For only the second time in program history, Arizona’s soccer team will host a first-round match in the NCAA women’s soccer tournament.
Arizona will take on TCU (12-6-3) on Friday at Mulcahy Stadium, with the winner advancing to face either Ole Miss or No. 4 seed Florida State in the second round.
Both teams are chasing history.
This year’s Wildcats (10-4-4) are the first in program history to win more than six Pac-12 games in one season. They Cats finished 7-2-2 in league play, good for a fourth-place finish. As a result, coach Tony Amato’s seniors have qualified for their third tournament in four years.
“It feels really good knowing that we made history being the first team to do it in Arizona soccer history,” senior Charlotte Brascia said. “Especially as a senior, it’s always really cool to have that one last home game that’s not even regular season.”
The last time Arizona made it to the tournament was in 2015, which was the first year UA hosted a game. The Wildcats made it to the Sweet Sixteen before losing 3-0 to Stanford. It was only the second time UA made a Sweet 16 appearance.
TCU finished third in the Big 12 Conference regular season with a 6-2-1 mark, an all-time conference best for the program. This is only the second time in program history that the Horned Frogs have been selected to the NCAA Tournament. TCU made it last year, losing in the first round.
The Wildcats and Frogs are coming into the tournament with momentum.
TCU finished the regular season with three wins in its last four games. Then, in last week’s Big 12 Tournament, the Horned Frogs won their first two games on penalties before losing the final 2-1 in overtime to Baylor in Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday.
Arizona, meanwhile, has gone unbeaten (5 wins, 2 ties) in its last seven matches. The Wildcats’ last loss came Oct. 5 to USC, a No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Although the Wildcats and the Frogs did not face each other during the season, they played three similar opponents: Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
Both UA and TCU defeated Oklahoma 2-0 and topped Texas Tech 1-0. Colorado beat TCU 1-0 and tied the Wildcats 0-0.
Senior Cali Crisler said since the tournament was announced, Arizona and TCU have been compared as similar teams with very comparable records.
“We need to keep doing what our coaches have been telling us,” Crisler said. “It’s been working for us in the last games.”