The Gophers' two Big Ten championships earned them the No. 4 seed and an opening home game in the 16-team Stanford region of the NCAA women's soccer tournament.

The Gophers will play North Carolina State (10-8-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul in a first-round match.

The Gophers (16-3-3) earned the Big Ten's automatic NCAA tournament bid Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Rutgers on its home field in the championship game of the conference tournament.

Earlier this season, the Gophers tied for the regular-season Big Ten title.

"We're excited," Gophers coach Stefanie Golan said. "For us to get a seed is a really cool thing for the program. This team has worked hard to put themselves in a position to guarantee we'd be at home."

The 64-team NCAA tournament bracket was announced Monday afternoon. The top 16 teams are seeded. The Big Ten led all conferences with eight teams in the field. Minnesota was the only seeded Big Ten team. Stanford, Georgetown and Virginia were the top three teams in the Gophers' region.

Carpenter honored

Gophers kicker Emmit Carpenter earned his second Big Ten special teams player of the week honor of the season after making field goals of 52 and 53 yards in Saturday's win over Purdue.

He also hit from 28 yards and is 16-for-18 this season on field goals and perfect on 35 extra points. Of his nine kickoffs against Purdue, eight went for touchbacks.

Joe Christensen

U hockey eighth

The Gophers men's hockey team moved up five spots to No. 8 in the national ratings after a tie and a win over North Dakota last weekend. The Fighting Hawks dropped three spots to No. 6.

Minnesota Duluth is a unanimous No. 1 after sweeping No. 13 St. Cloud State last weekend on the Huskies' home ice. Minnesota State Mankato is No. 11 and Bemidji State No. 15 in the rankings.


• St. Thomas will host St. Scholastica at 11 a.m. Saturday in the NCAA Division III men's soccer tournament. Also in the same four-team regional are Luther (Iowa) and St. Norbert (Wis.), who will play at 1:30 p.m. In the D-III women's soccer tournament, St. Thomas will play Loras (Iowa) and Minnesota-Morris will face host Wisconsin-Whitewater in a four-team regional Saturday. Times will be announced later. Augsburg will play Milwaukee Engineering at 11 a.m. Saturday at the University of Chicago's Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. The host Maroons will meet Webster (Mo.) University afterward.

• Two MIAC teams also are in the D-III volleyball tournament. Gustavus and St. Thomas were placed in the eight team-regional hosted by Northwestern (St. Paul). The Gusties will play Wartburg at 12:30 p.m. Thursday; the Tommies will play Wisconsin-La Crosse at 5:30 p.m. The host Eagles will play St. Norbert at 8 p.m.

• Minnesota State Mankato received the No. 2 seed in the Central Region of the NCAA Division II women's soccer tournament and, with it, a first-round bye. The Mavericks will play the winner of Friday's Fort Hays State-Harding match at 1 p.m. Sunday in Mankato. Minot State, another NSIC team, will play Central Oklahoma in a first-round match at 2 p.m. Friday in Warrensburg, Mo.

• United forward Christian Ramirez won the Golden Boot, an annual award given to the NASL player with the most goals. He had 18 this past season. He also won the award in 2014 with 20 goals.