For the third consecutive season, Azusa Pacific is the No. 1-seed in the NAIA Region II Playoffs and will have a first round bye into the semifinals. The NAIA Region II Tournament begins this week.
The Cougars, who won their third straight GSAC championship with a 5-1 win at Christian Heritage Saturday, will host their semifinal match Saturday at 1 p.m. against the lowest remaining seed. Westmont, the second seed, will host the other semifinal against the highest remaining seed at 10:30 a.m. in Santa Barbara.
Should the Cougars win their semifinal match, they would then host the Region II championship match Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. with the winner earning the region’s automatic bid into the 2002 NAIA Women’s Soccer National Tournament Nov. 21-26, 2002 in St. Charles, Mo.
It is still possible for the Cougars to earn one of 2 at-large berths into the national tournament, however they would need to get help from other teams in other regions. Tournament host Lindenwood (Mo.) will earn one of the at-large berths if it does not with its Region V tournament. If it does with the Region V tournament, then 2 at-large berths will be available.
In the opening round of the Region II tournament, fifth-seeded Concordia (14-4-1) travels to the NAIA’s No. 20-ranked and fourth-seeded Notre Dame de Namur (14-3-2) Tuesday at 1 p.m. Sixth-seed Biola (11-6-2) travels to third-seed Cal Baptist (11-2-1) Wednesday at 1 p.m.
The Cougars, ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, will host the lowest remaining seed, which could be any of the four teams in the first round except Cal Baptist. Should Cal Baptist defeat Biola Wednesday, it would travel to the NAIA’s No. 7-ranked and second-seed Westmont Saturday.
NAIA Region II Playoff Bracket
(seeds in parentheses)
Tuesday, November 5, 1 p.m.
(4) Notre Dame de Namur (15-3-2) d. (5) Concordia (14-5-1), 1-0
Wednesday, November 6, 1 p.m.
(3) Cal Baptist (12-2-1)d. (6) Biola (11-7-2), 3-2 ot
Semifinals – Saturday, Nov. 9
(3) Cal Baptist at (2) Westmont, 10:30 a.m.
(4) Notre Dame de Namur at (1) Azusa Pacific, 1 p.m.
Finals – Saturday, Nov. 16 – 1 p.m.
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed
Azusa Pacific Postseason Notes:
Since its 1998 national championship season, Azusa Pacific 7-1 in the NAIA regional playoffs, winning the regional championship 3 out of the 4 seasons. The Cougars lone loss came during the 1999 season, a 4-2 defeat at Westmont in the finals (the Cougars still advanced to the NAIA semifinals) … The Cougars are 3-1 in championship games, defeating Westmont twice and Cal Baptist last year … Including the NAIA Tournament, Azusa Pacific is 17-3-2 in the postseason since 1998.