard-pressed to beat a team that has never lost a first-round game.


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