When Randy Waldrum was hired as the Head Coach of the University of Pittsburgh women’s soccer in late 2017, among the goals he set out was get the program to become an ACC contender and into the NCAA tournament.
After a couple of seasons in 2020 and 2021, when the Panthers were knocking on the door but fell short, it appears to be a certainty that Waldrum along with his coaches and players, will receive word on Monday (Selection Show slated for 4 p.m. ET) that they’ll get an invite to the NCAA tournament.
UPDATE: 4:05 p.m ET (11/7/2022) — PITT IS IN!
The Panthers have been selected as a number 4-seed in their region, and will host Buffalo in a first round match on Saturday, November 12 at Ambrose Urbanic Field at 7 p.m.
The Panthers will be in the same bracket with defending NCAA and current three-time reigning ACC Champions, Florida State, who are the No. 1 seed.
Nearly half of the 64-team field will be filled out by the automatic qualifiers (AQ) from each of the 31 conferences that participate in Division I.
Out of the 31 AQs, 28 are earned by winning the conference tournament, while the remaining three are earned by winning the Ivy League, Pac-12 and West Coast Conference regular season championships (decided by conference standings).
The Panthers have reached the eve of the NCAA tournament bracket announcement ranked No. 19 in the latest United Soccer Coaches Poll.
seven 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ANH6xZ3eyh
— The ACC (@theACC) November 2, 2022
Maybe more importantly, in the eyes of the NCAA tournament selection committee, Pitt is ranked 13th in this past week’s NCAA Division I Women’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings.
This means that the Panthers are likely to end up anywhere between a third to six seed in one of the four regions in the tournament bracket selections.
Florida State earned the automatic bid from the ACC, by winning the tournament championship on Sunday.
3⃣PEAT FOR THE SEMINOLES. 🏆🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/ikYWo44EBD
— The ACC (@theACC) November 6, 2022
An additional 33 teams earn at-large bids as to be determined by the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee. The complete 64-team field will be released at 3:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Nov. 7, during a selection show on NCAA.com.
NCAA’s Competition Oversight Committee has created a new strategy increasing the number of seeded teams from 16 to 32.
Here’s the statement from the NCAA:
“Fifty percent of the bracket will be seeded in four groupings of 1-8. Published seeding will be in four sets of 1-8 and the pairings will honor a 1-8 seed assignment. The committee will identify the top 32 teams. The top 16 teams will be identified in rank order and assigned a seed grouping from 1 to 4. The balance of the ranked teams, in turn, are assigned to one of the remaining seed groupings (i.e., 5 to 8). Once the seed assignment is finalized, it remains unchanged while placing the teams into the championship bracket. First and second-round conference matchups will be avoided.”
Following the bracket reveal on Nov. 7, the 2022 DI women’s soccer championship begins on Friday, Nov. 11.
From there, four rounds will be played leading up to the College Cup, where semifinals and finals will be held to crown a champion.
The College Cup culminates with the national championship in Cary, North Carolina, on December 5, 2022 at 6 p.m. ET.