According to an analysis of the NCAA’s own published data for the academic years of 1995-96 through 2008-09, women’s college soccer reached rough parity with men in number of teams in Division I in the 1995-96 academic year (197 men’s teams vs. 187 women’s teams) and rough parity in total number of athletes in the 1996-97 academic year (5,043 women vs. 4,966 men).
The following data points are taken directly from the NCAA’s own participation report for the 2008-09 academic year:
There are 310 women’s soccer teams, however, there are only 197 men’s teams (the same number as in 1995-96);There are 8,117 female players in Division I, but just5,607 male players;Overall, 93.1% of Division I athletic programs offer women’s soccer, but just 59.2% of all Division I programs offer men’s soccer.
The disparity in the number of possible scholarships in Division I is also staggering. According to NCAA rules, men’s Division I soccer teams are limited to a maximum of 9.9 scholarships, while women’s teams are allowed up to 14. When considered across all of Division I, that means that the maximum number of possible scholarships offered to women in the sport in Division I outnumber those available to men by a ratio of greater than 2-1 (4340 to 1950.3).