Do College Soccer Games go into Overtime? (How it Works)

College soccer is a blast for spectators. The games are full of back-and-forth action for 90 minutes, but what happens if all that action results in a tie? Does the game end in a draw?

Regular season college soccer games end in a draw if the game is tied after 90 minutes. Conference and NCAA tournament games will go into overtime if the game is tied at full-time. Overtime consists of two ten-minute halves, regardless of whether one team scores. There is no golden goal in overtime.

I’ll go into greater detail regarding college soccer overtime and cover the new overtime rule and its implications.

Related: How Long is a College Soccer Game? (New Overtime Rules)

Do college soccer games go into overtime?

College men’s and women’s soccer games used to go into overtime if tied at the end of 90 minutes. The rules have changed a bit in recent years. They still go into overtime, but only during postseason and playoff games.

As a general rule, college soccer games don’t go into overtime. Regular-season games tied at the end of 90 minutes end in a draw. However, NCAA and conference tournament games will have two ten-minute overtime periods if the game is tied after 90 minutes. There is no golden goal rule.

Overtime only occurs in conference and NCAA tournaments and no longer happens during the regular season.

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The overtime period during tournament matches will last the entire 20 minutes. Each ten-minute half is played regardless of if a team scores during overtime.

Formerly, overtime used a “golden goal” or “sudden death” rule where the first team to score in overtime won the game.

Now, overtime is always 20 minutes, even if a team scores. This means that if one team scores, the other team still has a chance to tie or win the game within the remaining time.

The number of goals allowed to be scored during overtime is not limited.

The team with the most goals at the end of overtime wins. If the game is tied at the end of the 20-minute overtime, it will go to penalty kicks to decide a winner.

How does overtime work in college soccer?

Overtime in college soccer works like the professional leagues and only occurs during tournament play. How does it work, and how long is it?

College soccer overtime occurs in NCAA and conference tournaments if a game is tied after regular time (90 minutes). Overtime consists of two complete ten-minute halves; there is no golden goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the 20-minute overtime wins. Games tied at the end of overtime go to penalty kicks.

Regular-season college soccer matches do not go into overtime. If a conference game is tied after 90 minutes, it ends in a draw.

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Remember: only postseason and playoff games can go into overtime.

If the game is still tied after overtime, penalty kicks decide the winner.

There used to be a golden goal rule for overtime in college soccer, but the NCAA approved a new set of overtime rules in 2022, removing the sudden death rule.

As a former college soccer player, I like the new overtime rules. It ensures each team plays an equal amount of time during the season and reduces the risk of player injury brought on by fatigue.

The old rule didn’t include penalty kicks after overtime anyway, making overtime unnecessary. Now, regular season games end in a tie, no questions asked.

Can you tie in college soccer?

College soccer games last at least 90 minutes and won’t last any longer during the regular season. What happens if two teams are tied at the end of a college soccer game?

You can tie in college soccer. Games generally end in a draw if it’s tied after 90 minutes. However, there is an additional 20-minute overtime period for NCAA and conference tournament matches. Regular season games do not go into overtime.

You won’t see any college soccer games go into overtime unless you’re watching a conference or NCAA tournament matchup.

It might be less exciting, but it’s more fair for players and coaches, as each team is guaranteed to play the same number of minutes during the regular season.

Overtime becomes necessary during tournament elimination games because a winner must move on to the next round.

Teams that tie with one another still get points for their efforts, albeit not as many compared to a win.

College soccer teams get one point for a tie.

That means teams that tie with each other get one point each. The team with the most points at the end of the season gets better seeding for the conference tournament.

Why is there no overtime in college soccer?

The NCAA did away with overtime in regular-season college soccer games. The reason? To protect players from potential injury and make a fairer schedule.

College soccer has no overtime because it’s safer for players and fairer for teams. It reduces the risk of player injury from fatigue and ensures each team plays an equal number of minutes throughout the season.

Player safety is a top priority of the NCAA. Plus, it’s only fair that each team plays the same amount of soccer during the season.

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College soccer schedules are packed into a three or four-month block where nearly every day is filled with either training, travel, or a game.

Reducing overtime frequency benefits player safety, especially for those that play every minute of every game.

Before the 2023 season, regular season games could go into overtime. If the game was tied after 90 minutes, they would play two additional ten-minute halves. The first team to score during overtime won the game. If it was tied after overtime, the game ended in a draw.

Sean Tinney

I’m Sean Tinney, a lifetime soccer player and Ball At Your Feet owner. This website is a hub for practical soccer advice, information, and insights from one player to another.

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