By Joe Becker
The NCAA Soccer Tournament opens for the University of Portland womens soccer team
Friday Night and for the first time in four years, the Lady Pilots are starting at home. They take on Northern Arizona at 8pm.
"A home Playoff game at Merlo Field is unmatched," says Pilots Head Coach Garrett Smith. "We've taken our share of traveling across the country and seeing what other people have to offer in the first rounds and nobody knows how spoiled we are here in Portland. Until they come to Portland and everybody will see on Friday Night."
The Pilots posted a 17-1 mark this season and are riding a school record 16-game win streak. UP Forward Megan Rapinoe was named WCC player of the year and is ready for the fun to begin.
"This is amazing," says Rapinoe. "I love the playoffs. I love big games and it only gets more and more fun."
The Pilots are the number 2 seed behind Stanford and beat Northern Arizona 7-0 earlier this season. UP has outscored its opponents 58-5 this season thanks to a strong defense and Goalkeeper Kelsey Davis.
"This team is awesome," says Davis. "I think in my three years being here this is the closest that i've seen my team on and off the field. We're excited. We're fit and We're ready.
The weather is supposed to be nice and there are still some tickets available. We will have highlights on KGW at 11pm. If the Pilots win they will take on either Texas or Washington St. on Sunday at 1pm at the University of Portland.