“I have a lot of respect for Rutgers and it is going to be a battle,” coach Nikki Izzo-Brown says. “Obviously, when it gets to this point, every team is worthy of getting into the NCAA Tournament, so anything can happen.”
The Mountaineers are serving as one of 32 host schools for the first round of the national tournament – the third season under this format. The winner will advance to play the winner of No. 1 seed Virginia Tech and UMBC. The sites will be on-campus at the highest remaining seeds in the second- and third-round portion of the bracket on Nov. 22 and 24.
The two teams met in Morgantown for an exhibition before the 2013 season with the Mountaineers winning 3-0. Senior Frances Silva recorded assists on all three goals.
Rutgers earned an at-large bid following its penalty kick defeat at the hands of UCF in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship game. After going scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods, UCF won a shootout, 8-7.
“I know they have Jonelle Filigno, and she is a national team member in Canada and is very dynamic. Rutgers has a couple of other good players as well and are well organized. I need to refresh myself about them before the weekend, but I know they have special players.”
West Virginia holds a record of 16-3-2 this season (7-1 Big 12), winning 12 of its last 13 matches. Most recently, West Virginia won the Big 12 Tournament with a 1-0 blanking of Oklahoma State, on Sunday, Nov. 10.
The Mountaineers have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 14-consecutive seasons, advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2007. WVU has hosted the NCAA Tournament in seven previous seasons (2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012).
Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and senior citizens. Admission is free for West Virginia University students with a valid student ID. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $2 through the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum or by calling 1-800-WVU GAME.
NCAA quarterfinal matches will be played the weekend of Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The 32nd annual NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played Dec. 6 and Dec. 8, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.