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Alabama received a No. 1 seed and the opportunity to host Jackson State (11-7-1) on Friday at 6 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. Samford earned its way into the 64-team field by winning the Southern Conference Tournament and will play at Georgia on Friday at 5 p.m. CT in the first round.

The Crimson Tide (19-2-1) saw its 15-game unbeaten streak end on Sunday in a 1-0 loss to South Carolina in the SEC Tournament championship game. UA still drew a top seed. A win over Jackson State would give the Tide a second-round matchup against the winner of Arizona State and Portland.

Samford (11-3-7) will be making its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament, all under head coach Todd Yelton.

"This is really hard to do," Yelton said in a university press release.  "You look at the number of teams that didn't make it that I have great respect for. To be one of the 64 is pretty amazing. I'm just thankful that we're there and we found a way to punch our ticket on Sunday."
 
Samford and Georgia (12-5-3) have met three previous times, with Georgia holding a 2-0-1 series lead. The most recent meeting came in 2017.

"[Georgia Head Coach] Keidane [McAlpine] is one of my best friends in the entire world," Yelton said. "I've known him forever and have a lot of admiration for what he has done this season at Georgia. Not only is he a good coach, but he is also a great human being. We're pretty familiar with them and I'm sure they're pretty familiar with us. It's obviously a very challenging game for us, they're a really good team. They're super athletic and I'm sure they'll have a great home crowd on game day."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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