Gamecocks named one-seed in NCAA Tournament

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – The road to the College Cup, for the second-straight season, runs through the Midlands.

Carolina women’s soccer has been named a one-seed in consecutive campaigns, learning they will host if making it through to the national semifinals in the NCAA Tournament selection show Monday afternoon.

The 64-team field features fellow top seeds like Stanford, Duke, and the team that eliminated the Gamecocks a year ago, North Carolina.

USC begins their path towards what would be the program’s first national championship Friday against Alabama State. It will mark the second-consecutive year the Gamecocks will open the NCAA Tournament against the Hornets. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Stone Stadium.

“Being at home is a true advantage,” South Carolina women’s soccer coach Shelley Smith said. “We’re happy with the position we’re in. We’ve been battle-tested all year – our non-conference schedule was very difficult, and we faced top opponents in SEC play to get us ready for the tournament.”

Tickets for Friday’s match, which go on sale Tues., Nov. 7, at 10 a.m. ET, are $8 for adults and $5 for students and children (17 and under). Fans can call the ticket office at 803-777-4274 or order and print tickets online. There is a $5 handling fee for those who buy tickets online. Fans can also purchase tickets on the day of the game at the gate, where only cash will be accepted.

This season will mark the 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the Gamecocks, who have reached the event in 10 of the last 11 years. Carolina has hosted a first-round match in five of the last six years, advancing out of those games four times.

The Gamecocks are one of nine SEC schools to qualify for the 2017 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Second-seeded Texas A&M and No. 3 seed Florida also received a national seed, while Alabama, Arkansas Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt round out the list of league members to advance to NCAA postseason play.

The complete 64-team bracket can be found on NCAA.com, and South Carolina fans can check back on GamecocksOnline.com later this week for a preview of Friday’s contest.

Gamecocks Athletics contributed to this article.

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