Courtesy Penn Athletic Communications
PHILADELPHIA -- People might have thought they were seeing double when Penn's portion of the bracket came up Monday during the announcement of the 2010 NCAA Women's Soccer Championship field. That's because the Quakers will play their near-namesake, Penn State, in the first round. The Quakers and Nittany Lions will meet Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.
The winner of Friday's first-round game will face the winner of the site's other first-round game -- which pits regional host West Virginia and Morehead State at 6 p.m. -- on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a second-round match. The host Mountaineers are the third seed in the Portland bracket.
Ticket prices for both Friday and Sunday are $7 for adults and $5 for youths and senior citizens.
Penn earned its spot in the 64-team field by winning the Ivy League championship for the third time in program history and the second time in four years. The Quakers went 4-1-2 in the conference and clinched the title and NCAA bid with a 0-0 tie Saturday night at Princeton. Overall, Penn is 9-6-2 this season.
Penn State finished as co-champion of the Big Ten this year at 8-2-0, the 13th straight year the Nittany Lions have won the title. Led by Erica Walsh -- who was also a head coach at Dartmouth and Harvard before arriving at State College -- PSU is 10-8-1 overall this season including wins in four straight games and seven of eight entering the postseeason. That record includes losses to Ivy League opponents Yale (1-0 in New Haven) and Dartmouth (1-0 in State College).
This will be Penn's fourth NCAA Championship appearance; the Quakers were an at-large selection in 1999, and advanced by winning the Ivy League's automatic bid in 2001 and 2007. They are looking for their first win in NCAA competition. This also marks the Quakers' second straight trip to Morgantown for an NCAA match; in 2007, they fell to James Madison in the first round, 2-0.
PENN'S NCAA HISTORY
1999: at James Madison 1, Penn 0 (first round)
2001: Villanova 2, Penn 0 (first round in State College, Pa.)
2007: James Madison 2, Penn 0 (first round in Morgantown, W.Va.)