As the regular season concludes and conference championships cease, the number of field hockey seasons quickly dwindle down separating the best of the best. There are a total of 49 field hockey institutions still practicing across the U.S. and each aspire to win the 2013 NCAA Field Hockey Championship in their respected divisions.
Division I Roundup
Nineteen universities are still alive in the Division I Field Hockey Tournament bracket. Eleven conferences were awarded an automatic birth into the tournament. Of those eleven, five teams have an automatic qualification and are placed into the bracket. Six of those teams will compete in play-in games on Wednesday to decide their fate. Eight more schools were given at large bids rounding out the projected Sweet 16.
With a record of 20-0-1, Maryland is the number one seed after defeating North Carolina 2-0 in the ACC Championship. Syracuse enters the tournament as the number two seed followed by North Carolina in third and Duke sitting in fourth. Fellow conference foes, Boston College, Virginia and Wake forest each landed at-large bids, awarding the entire ACC Conference birth into the 2013 tournament.
The last two at-large bids were granted to Old Dominion and Penn State after impressive regular season campaigns.
The reigning 2012 NCAA National Champion, Princeton heads into the tournament as the Ivy League Champion for their eighth perfect slate, 7-0 in 11 years. The University of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire also earned slots after reining their conference championship titles.
Michigan State, Delaware, Quinnipiac, Miami of Ohio, Liberty and American will all battle for the remaining three coveted spots into the Sweet 16 with play-in games held on Wednesday, November 13.
The first and second round of play will be held at the top four teams’ campus sites on November 16 and 17.
Division II Roundup
A total of six teams are vying for the 2013 Division II Title, which is broken up by two regions comprised of north and south. Long Island University heads into the tournament with a record of 20-0-0 overall and earned the North region bye. Stonehill is set to match up against Merrimack at Stonehill for a first-round contest on November 16. The winner will then meet Long Island for the region final.
Shippensburg earned the South region bye with a record of 18-0-1. Millersville will compete against the 2012 National Champion, West Chester, in the first round on November 16 at Millersville before meeting Shippensburg in the regional final.
Division III Roundup
Montclair State was selected as the top seed for the 2013 Division III Field Hockey Championship. A total of 24 teams will compete in the tournament this year. Sixteen universities comprise the eight first round matches on campus sites Wednesday, November 13. The first round winners, aside from the eight teams who earned a first round bye, will compete November 16 and 17.
Eighteen conferences have been awarded automatic qualification. One team was selected from Pool B and five berths were awarded to Pool C. The 18 schools receiving automatic qualification are: Salisbury, Ursinus, Gwynedd- Mercy, Messiah, Gordon, Utica, Wilkes, Catholic, Skidmore, Keene State, Anna Maria, Middlebury, Wellesley, Montclair State, Castleton, DePauw, Lynchburg and New Paltz State.
The one Pool B team is Centre and the five Pool C teams are Bowdoin, Christopher Newport, Mount Holyoke, William Smith and the 2012 National Champion, Tufts.
Old Dominion University will host the Division I semifinals on November 22 at the L.R. Hill Complex in Norfolk, Va. The Division II and III semifinals will be held on November 22 at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. All three divisions will compete on November 24 at Old Dominion for each NCAA Championship Final match.
For further tournament updates regarding all collegiate divisions, check usafieldhockey.com and ncaa.com