UNC named No. 2 seed in NCAA women’s soccer tournament. Here’s who else will be there.

Steve Wiseman
·6 min read

National runner-up the last two times the NCAA women’s soccer tournament was held, North Carolina is among the top teams in this year’s tournament which will be held entirely in the Tar Heels’ home state.

Florida State (11-0) and UNC (15-1) were named the top two seeds Monday when the tournament’s 48-team bracket was revealed.

Florida State beat UNC 1-0 to win the 2018 NCAA championship and Stanford beat the Tar Heels on penalty kicks following a scoreless title game in 2019 to claim the national title.

With health and safety of the participating teams in mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA shifted the tournament from the fall to the spring this school year. Rather than hold the games at campus sites prior to the national semifinals and final, the entire tournament will be played at N.C. sites, including Sahlen’s Stadium at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park.

“Cary has clearly established itself as the collegiate soccer capital of the U.S., and North Carolina is known nationally as a premier state for college sports, so it all came together perfectly,” Scott Dupree, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, said in a statement last month.

In addition to WakeMed Soccer Park, other sites include Campbell, East Carolina, UNC Wilmington, Bryan Park (Greensboro), J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex (Wilson) and Sportsplex (Mathews).

Games begin on April 27 and 28 with first-round play, while second-round games will be played April 30 and May 1. Third-round games are May 5 with the quarterfinals on May 9.

The College Cup, featuring semifinal games on May 13 and the championship game on May 17, will be played in Cary at Sahlen’s Stadium.

The NCAA announced on April 9 spectators will be allowed in the stadiums up to 25 percent of capacity, allowing friends and family of players and coaches to attend.

The top 16 teams receive byes into the tournament’s second round. Four ACC teams were selected among the top 16 seeds, including No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 UNC, No. 9 Duke and No. 14 Clemson

UNC opens play April 30 at 3 p.m. at the Sportsplex in Matthews, just outside Charlotte. The Tar Heels will play the winner of the first-round game between Loyola (Ill.) and Denver. That 3 p.m. April 27 first-round game will also be played at the Sportsplex in Matthews.

Elon (6-3) earned an automatic bid by winning the Colonial Athletic Association championship. The Phoenix, who beat UNC Wilmington, 1-0, in the league tournament final on Saturday, will open tournament play against Horizon League champion Milwaukee at 3 p.m. on April 28 at WakeMed Soccer Park’s field No. 4 in Cary.

The Elon-Milwaukee winner will advance to play Florida State at 3 p.m. on May 1 at WakeMed Soccer Park field No. 4.

No. 9 seed Duke (10-5-3) earned an at-large bid and will play the winner of the first-round game between Arizona State (8-5-2) and Siena (6-0-2). The Sun Devils and Saints will play April 28 at noon at East Carolina’s Johnson Stadium in Greenville.

The winner plays Duke at noon May 1 at Johnson Stadium.

Campbell will play in the tournament for the first time since 2004 after the Camels (8-3-1) upset previously unbeaten High Point, 4-3, in the Big South Conference championship game on Friday.

The Camels open the NCAA tournament against Big Ten tournament champion Iowa (6-8-1) on their home field at Eakes Athletic Complex in Buies Creek at 3 p.m. on April 27. The winner of that game advances to face No. 3 seed UCLA (12-1-2) in a 3 p.m. game April 30 also at Eakes Athletic Complex.

Tournament schedule

First round

April 27

(at Eakes Athletic Complex, Buies Creek)

Iowa (6-8-1) vs. Campbell (8-3-1), 3 p.m.

Rutgers (8-3-3) vs. Southeastern Louisiana (8-2-4), 7 p.m.

(at UNCW Soccer Stadium, Wilmington)

Bowling Green (6-1) vs. Mississippi (10-5), 6 p.m.

(at Bryan Park, Greensboro)

Central Connecticut State (7-0) vs. South Florida (9-0-2), 3 p.m.

Colorado (9-5-2) vs. South Alabama (3-8-1), 7 p.m.

(at Sportsplex, Matthews)

Loyola (Ill.) (8-1-1) vs. Denver (16-2-1), 3 p.m.

Washington (9-3-3) vs. Liberty (7-5-5), 7 p.m.

(at Gillette Field, Wilson)

Navy (4-4-2) vs. New Mexico (10-1), 6 p.m.

April 28

(at WakeMed Field 4, Cary)

Elon (8-3) vs. Milwaukee (8-1), 3 p.m.

Penn State (10-2-1) vs. Alabama State (8-2-2), 7 p.m.

(at Johnson Stadium, Greenville)

Arizona State (8-5-2) vs. Siena (6-0-2), noon

Memphis (8-3-2) vs. Utah Valley (12-4-4), 4 p.m.

Ohio State (7-2-3) vs. Stony Brook (6-3), 8 p.m.

(at WakeMed Field 2, Cary)

Furman (8-0-2) vs. Rice (12-2-1), 3 p.m.

Virginia (10-4-2) vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (8-2-2), 7 p.m.

(at Gillette Field, Wilson)

South Carolina (10-4-1) vs. Montana (9-1), 6 p.m.

Second round

April 30

(at Eakes Athletic Complex, Buies Creek)

No. 3 UCLA (12-1-2) vs. Iowa-Campbell winner, 3 p.m.

No. 14 Clemson (12-4) vs. Rutgers-Southeastern Louisiana winner, 7 p.m.

(at Bryan Park, Greensboro)

No. 7 Texas A&M (11-3) vs. Central Connecticut State-South Florida winner, 3 p.m.

No. 10 Oklahoma State (12-3-1) vs. Colorado-South Alabama winner, 7 p.m.

(at Sportsplex, Matthews)

No. 2 North Carolina (15-1) vs. Loyola (Ill.)-Denver winner, 3 p.m.

No. 15 Saint Louis (15-1) vs. Washington-Liberty winner, 7 p.m.

(at UNCW Soccer Stadium, Wilmington)

No. 8 Southern California (7-3-3) vs. Bowling Green-Mississippi winner, 6 p.m.

May 1

(at WakeMed Field 4, Cary)

No. 1 Florida State (11-0) vs. Elon-Milwaukee winner, 3 p.m.

No. 16 Vanderbilt (9-5-1) vs. Penn State-Alabama State winner, 7 p.m.

(at Johnson Stadium, Greenville)

No. 9 Duke (10-5-3) vs. Arizona State-Siena winner, noon

No. 6 Arkansas (11-3) vs. Memphis-Utah Valley winner, 4 p.m.

No. 11 Santa Clara (7-1) vs. Ohio State-Stony Brook winner, 8 p.m.

(at WakeMed Field 2, Cary)

No 5 West Virginia vs. Rice-Furman winner, 3 p.m.

No. 12 Brigham Young (11-3-1) vs. Virginia-Southern Illinois Edwardsville winner, 7 p.m.

(at Gillette Field, Wilson)

No. 13 Georgetown (11-0-1) vs. South Carolina-Montana winner, 6 p.m.