UM soccer

Miami Hurricanes women’s soccer team qualifies for soccer championship tourney

 

mkaufman@miamiherald.com

The University of Miami soccer team qualified for its second consecutive postseason appearance and fifth in program history Monday, earning an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship.

The Hurricanes will make the short trip to Orlando for their opening round matchup with Conference USA tournament champions and No. 20 UCF.

The Hurricanes fell in their regular-season matchup with the Knights earlier in the year, dropping the overtime game 1-0 on Aug. 26.

“We’re just really excited. We had some big wins at the end of the year, and I think that helped us,” assistant coach Jason Hamilton said. “Obviously it’s nerve-wracking waiting to find out who you’re playing, but we’re excited.”

The Hurricanes were one of nine representatives chosen from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Joining Miami (9-7-3, 4-4-2 ACC) from the conference will be Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The nine ACC teams selected to the 2012 NCAA tournament field led all conferences, three more than both the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12.

Monday’s announcement marked the 10th consecutive year that at least seven ACC teams have made the championship field and the 14th year in a row that at least six have been selected.

“With all the injuries we had, I think we were down at one point seven or eight starters,” assistant coach Matt Kagan said.

“To have it culminate in an NCAA tournament for us is a great reward. We’re proud of the kids,” Kagan said.

Soccer

The United States women’s national soccer team will make a rare South Florida appearance Dec. 15 for an exhibition match against the Chinese national team at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.

It will be the first time in 13 years that the U.S. team will play a game in this area.

The friendly is part of the 2012 Fan Tribute Tour, and the roster is expected to include all the players from the Olympic gold medal team.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Abby Wambach, Christine Rampone, Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx, all of whom played for Boca Raton’s Magic Jack team before the Women’s Professional Soccer league folded.

Team USA has averaged 18,000 fans so far on the tour while putting up a 3-0-2 record.

The United States beat Costa Rica 8-0, beat Australia 2-1 and 6-2 and tied Germany 1-1 and 2-2.

Game time and ticket information are still to be announced.

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