Nov. 6, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - For the seventh straight season the Florida State women's soccer team has been selected to play in the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. The Seminoles (14-3-4) were awarded a No. 2 seed for the second straight year and will open the tournament at home Friday, November 10 at 5:30 p.m. versus Jacksonville (11-9-1). Auburn (11-5-3) and Cal (11-4-5) will play at 8:00 p.m. The winners will face off Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
"We are excited to get back into the tournament," said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. "We are really excited to be playing here in Tallahassee. We are looking forward to the game versus Jacksonville. We had a hard fought victory over them earlier in the year. We will go back now and start preparing for the first game."
"I am happy," said Kelly Rowland. "It is an honor to host NCAA Tournament games. We are playing Jacksonville to open the tournament. We have played them before and it will be a tough match. We will watch the film and prepare. Hopefully it will be a great game."
After being never receiving a seed in the NCAA Tournament the first three years of inclusion, Florida State has now been seeded in three of the last four years. In 2003 the team was the 11th seed. The lat two years FSU has been one of four teams seeded second in the tournament. The Seminoles join North Carolina as the only two ACC teams seeded No. 2 or higher in the last two NCAA Tournaments.
"It is awesome and gratifying to be a No. 2 seed for the second year in a row," said All-American India Trotter. "I hope this continues on for years after this senior class is gone. We are striving to be the No. 1 program in the nation. Hopefully we will get another shot to play for a National Championship this year."
"I think it is a fair seeding," said Krikorian. "I think the NCAA has treated us favorably. During the course of your season you have a chance to dictate how your results will be. We have very good results on many occasions but we let a couple games slip. I think the NCAA was more than fair with us."
This is the first time Florida State will open the NCAA Tournament at home since 2003 when the team advanced to its first College Cup. The last two seasons the Seminoles have been sent to Gainesville to open tournament play. In 2003 Florida State opened with a win over Dartmouth and then faced Auburn, who is traveling to Tallahassee for NCAA Tournament play for the third time in the last five seasons.
"We feel good about being back here and playing in front of our home crowd," said Krikorian. "We have had a lot of success playing in front of our fans. We are hoping for a big turnout. Hopefully Friday night will be a great night of soccer in Tallahassee."
"It is awesome to be at home," said Trotter. "We have a fantastic home crowd and being in your own stadium is always an advantage. The familiarity is a big thing. I think it is great. We are excited in our senior season to open the NCAA Tournament in Tallahassee."
Florida State's success at home during NCAA Tournament play is a big reason the team is glad to be playing in the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Seminoles are 6-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in Tallahassee. That streak dates back to 2000 when FSU played the schools first-ever NCAA Tournament game versus Jacksonville, who the team will face this weekend.
"Obviously having our home crowd, being comfortable in our surroundings and not traveling are all advantages," said Rowland. "It is a huge benefit for us. We worked hard for the right to play at home and are thankful the NCAA felt we deserved it."
The Dolphins and Seminoles squared off already this season in Tallahassee. Just over two weeks ago FSU handed Jacksonville a 3-0 loss. It was FSU's ninth straight win over the Dolphins since last losing to JU in 1998.
"I think it is an advantage to play a team you have seen before," said Trotter. "We know their strengths and weaknesses. They know ours too. I think it is going to be a good match. We love playing teams from Florida and it is great to play them in the NCAA Tournament. We know it will be a battle."
"Once you enter the NCAA Tournament all the stakes are raised," said Rowland. "There are no easy matches at this time of the year. We will prepare and whoever we play we will be ready. We will take our chances from there."
The Seminoles will enter the NCAA Tournament following a run to the ACC Championship game where the team fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 1 seeded North Carolina. Florida State and North Carolina are two of seven ACC teams that were selected to the field of 64, the most from any conference tied with the Big East.
"There is no better preparation for the NCAA Tournament than playing the ACC Tournament," said Krikorian. "Our players feel pretty confident that if we come with out `A' game it is going to be pretty hard to beat us. Hopefully we will be ready to play Friday night and be prepared for a good Jacksonville team."
Ticket information for the 2006 NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament in Tallahassee will be available on-line at Seminoles.com or by calling (850) 644-1830. Fans outside of Tallahassee can call toll free at 1-888-FSUNoLE. Please check back later this week for more details on following all the NCAA Tournament action in Tallahassee.