Connecticut and West Virginia meet on Friday, Nov. 5 at 5:00 p.m. ET televised live on CBS C
USF to face Marquette on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET televised live on CBS C
Championship Game set for Sunday, Nov. 7 at Noon, ET televised live on the BIG EAST Network and CBS C
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2010 BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship heads to Piscataway, N.J., on the campus of Rutgers University for three games, with the semifinals set to begin on Friday, Nov. 5. For the first time since the advent of the conference’s 10-team format in 2005, the four remaining teams reside from one division, the league’s American Division. No. 1 seed Marquette will face No. 3 seed USF, while No. 2 seed West Virginia will face No. 4 seed Connecticut. Both games are rematches from earlier this season.
All three contests of the Championship will be televised nationally on the CBS College Sports Network. In addition, the Championship Game will be shown live on numerous regional sports networks, including SportsNet New York (SNY) as well as onlineat www.bigeast.tv for free.
On Friday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. ET, Connecticut (10-8-3, 4-5-2 BIG EAST) will take on West Virginia (14-4-1, 9-1-1 BIG EAST) for the second time in two weeks as the teams met on Oct. 22 in Morgantown, W.Va. The Mountaineers won 3-0, but UConn leads the all-time series 11-3-3. West Virginia is the American Division No. 2 seed, while Connecticut is the American Division No. 4 seed.
West Virginia is led by junior forward Blake Miller, who has a team-best 24 points, including 10 goals. The Mountaineers are 18-2-1 all-time when Miller scores a goal. West Virginia also is riding a program-best 10 game winning streak and is unbeaten in its last 11. West Virginia is 11-8-4 all-time in the BIG EAST Championship, including a 1-1 double-overtime draw against UConn on Nov. 7, 2008, in Notre Dame, Ind. It was the last meeting in BIG EAST Championship play between the teams. The Mountaineers are under the direction of head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, who is in her 15th season with the team. West Virginia is ranked No. 22 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and No. 16 in the Soccer America poll.
Connecticut is coming off one of its best BIG EAST Championship wins in recent memory, a 2-0 victory at then-No. 3/5 Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. UConn snapped Notre Dame’s 77-match unbeaten streak (72-0-5) against conference opponents. UConn also handed the Irish their first loss to a league foe since 2005 and became the first BIG EAST member to win at Notre Dame in 100 matches dating back to Oct. 6, 1995, when the Huskies posted a 5-4 victory. The constant for the Huskies through all those games has been head coach Len Tsantiris, who has been guiding the team since 1981. Earlier this season the Huskies presented Coach Tsantiris with a commemorative game ball to celebrate his 30 years at the helm of UConn women's soccer.
Offensively, UConn is led by graduate student Angelika Johansson, who has 15 points and seven goals. Junior Jessica Shufelt also leads the attack with 15 points, including six goals. Another key cog for the Huskies is senior defender Kacey Richards, who has started 83 games.
The second game on Friday is scheduled to kick off at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET. Marquette (15-3-2, 11-0-0), the American Division regular-season champion and No. 1 seed will face USF (12-4-3, 6-3-2 BIG EAST), the American Division No. 3 seed. The Golden Eagles are ranked No. 12 in the latest NSCAA poll and No. 8 in the Soccer America rankings. Marquette holds the nation’s fourth-longest active winning streak having won 12 games in a row. The Golden Eagles claimed their first unbeaten and untied conference season in program history and became just the third BIG EAST member to go undefeated in league play, joining Notre Dame and Connecticut. Anchored defensively by juniors Kerry McBride and goalkeeper Natalie Kulla, the Golden Eagles hold a 0.67 goals-against average and totaled nine shutouts this season. Marquette is under the direction of head coach Markus Roeders, who is in his 15th season.
Marquette and USF met earlier this season with the Golden Eagles earning a 2-1 win in Tampa, Fla., on Sept. 17. The Bulls have not beaten Marquette since 2006. The Golden Eagles hold a 12-2-1 series lead against USF and have won the last four meetings.
USF enters the contest with a five-game winning streak and is in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship for the first time in school history. USF also is one of the top defensive teams in the league, holding opponents to a 0.75 goals-against average this season. Junior goalkeeper Nicole McClure is in her first season with the Bulls after transferring from Hawaii. She has totaled eight shutouts and 73 saves this year. Offensively, sophomore Taylor Patterson and junior Gina Pacheco control the midfield while juniors Venicia Reid (26 points, nine goals) and Chelsea Klotz (24 points, 11 goals) lead the scoring attack. USF is coach by Denise Schilte-Brown, who is in her fourth season with the team.
The regional sports networks televising Sunday’s Championship Game include SNY, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), Comcast SportsNet in Chicago, Time Warner Cable Sports 32 in Wisconsin and Cox Sports Television (New England, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Virginia). In addition, Time Warner Cable in Syracuse/Albany and Rochester/Buffalo, along with West Virginia Public Television and the Comcast Network in Philadelphia and the mid-atlantic region. The Wazoo Sports Network in Louisville, Ken., also joins the list this year for the first time.
Fox Sports Pittsburgh and Bright House Sports Network in Tampa will air the game on a same-day, tape-delayed basis. This marks the 17th consecutive year in which the BIG EAST Championship will be televised.