Women’s DI Conference Final Previews
Championship weekend for women’s soccer is here, and as usual, there is a long list of NCAA tournament implications in effect. Here is a preview of each final, as well as where you can watch.
SMU enters this game knowing it is not guaranteed an at-large bid, while Memphis, who is, will be chasing a third straight championship and a 15th consecutive victory.
UMass Lowell won when these two met in the regular season, with Maine suffering its only loss. There would be no sweeter revenge than striking back in the conference championship.
Clemson is all that stands in the way of Florida State’s quest for a fourth consecutive title and ninth in eleven years. And if the Tigers needed any extra motivation, a win here would be their first-ever conference tournament crown.
Saint Louis is chasing a sixth straight title, but perhaps it is poetic justice that the team to stop it is the program that last won the A10 trophy before the Billikens began their run.
With both teams needing a championship to reach the NCAA tournament, this will be an all-out battle, further aided by North Alabama’s chase for the first ASUN title in program history.
In a rare championship matchup of 1 versus 2, there is no doubt these two are the Big East’s best. And with Georgetown winning six of the last seven trophies, Xavier faces a team that knows what it takes to win big games.
Big Sky: Idaho/Portland State vs. Montana vs. Northern Arizona – Sunday, November 5th, 3 PM Eastern
Separated by a point in the regular season, these two get another chance to prove, once and for all, who the true champion of the Big South is.
Cinderella Iowa is one game away from everlasting glory, having entered as the lowest seed and defeated No. 2 Michigan State and No. 1 Penn State to reach the championship game, a shocking run for a team that ended the regular season with one win from five.
In a must-watch game, the nation’s two highest-scoring offenses clash in a match filled with fireworks. There are also plenty of intriguing storylines at hand, such as BYU looking to win the Big 12 in its debut season and if Texas can win its first conference tournament title since 2007.
UC Irvine shocked many last year by winning the tournament as a 6-seed, and now, as a 5-seed, they look to run it back for a third season in a row.
With both teams chasing a first-ever CAA tournament trophy, this game means even more than most championship games.
C-USA: New Mexico State/Sam Houston vs. Liberty/Louisiana Tech – Sunday, November 5th, 2 PM Eastern, ESPN+
Surprise, surprise- Wisconsin-Milwaukee is in the Horizon League championship again for the eighth successive year. Now Northern Kentucky has the tall task of defeating a team that has won five straight tournament trophies.
Ivy League: Harvard/Princeton vs. Brown/Columbia – Sunday, November 5th, 1 PM Eastern, ESPN+
Quinnipiac chases a second straight title against a Fairfield team looking to win for the first time in 15 years. And with seven of the last eight MAAC championship games decided by a 3+ goals margin, this could be a blowout in either direction.
As an example of the unpredictability of conference tournaments, the fourth and the sixth seeds meet in the MAC championship. This game is a golden opportunity for an Ohio program that has never won the trophy, while Kent State is chasing a first since 2016.
Missouri State had not conceded in 14 hours of soccer until an overtime goal by six-seeded Valparaiso knocked them out of the tournament. Now, the challenge is repeating the same effort against a Drake team that has won six straight.
Utah State used the momentum of upsetting No. 1 ranked BYU to turn around its season, winning 10 of the following 12. Now Colorado State stands in the way of glory as both teams justle for a first conference tournament trophy.
As Central Connecticut plays in a sixth straight conference championship, a relatively inexperienced Wagner team must upset a team it lost to in the regular season finale.
With SIUE knocked out in the quarterfinals, there will be a new Oho Valley champion for the first time in four seasons. And there is no better way to decide who the new face of the conference will be than having the top two seeds in the final.
A championship rematch is on hand after Bucknell defeated Army West Point on penalties to win the 2022 trophy. Both teams were seeded the same in that tournament, credit to remarkable consistency.
Georgia has had a storied run after mounting a comeback against Kentucky after an early red card, then scoring an overtime game-winner against Texas A&M with seconds remaining. Meanwhile, Arkansas has dominated with six scored and zero conceded. All that to say, the Razorbacks will play a battle-tested and confident Georgia team to decide who will win its first-ever SEC tournament trophy.
A point separated these two in the regular season, and now they get to play for ultimate supremacy. Western Carolina will be extra motivated to stop Samford from winning a third consecutive trophy.
Southland: McNeese/Houston Christian vs. Lamar/Northwestern State – Sunday, November 5th, 3 PM Eastern, ESPN+
SWAC: Jackson State/Southern vs. Grambling State/Texas Southern – Sunday, November 5th, 2 PM Eastern, SWAC Digital Network
Fittingly, these two tied each other 1-1 to close out the regular season. But that was while South Dakota State was fighting some poor offensive form that it broke past in a 5-2 semi-final victory over Oral Roberts. Omaha is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, so it certainly is not lacking any confidence.
Sun Belt: Old Dominion/Georgia Southern vs. South Alabama/James Madison – Sunday, November 5th, 2 PM Eastern, ESPN+
With five points separating first from fourth, the WAC tournament was never going to be straightforward, and now we get to watch a formidable Seattle defense attempt to contain a high-flying Grand Canyon offense.
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