OSU will be making its second-straight NCAA tourney appearance and the eighth in the last 10 years. The NCAA berth marks the ninth in program history, with the first coming in 2003; OSU made six-straight trips from 2006-11.
Coach Colin Carmichael's squad is 10-9-1 on the season. After opening the year 0-6, OSU went 10-3-1 the rest of the way, along the way finishing second in the Big 12 Conference standings with a 5-2-1 league mark.
Arizona earned an NCAA at-large berth on the strength of an 11-7-2 record. Friday,s game will mark the second time this season OSU and Arizona have squared off on the pitch. The two battled at the Sun Devil Desert Classic in Tempe, Ariz., on Sept. 7; the Cowgirls held a 1-0 second-half lead in that match until the Wildcats scored three goals in the final seven minutes to win, 3-1.
After our start to the season getting into the NCAA tournament with this group is a nice achievement, and I'm really proud of it, Carmichael said. However, last time we got in and hosted, it didn't go so well. Our big focus this year will be not to make that mistake again and not to let that opportunity slip away.
We're playing against a very good Arizona team we've already seen once this season. We've got a few different kids back on the field that we didn't have that first time, and hopefully that will give us a little bit of a boost. It will be a tough game but playing at home is exciting for us always, and it's another great opportunity for us to make a run in the NCAA tournament.
OSU is 9-5-4 all time in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, with the .611 winning percentage tied for 10th all time in NCAA tourney history among teams that have played at least 15 games. The Cowgirls have advanced to at least the second round six times, including back-to-back Elite Eight appearances in 2010 and 2011.
Friday's match will mark the ninth NCAA Soccer Championship contest OSU has played at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex. OSU previously hosted NCAA action in 2010, 2011 and 2013 and was 6-2-0 in those games.