PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2011 BIG EAST women’s soccer championship heads to Morgantown, W.Va., this weekend for the semifinals and title game of the 10-team tournament. The field has been narrowed to four teams, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame and West Virginia. On Nov. 4, Louisville will face Notre Dame at 3 p.m., while West Virginia hosts Georgetown at 5:30 p.m. The winners will meet on Nov. 6 for the league tournament title.
Louisville (11-5-3, 7-1-2 BIG EAST) is making its sixth appearance in the BIG EAST Championship, but enters with its highest seed. Having won their first BIG EAST regular-season title, the Cardinals are the No. 1 seed in the National Division. Along with a season-best seven-game winning streak, Louisville has won 12 of its last 13 games. The Cardinals will face Notre Dame in the semifinals. Louisville won at Notre Dame 1-0 on Sept. 16 earlier this year. Sophomore Christine Exeter leads the Cardinals offensively with 29 points, including 13 goals. Senior Chloe Kiefer anchors the defense in net with seven shutouts and a 0.89 goals-against average.
Notre Dame (10-6-3, 6-3-2 BIG EAST) is the No. 3 seed in the National Division and is looking for its second tournament title in the last three years. The Irish upset No. 2 seed Marquette 1-0 in the quarterfinals on Oct. 30 and snapped the Golden Eagles nine-game winning streak. ND is the only team to win on the road so far during the championship. Irish senior forward Melissa Henderson leads the team with 43 points and 18 goals. Defensively, classmate Jessica Schuveiller helps secure a backline that has posted six shutouts, including five in the last eight games. Overall, the Irish are making their 16th appearance in the BIG EAST Championship and are looking for their 12th title. Notre Dame is holding its lowest seed in the Championship since 2002.
Defending champion West Virginia (15-4-0, 10-1-0 BIG EAST) is making its 13th appearance in the BIG EAST Championship and looks to capture its third tournament crown. WVU senior Blake Miller leads the squad with 23 points and eight goals, while rookie Kate Schwindel ranks second with 16 points. In net, redshirt freshman Sara Keane has been impressive in her first season posting a 0.95 goals-against average, along with eight shutouts. The Mountaineers will host Georgetown in the semifinals on Nov. 4. The teams met earlier this year in Washington, D.C., with West Virginia posting a 3-1 victory on Sept. 30. WVU is the No. 1 seed from the American Division.
Georgetown (15-5-0, 8-3-0 BIG EAST) is enjoying an unprecedented stretch of women’s soccer success. Having tied last year’s school-record with their 15th win of the year in a quarterfinal victory over Syracuse on Oct. 30, the Hoyas face WVU in the semifinals. GU finished in second-place of the National Division and earned the No. 2 seed. Redshirt senior Ingrid Wells is one of the top players for Georgetown. She is a member of the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List, as well as the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. Wells leads the team with 30 points and a conference-best 12 assists. The Hoyas are looking for their first tournament title.
The Championship returns to Morgantown, W.Va., for the second time in the 19-year history of the event and the first time since 2007. It is the second time these four teams have advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament; coincidentally it also happened here in Morgantown in 2007.
Both semifinal games will be carried nationally on the CBS Sports Network. The title game is set for Nov. 6 at noon and will be televised on CBS Sports Network, as well as numerous regional sports networks, including SNY. The game also will be streamed live online for free at www.bigeast.tv