SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference Women’s Soccer Championship moves to the Greensboro, North Carolina, on the campus of UNC Greensboro, this weekend for the semifinal and final matches, beginning Friday at 4 p.m.
For the fifth time in the last six years, the top four seeds advanced to the championship weekend. This year’s championship features No. 1 Samford, No. 2 Furman, No. 3 UNCG and No. 4 Mercer in the battle for the tournament title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship.
Both of Friday’s semifinal matches will air live on ESPN+, as will Sunday’s championship match, which is slated for 2 p.m.
Phil Cox (play-by-play) and Ross Goodacre (analyst) will have the call for the semifinal games while Jason Patterson (play-by-play) and Cox (analyst) will call Sunday’s championship. Admission for this week’s games is $10 for adults (ages 14+), $5 for youth (ages 6-13) and free for SoCon students or youth under 5 years old. Friday’s ticket price will include both semifinal matches.
Top seed Samford (11-3-5, 7-1-1 SoCon), which claimed at least a share of the SoCon regular-season title for the sixth straight season, matches up with Mercer on Friday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs, whose only regular-season loss came to Mercer, 1-0 on Oct. 13, downed No. 9 seed The Citadel 5-1 in the quarterfinals. The appearance in the semifinals is Samford’s seventh straight and 11th in its last 12 seasons in the league.
Furman (13-5-1, 7-1-1 SoCon), the regular-season co-champion, beat No. 7 Wofford 3-0 in a home quarterfinal match, after falling for the first time in conference play at Mercer (1-0) in the regular-season finale. Furman, which advanced to the final last year as the No. 5 seed before falling to UNCG 3-0, will be seeking its seventh SoCon tournament title and first since 2015. The Paladins will square off with host-school UNCG on Friday at 6:30 p.m. In the regular season, the Paladins bested the Spartans 2-0 on Oct. 4.
UNCG (10-7-2, 7-2-0 SoCon), the two-time defending Southern Conference tournament champion, tied No. 6 Chattanooga 1-1 in a home quarterfinal matchup, advancing on penalty kicks 4-2. The Spartans’ two regular-season losses came at the hands of Furman (2-0) in Greenville, South Carolina, and to Samford (2-0) in Birmingham, Alabama.
Mercer (16-3-0, 7-2-0 SoCon) was the lone team to beat Samford and Furman, handing each its only loss in conference action. The Bears, who fell to UNCG 2-0 on Sept. 29 in the second conference game of the season, are led by SoCon Coach of the Year Tony Economopoulous and SoCon Player of the Year Nicole Icen. Mercer beat No. 5 Western Carolina 1-0 in double overtime in the quarterfinals.
The four squads in the semifinals have combined to win 18 of the 25 tournaments contested so far, including the last six. UNCG owns a league-best eight Southern Conference championships, while Furman has six, Samford has two and Mercer owns one.
The winner of this year’s tournament will receive the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA postseason. The NCAA Selection Show will air on NCAA.com on Monday, Nov. 11.
2019 Women's Soccer Championship
Wednesday, Oct. 30
First Round (at higher seeds)
Match 1: No. 9 The Citadel 1, No. 8 ETSU 0
Match 2: No. 7 Wofford 2, No. 10 VMI 1
Saturday, Nov. 2
Quarterfinals (at higher seeds)
Match 3: No. 1 Samford 5, No. 9 The Citadel 1
Sunday, Nov. 3
Quarterfinals (at higher seeds)
Match 4: No. 4 Mercer 1, No. 5 Western Carolina 0 (2OT)
Match 5: No. 2 Furman 3, No. 7 Wofford 0
Match 6: No. 3 UNCG 1, No. 6 Chattanooga 1 (2OT, UNCG 4-2 PKs)
Friday, Nov. 8
Semifinals (UNCG Soccer Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.)
Match 7: No. 1 Samford vs. No. 4 Mercer, 4 p.m.
Match 8: No. 2 Furman vs. No. 3 UNCG, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 10
Final (UNCG Soccer Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.)
Match 9: Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8, 2 p.m.
*all times Eastern unless otherwise noted