Notre Dame soccer earns overall No. 1 seed

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

By Staff
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the third time in school history, the Notre Dame women's soccer team (21-0-0) – ranked No. 1 in all four national polls for the past eight weeks – has been selected as the No. 1 overall seed for the 2008 NCAA Championship and thus will have the chance to play at home through the first four rounds of the tournament, as long as the Irish can maintain their winning ways. Notre Dame kicks off its quest for the program's third NCAA title on Friday night, Nov. 14, at Alumni Field, when it plays host to Toledo at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Michigan State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee will tangle in Friday's other first-round game at Alumni Field (5 p.m. ET kickoff), with the winners of those games returning Sunday, Nov. 16 for a second-round game at 1 p.m. (ET).
"We're very appreciative of being the top seed in the tournament because it recognizes the body of work we put together during the year," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "However, once you get to the NCAAs, everything you've accomplished to that point is set aside and you start from scratch. Toledo is going to present us with a very strong challenge on Friday, and we've already started focusing and preparing for what should be a high-quality NCAA tournament game.
The past four years have seen the NCAA shift to a different seeding system for the tournament, abandoning the format where there were 16 national seeds that were assigned number 1-16. The format has four seeds (listed 1-4) in each of the four quadrants of the bracket. Notre Dame is the top seed in its portion of the bracket, with Florida State (14-2-3) the No. 2 seed, Boston College (13-5-2) the third seed and Colorado (14-4-4) the fourth seed in Notre Dame's quadrant of the bracket.
The other three national No. 1 seeds are North Carolina, UCLA and Stanford – with Notre Dame and Stanford lined up for a possible NCAA semifinal matchup on Dec. 5 in Cary, N.C. The teams have met twice before in the NCAA tournament, both in the round of 16 and both resulting in 1-0 home victories, with the Irish winning in 1999 and the Cardinal answering in 2002.
The NCAA selection committee's bracketing principles and procedures prohibit teams from the same conference facing each other in the first round but second-round conference matchups were permissible in the formation of the bracket. When pairing teams, the committee was restricted by geographic proximity and sites were selected for the first and second rounds to create the fewest number of flights. Therefore, only 12 of the top 16 seeds will be hosting first- and second-round competition (Florida State will be playing at Auburn; Colorado at Minnesota; Oklahoma State at Rutgers; and USC at BYU).
The other quadrant on Notre Dame's side of the bracket includes (seeds 1-4): Stanford, Portland, Wake Forest and Oklahoma State.
The other side of the bracket features one quadrant with (1-4): North Carolina, Florida, Texas A&M and Missouri while the top four seeds in the final quadrant are (1-4): UCLA, Virginia, Duke and USC.
The 27th annual NCAA Division I Women's College Cup will be played Dec. 5 and Dec. 7 at WakeMed Soccer Park (formerly SAS Soccer Park) in Cary, N.C., with the national semifinals and title contest to be televised live to a national audience by ESPN2, ESPNU and