BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- An SEC record nine teams highlight the field of 64 that will be competing for the 36th NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. The nine NCAA Tournament bids leads all conferences as the ACC earned eight bids, Pac-12 had seven and the Big Ten and Big 12 each had five.
South Carolina earned a No. 1 national seed while Texas A&M is a No. 2 seed and Florida is a No. 3 seed. Joining the Gamecocks, Aggies and Gators in the field are Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
The nine selections eclipse the previous record of eight teams which was accomplished in 2011 and 2014. This marks the 10th time in the last 11 seasons that the SEC has had at least six teams advance to postseason play.
Five of the nine teams earned the right to host their opening round match on their home pitch. South Carolina will host Alabama State while Lamar road trips to Texas A&M, South Alabama will visit Florida, Hofstra travels to Auburn and Murray State goes to Tennessee.
Alabama is making its third NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2011. The Crimson Tide's 12 wins are the most victories recorded in a single season since 2002.
Arkansas is competing in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. The Razorbacks are coming off an impressive run in the SEC Tournament, becoming the highest seed (8) to reach the championship match.
Auburn earned its 15th NCAA Tournament bid and its fourth in a row. The Tiger defense finished the regular season tied for second in the league with five shutouts during conference play - matching a program record.
Florida is a No. 3 national seed and are making their 21st overall NCAA Championships' appearance and 15th consecutive. It is the 18th tournament that the Gators have hosted at least one match.
Ole Miss returns to NCAA play for the first time since the Rebels advanced to the third round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Overall, it is the seventh NCAA Tournament appearance for Ole Miss.
South Carolina is making its 10th trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last 11 years. The Gamecocks, who won the SEC regular season championship with a 9-0-1 record, earned the program's second consecutive No. 1 NCAA seed. USC are led by SEC Coach of the Year Shelley Smith, SEC Offensive Player of the Year Savannah McCaskill and SEC Defensive Player of the Year Grace Fisk.
Tennessee is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance and is hosting an opening round game for the eighth time.
Texas A&M is one of five teams to make it to every NCAA Tournament since 1995, a streak of 23 consecutive years. The Aggies are riding a 13-match winning streak and are coming off their third SEC Tournament championship in the last five years.
Vanderbilt earned its first NCAA Tournament bid since making back-to-back appearances in 2005 and 2006. Overall it is the school's eighth NCAA appearance.
First Round NCAA Tournament Matchups
- Alabama at Clemson
- Arkansas at NC State
- Hofstra at Auburn
- South Alabama at #3 Florida
- Ole Miss at #4 Florida State
- Alabama State at #1 South Carolina
- Murray State at Tennessee
- Lamar at #2 Texas A&M
- Vanderbilt at #4 Ohio State