WACO, Texas – Baylor soccer (13-5-2, 4-4-1 Big 12) knew it had a spot in the NCAA Tournament field, securing the Big 12’s automatic qualifying rights as the conference tournament champions. But the squad was given an additional reward, earning the right to stay at home and host the Rice Owls (12-3-2) on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.
BU earns the program’s fifth NCAA bid, getting the right to host the opening round in Waco for the fourth time. The Bears got the program’s first bid since 2012 and is hosting for the first time since 2011.
Baylor is fresh off a 3-0 sweep of the Big 12 Soccer Championship, earning the program’s second tournament title with wins over No. 14 Texas, No. 16 Oklahoma State, and TCU, all teams that had defeated the BU squad in the regular season.
Rice was another regular season misstep for the Bears, with BU drawing 0-0 in double overtime in Houston on Aug. 24. The Owls provide the Baylor squad with another opportunity to redeem a missed opportunity, opening NCAA play on Friday.
Baylor is paired for the second round with the winner of No. 3 Southern California (14-3-1) and Eastern Washington (16-5-1). The winner would go on to face the advancing team from the College Station site, either No. 2 Texas A&M (17-2-1) or Lamar (18-3-1), and the South Bend site, Notre Dame (9-6-4) or IUPUI (14-5-3).
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