INDIANAPOLIS – Washington State University received an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship, the NCAA announced, Monday.
The Cougars (14-3-3, 7-3-1 Pac-12) will host Illinois (10-8-2, 5-5-1 Big Ten) in the first round, Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. Tickets are on sale at wsucougars.com. Prices are $7 (adults), $3 (students, youth 3-18, seniors 65 and over). The first 500 students will be admitted free. Tickets are also available at Lower Soccer Field (cash or check only) beginning at 11:30 a.m., Saturday.
Washington State will participate in its third-straight postseason, a first for the program, and its fifth NCAA Championship in the last-six years. The Cougars earned their bid on the strength of a runner-up finish in the Pac-12, their highest conference placement in the Pac-10/12 era, and a school-record tying 14 victories.
"I'm super excited for our program," Washington State Head Coach Keidane McAlpine said. "We've accomplished a lot of firsts this year, including first time going to the NCAA Tournament three years in a row and first time finishing second in the Pac-12. I'm just looking forward to seeing what the tournament has in store for us."
The Cougars are making their eighth appearance in the postseason all-time and their first at home since 2000. Washington State is 6-2-1 against teams in the 2013 field of 64.
The Cougars and Fighting Illini have met once in women's soccer with Illinois winning 2-1 in Knoxville, Tenn., during the 2008 season. Washington State is 2-4-1 all-time against the Big Ten, including a 3-1 win at Wisconsin in the 1994 NCAA First Round (field of 24).
Senior Micaela Castain leads the Pac-12 in goals (11), assists (11) and points (33). Junior Nicole Setterlund (8 goals, 18 points) and sophomore Kourtney Guetlein (8 assists) are also among the conference leaders. Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Gurveen Clair leads the Pac-12 with a school-record 12 shutouts and registered a school-record 14 victories.
As a team, Washington State allowed just 68 shots on goal while posting the second-best goals against average in the Pac-12 (0.53) and a school standard for shutouts (14).