NCAA D-II Women’s Soccer Tournament: Two-Time Defending Champion Grand Valley State Earns No. 1 Seed

Daniel Benjamin

The NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Committee recently released its pairing for the 2015 women's soccer tournament. Unlike in Division I, the top eight teams in each of the six Division II regions receive an invite to the national tournament. Twenty-two teams received automatic bids.

Two-time defending national champions Grand Valley State (19-1-0) is the top-ranked team in the Midwest Regional. The Lakers, who are ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA Coaches poll, earned an automatic bid for the tournament by winning the GLIAC Tournament title for the eighth straight year, according to the Holland Sentinel. Grand Valley defeated Ashland 5-0 in GLIAC Championship game.

The Lakers will face the winner of No. 4 Quincy (13-3-4) and No. 5 University of Missouri-St.Louis (12-4-4). If Grand Valley wins its second round match, they will host the third-round game.

In the other half of the Midwest bracket, No.3 Truman (14-2-5) will square off against No. 6 Cedarville (12-4-4) in a first round match at Bellarmine. Truman earned the Great Lakes Valley Conference's automatic bid by taking its conference tournament crown. The winner will face off against GLVC regular season champion Bellarmine (16-2-2), the second seed.

The winner of the Midwest Regional will meet the Central Regional champion, where Central Missouri (19-2) is the No. 1 seed, in the quarterfinals. The No. 8 Jennies (19-2) earned an automatic bid by winning the MIAA Conference Tournament. Central Missouri is making its sixth straight NCAA appearance, and the Jennies have won seven straight matches, per Central Missouri University Athletics.

Central Missouri will host the winner of No. 4 Minot State (15-4-1) and No. 5 Winona State (13-5-3). On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Minnesota State-Mankato awaits the winner of No. 3 Augustana (S.D) and No. 6 Harding (13-3-2).

The University of Bridgeport (18-1-1) is the No. 1 seed in the East Regional. The No. 5 Purple Knights earned an automatic bid by claiming the ECC Tournament crown with a 1-0 win over Roberts Wesleyan. The Connecticut Post reports that Bridgeport's 18 wins ties a program record.

Bridgeport will square off against the winner of No. 4 Roberts Wesleyan (12-5-2) and No. 5 LIU Post (14-3-2) while No. Adelphia (17-2-2), which is on a 12-game winning streak, awaits the winner of No.3 Saint Rose (15-3-3) and No. 6 Philadelphia (10-8-2). The winner of the East Regional will face the winner of the Atlantic Regional in the quarterfinals.

No. 13 Carson-Newman (18-2) is the top-seeded team in the Southeast Region. The Eagles will meet the winner of Wingate (15-2-2) and Armstrong State (12-4-3). The No. 2 Columbus State (18-2-1) has won 15 straight and awaits the winner of No. 3 North Georgia (15-3-1)-No. 6 Limestone (16-3-0).

The South Regional has No. 4 Barry (13-2-1) as the top seed. No.2 North Alabama (15-2-2), No. 3 Tampa (10-4-5), No. 4 West Florida (14-4-1), No. 5 Nova Southeastern (9-3-2), and No. 6 Lee (11-4-4) round out the field. The winner of the Southeast Region will face off against the winner of the South region.

No.2 Western Washington (18-1-1) is the top seed out West. Azusa Pacific is No. 2 while No.3 Sonoma State (12-2-3), No. 4 UC San Diego (15-5-1), No. 5 Seattle Pacific (12-4-2), and No. 6 Point Loma (14-4-0) round out the region.

No. 10 Angelo State (14-3-1) is the top seed in the South Central Regional. No. 2 Dallas Baptist (13-3-3), No. 3 Texas A&M Commerce (13-5-2), No. 4 Fort Lewis (12-5-3), No. 5 St. Edward's (13-5-0), and No. 6 Colorado Mines (14-4-2) rounds out the group.

The semifinals and championship games will take place December 3 and 5 at Ashton Brosnaham Stadium in Pensacola, Florida. Grand Valley State defeated Rollins, 3-0, to capture their second consecutive national title.

[Photo via NCAA D-II Soccer]