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NCAA Tournament primer

11/9/2011

Here's a rundown of the 11 local schools that have qualified for NCAA soccer tournaments:

  • DIVISION I WOMEN

LONG BEACH STATE

Coach: Mauricio Ingrassia

Record: 15-5-1 (Big West runner-up and tournament champion)

Ranking: Receiving votes

Home field: George Allen Field (Long Beach)

Three players to watch: M Shawna Gordon (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS), F Nicole Hubbard (Lakewood/Mayfair HS), F Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS)

NCAA opener: Saturday at Pepperdine, 1:30 p.m.

Quick look: Throw out one tough weekend, while the 49ers were engulfed in the Seal Beach tragedy, and Long Beach might be top 20 with just three losses and a Big West double. Link has 15 goals, 10 assists, and Gordon might be the smoothest center midfielder in Southern California.

PEPPERDINE

Coach: Tim Ward

Record: 15-1-4 (WCC co-champion)

Ranking: No. 7

Home field: Tari Frahm Rokus Field (Malibu)

Three players to watch: F Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS), F Anisa Guajardo, F Lynn Williams

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. Long Beach State, 1:30 p.m.

Quick look: The Waves went unbeaten its first 17 games, won the West Coast Conference for the second time and rose as high as No. 3 in the rankings behind a balanced squad with uncommon chemistry. A final-eight appearance is possible, more would be a triumph.

UCLA

Coach: B.J. Snow

Record: 15-1-3 (Pac-12 runner-up)

Ranking: No. 2

Home field: Drake Stadium (Westwood)

Three players to watch: F Sydney Leroux, M Sam Mewis, M Jenna Richmond

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. New Mexico, 7 p.m.

Quick look: The Bruins' lone loss is to No. 1 Stanford, and few teams can match them for talent and explosiveness. First-year head coach Snow relies on All-American Leroux, a U.S. national-teamer, who has 16 goals this year, 57 in four years.

UC IRVINE

Coach: Scott Juniper

Record: 14-4-2 (Big West champion and tournament runner-up)

Ranking: Receiving votes

Home field: Anteater Stadium (Irvine)

Three players to watch: M Judy Christopher (Ontario/Upland HS), D CoCo Goodson, F Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada/La Mirada HS and UCLA)

NCAA opener: Friday vs. San Diego, 7 p.m.

Quick look: Goodson, among the nation's elite center backs, leads a shut-down defense that blanked seven foes in an eight-game winning streak before a 1-0 loss to Long Beach in the tournament final. The Anteaters reached the Sweet 16 last year and have aims to go further.

  • DIVISION II MEN

CAL STATE L.A.

Coach: Chris Chamides

Record: 14-1-5 (CCAA South champion and CCAA tournament champion)

Ranking: No. 17

Home field: Jesse Owens Stadium (University Heights)

Three players to watch: F Rosario Bras, D Taylor Rivas (Lancaster/Lancaster HS and UC Santa Barbara), F Jason Swope

NCAA opener: Thursday vs. Chico State at Seattle Pacific, 4 p.m.

Quick look: Rivas might be the best D2 defender in the country, and the Golden Eagles have a potent attack, too. They've won their last six and are unbeaten in their last 12.

CAL STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS

Coach: Joe Flanagan

Record: 12-5-2 (CCAA South runner-up and CCAA tournament semifinalist)

Ranking: Unranked

Home field: Toro Stadium (Carson)

Three players to watch: G Markus Dickerson (Beaumont/Beaumont HS), D Antonio Garcia (Whittier/California HS, Cypress College and Cerritos College), F Jordan Rover (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS)

NCAA opener: Thursday at Seattle Pacific, 7:30 p.m.

Quick look: The Toros are looking for their second NCAA title under Flanagan -- they won in 2008 -- but face a tough opener against No. 13 Seattle Pacific and need to bounce back from one-sided shutout losses that cost them a share of the CCAA South title and knocked them from the conference tournament.

  • DIVISION II WOMEN

CAL STATE L.A.

Coach: Chris Chamides

Record: 12-4-3 (CCAA South runner-up and CCAA tournament semifinalist)

Ranking: Receiving votes

Home field: Jesse Owens Stadium (University Heights)

Three players to watch: D Jacqueline Hanna (Orange/El Modena HS), M Lisa Ă–hberg, F Janet Mendez (Palmdale/Highland HS and Long Beach State)

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. Seattle Pacific or Grand Canyon, 1 p.m.

Quick look: The stingy Golden Eagles had lost just once in 16 games before a surprise defeat in the conference tournament, and they've got a difficult path out of the West Regional, with underrated Seattle Pacific and CCAA champ UC San Diego in the mix.

  • DIVISION III MEN

CHAPMAN

Coach: Eddie Carrillo

Record: 11-4-3 (independent)

Ranking: Unranked

Home field: Chapman Stadium (Orange)

Three players to watch: G Jimmy Adranly, F Mauricio Alonso (Woodland Hills/Loyola HS), F/M Nick Echeverry (Anaheim/Servite HS)

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Redlands, 7:30 p.m.

Quick look: The Panthers, in the D3 tournament for the second time in three years, have a win over Redlands and just two losses to Division III foes (one to No. 5 Trinity, Texas) on their record.

CLAREMONT-MUDD-SCRIPPS

Coach: Dan Calichman

Record: 14-5-1 (SCIAC runner-up and tournament champion)

Ranking: Unranked

Home field: Pritzlaff Field (Claremont)

Three players to watch: G Ricky Doar, F Harrison Doyle (Hidden Hills/Calabasas HS), D Sam Ullman

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. Chapman at Redlands, 7:30 p.m.

Quick look: The Stags are streaking -- and with confidence gained after toppling Redlands in the SCIAC title game, for the second year in a row, when Doar stopped a penalty kick in overtime.

REDLANDS

Coach: Ralph Perez

Record: 18-3-1 (SCIAC champion and tournament runner-up)

Ranking: No. 13

Home field: Farquhar Fields (Redlands)

Three players to watch: F Cody Carlson (Burbank/Burbank HS), F Charles Izydorek (Redlands/Arrowhead Christian Academy), M Gabr Ramirez (Pasadena/Crescenta Valley HS)

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. Pacific Lutheran, 5 p.m.

Quick look: Carlson is the leader, on and off the field, for a Bulldogs team that hasn't lost in 17 games en route to the SCIAC title. The region's best bet to contend for D3 silverware.

  • DIVISION III WOMEN

CAL LUTHERAN

Coach: Frank Marino

Record: 20-1-1 (SCIAC champion and tournament champion)

Ranking: No. 10

Home field: Rolland Stadium (Thousand Oaks)

Three players to watch: D Jen Jones (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS), M Sinead Vaughn (Simi Valley/Royal HS, Moorpark College and Cal State Northridge), F Taylor Will

NCAA opener: Saturday vs. UC Santa Cruz, 7:30 p.m.

Quick look: The Regals have won back-to-back SCIAC titles under Marino's leadership and Vaughn's on-field gifts, and the addition of high-scoring freshman Will -- with 19 goals in 19 games -- boosts their chances.