Five Things To Know: Denver's NCAA Tournament Opener

Summit League Freshman of the Year Samantha Feller (18) has nine goals and four assists entering the NCAA Tournament.
Summit League Freshman of the Year Samantha Feller (18) has nine goals and four assists entering the NCAA Tournament.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Denver women's soccer team takes a six-match winning streak into the NCAA Tournament where the Pioneers will open up first-round play at Arizona on Friday. This will be the fourth meeting between the two programs with the latest coming two years ago at the Sun Devil Desert Classic in Tempe (Arizona won 3-0). Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. MT and a live stream of the match will be available at https://pac-12.com/live/university-arizona-2.

Arizona earned one of 31 at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament after finishing the season with a 12-5-2 overall record and tying for fifth in the Pac-12 with a 5-4-2 record.  Denver arrives in Tucson with a 13-5-2 record and shared The Summit League regular season title with a 7-1 record (South Dakota State).

Five Things to Know for the opening round of the NCAA Soccer Tournament

  1. Denver owns a 3-10 all-time record in 10 previous NCAA Tournament appearances with its deepest run coming in 2012 when the Pioneers advanced to the Round of 16 following wins over Colorado College (3-1) and Maryland (3-2). This will be DU's third tournament appearance representing The Summit League. Arizona will be making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018 and owns a 6-5 overall record in those matches. 
  2. Arizona will be the fourth straight Pac-12 program that Denver has played in the NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers lost to Stanford 3-0 in a 2012 Round of 16 match, then dropped opening-round matches to Colorado in 2013 (1-0) and 2017 (2-1). The Wildcats are making their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five seasons and advanced to the second round in 2017 before falling 2-0 to Florida State.
  3. The Pioneers have not allowed a goal in the last 483 minutes and three seconds, outscoring opponents 14-0 during that stretch which encompasses five-plus matches. 
  4. These two teams both played Colorado and Cal State Fullerton during the regular season. DU posted a 1-1 record in those matches, falling 2-1 at Colorado on Sept. 16 before picking up a 2-0 road win at Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 23. Arizona defeated Cal State Fullerton 2-1 in the Wildcats' final non-conference tuneup, then played Colorado to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 30.   
  5. Summit League Freshman of the Year Samantha Feller is Denver's top goal scorer with nine on the campaign. She also added four assists, including two in The Summit League Championshpi match. Sophomore Jada Talley is Arizona's top goal scorer with seven on the season and she also leads the Wildcats in points with 15. 

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Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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