AUGUSTA, GA – With the dramatic final games of the 2017 regular-season completed on Saturday, the Peach Belt Conference has released the bracket for the women's soccer tournament, which will begin on Tuesday. The top eight teams in the final standings advance to tournament play with four quarterfinal games on Tuesday, hosted by the higher seed. The winners of the four Tuesday games will advance to Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga., this Friday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 5, for the semifinals and finals. Blanchard Woods Park is hosting the finals for the 10th year in a row.
After entering the tournament as the #2 seed in each of the past three seasons, the North Georgia Nighthawks will be the #1 seed in 2017. UNG finished in a tie with Columbus State atop the PBC standings and both teams are regular-season co-champions. However, North Georgia defeated Columbus State 3-2 in Columbus in September and take the top seed with the head-to-head win. It is the first time that North Georgia is the top seed for the PBC Tournament.
Columbus State is the #2 seed. Ranked #8 in the nation and #1 in the latest NCAA Regional poll, the Cougars lost to Georgia College 2-1 on Saturday to fall into the tie with UNG. This will be the first time since 2013 that CSU has not been the top seed in the tournament.
Flagler will be the #3 seed for the PBC Tournament, following a victory over Clayton State on Saturday. The Saints have been ranked as high as #5 in the nation this season and are currently 17th in the poll. Flagler has their highest seed ever for the PBC Tournament and will host a women's quarterfinal game for the first time in program history.
UNC Pembroke defeated Young Harris in Saturday's regular-season finale in overtime to claim the #4 seed. The Braves enter the PBC Tournament with wins in five of their final six games, four of those via shutout.
With the win over Columbus State, Georgia College vaults into the #5 seed and a first-round match at UNCP on Tuesday. The Bobcats are tied with North Georgia with the longest winning streak entering the PBC Tournament at six games. GC has won eight of their last nine.
Young Harris will be the #6 seed following the loss to UNC Pembroke. The Mountain Lions will make the long drive to St. Augustine, Fla., for a quarterfinal meeting at Flagler on Tuesday. YHC makes their second consecutive tournament appearance.
Lander defeated Georgia Southwestern 4-0 on Saturday but had already locked up the #7 seed. The Bearcats will face second-seeded Columbus State in the quarterfinal round.
USC Aiken will be the #8 seed. The Pacers finished the regular season in a three-way tie with Francis Marion and Clayton State. The PBC three-way tiebreaker first examines head-to-head results, but the three teams were all 1-1 against the other.
Results against the top seed is then looked at. But all three teams each had the same results against every team in the league with a win against one of the other tied teams and Georgia Southwestern. The third step of the tiebreak looks at goals allowed in competition with the #1 seed. There, the tie was broken as USC Aiken allowed three goals to North Georgia while Clayton State and Francis Marion had both allowed five. USCA will return to the PBC Tournament for the first time since 2014.
Quarterfinal game times will be released on Monday. The PBC Tournament website can be found here.
2017 PBC Women's Soccer
Tuesday, Oct. 31 (Hosted by higher seed)
#8 USC Aiken at #1 North Georgia
#7 Lander at #2 Columbus State
#6 Young Harris at #3 Flagler
#5 Georgia College at #4 UNC Pembroke