The BIG EAST Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships presented by Jeep will be played at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md., beginning in 2022, the Conference announced Wednesday. The agreement spans three years and includes the 2022, 2023 and 2024 postseasons. Since 2015, both the semifinals and finals of the men’s and women’s championships have been played on BIG EAST campus sites.
The BIG EAST’s move to Maryland SoccerPlex follows a joint recommendation from both coaching groups to host the events at a neutral site.
“This is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the best collegiate soccer in the country,” said Executive Associate Commissioner for Sports Administration and Championships Chris Schneider. “The Maryland SoccerPlex has a history of hosting incredible soccer events and we look forward to working with them and their youth soccer community on creating memorable experiences for our student-athletes.”
The Maryland SoccerPlex is a 24-field complex that welcomes more than 1 million visitors a year. Opened in 2000, the Maryland SoccerPlex was built with a public-private partnership between the Maryland Soccer Foundation and the Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). In the center of the Maryland SoccerPlex sits Maureen Hendrick’s Field at Championship Stadium. This exceptional field provides an intimate atmosphere to all games played here. The field sits low in a bowl-like stadium and is surrounded by 3,200 hard seats, with an overall capacity of 5,000.
“The Maryland SoccerPlex is excited to host the BIG EAST Championships over the next three years,” said Matt Libber, Executive Director of the Maryland SoccerPlex. “The BIG EAST represents some of the best men’s and women’s soccer programs in the NCAA which gives us the opportunity to showcase our facility on a national level, bring high level soccer to our community, and provide an ample experience for the student athletes and their families in Maryland.”
In similar fashion to past seasons, the first-round format of both the men’s and women’s championships will have the No. 3 seed host the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed host the No. 5 seed. The women’s opening round was played on Sunday, Oct. 30, while the men open postseason competition on Saturday, Nov. 5.
The winners will advance to the semifinals at Maryland SoccerPlex, with the women’s semifinal scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3 and the title match Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Men’s semifinal competition takes place on Thursday Nov. 10, prior to the title game on Sunday, Nov. 13.
On the women’s side, Georgetown has won five of the last six championship crowns, most recently topping St. John’s, 1-0, in the fall. On Thursday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m., a rematch of the 2021 BIG EAST title game will be played at Maryland SoccerPlex between the Red Storm and Hoyas.
On the men’s side, Georgetown has won four of the last five championship titles, edging Providence in overtime last season, 3-2. Ahead of the 2022 campaign, Providence was selected by the head coaches as the preseason favorite by one point over the Hoyas, despite the Blue & Gray leading the charge with seven first-place votes.