INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- For the first time in Centennial Conference history, five women's soccer teams are headed to the NCAA Tournament. CC champion Johns Hopkins earned the conference's automatic bid while Dickinson, Haverford, Gettysburg and Swarthmore secured at-large berths into the field of 64 teams.
With five spots in the national tournament, the Centennial has more teams in the field than any other conference. The NESCAC landed four teams in the field to finish second in the conference totals. The previous CC record for teams in NCAA's was three, which occured four times prior to this season (2005, 2015-17).
Forty-three conferences were awarded automatic qualification for the 2019 championship. One team was selected from Pool B, which consists of independent institutions, as well as members of conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final 20 berths were reserved for Pool C, which includes institutions from automatic-qualifying conferences that did not win their conference championship and any remaining Pool B teams.
Sixteen four-team sites will conduct first- and second-round play on the first weekend of the championship, November 15 and 16 or 16 and 17. Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites November 22 and 23 or 23 and 24. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. Winners of the four sectionals will advance to the semifinals December 6 and 7, at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Greensboro Sports Foundation serving as hosts.
Johns Hopkins will host the first and second rounds at Homewood Field. The Blue Jays (14-2-4) will play Penn State Berks (15-6) in the first round on Saturday at 5 p.m. Christopher Newport (15-2-3) will meet Worcester State (11-7-2) in the other matchup at 7:30 p.m., with the two first-round winners to square off Sunday at 6 p.m. JHU is making its 15th-straight NCAA appearance and 18th overall. This is also the fourth consecutive year and the 11th time in the last 12 years that Johns Hopkins has hosted at least two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Dickinson heads to Amherst, Mass. for a four-team pod hosted by Amherst. The Red Devils (14-2-4) take on Farmingdale State (14-5-3) in Saturday's first round at 1:30 p.m., with Amherst (14-3-1) and Maine Maritime (13-3-1) facing off in the other pod matchup.
Haverford will travel to Grantham, Pa. on the campus of Messiah for its opening-weekend regional. The Fords are making their fourth all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2013. Haverford (12-4-2) will take on Randolph-Macon (20-0-1) in Saturday's opening round at 1:30 p.m. Messiah (18-1-1) faces Lesley (14-3-2) in the other first-round contest.
Swarthmore extends its NCAA postseason streak to six straight seasons, and will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. on the campus of Carnegie Mellon for its first-and-second round pod. The Garnet (12-5) will face Arcadia (15-3-3) in Saturday's first round at 7:30 p.m., following a 5 p.m. matchup between the host Tartans (11-5-1) and Cairn (12-4-4).
Gettysburg earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since 2014 and eighth overall and heads to Cambridge, Mass. on the campus of MIT. The Bullets (13-4-1) face off against defending national-champion Williams (9-5-2) in Saturday's opening round at 1:30 p.m. Host MIT (19-1-2) takes on Johnson & Wales (16-6) at 11 a.m.