USC and UCLA will both open the NCAA women’s soccer tournament at home Friday, with the fourth-seeded Trojans playing host to Long Beach State at 1:30 p.m. and the Bruins welcoming San Jose State to Westwood at 6.
USC (15-2-2) was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the coaches poll and fifth in RPI before last Friday’s double-overtime loss to UCLA. Long Beach State (12-5-3) earned its tournament berth by winning the Big West Tournament. The teams faced each other early in the season, with USC winning 3-0 at home.
The Trojans, who won the national title in 2016, are making their fifth straight consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and 17th overall.
UCLA (14-3-1), also a second seed and ranked sixth in the coaches poll, finished second in the Pac-12 behind top-seeded Stanford to earn a home playoff date with San Jose State (9-6-6). The Spartans, who won the Mountain West tournament, have posted 11 shutouts this season, fourth-most in the nation.
In the Division III tournament, Occidental will open on the road against Trinity (Texas) on Saturday. Occidental (10-2-5), which won the SCIAC tournament for the first time in school history last Saturday in a penalty shootout with Pomona-Pitzer, allowed just six goals all season. Trinity (16-1-1), the SCAC champion, has conceded only one.
On the men’s side, Azusa Pacific earned a first-round playoff bye while Cal Poly Pomona (13-5-0), making its fourth consecutive appearance in the Division II national tournament, will open against Fresno Pacific (14-2-1) in Seattle and Cal State L.A. (13-2-3) will play Cal State Chico (13-5-1) at Azusa Pacific. Both games will be played Thursday with Azusa Pacific (16-1-1) meeting the CSULA-Chico State winner Saturday evening.