Nov. 8, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Road to San Diego and the 2012 Women's College Cup begins Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. inside the Seminole Soccer Complex as top-seeded Florida State welcomes Mississippi Valley State to Tallahassee in a first round match-up of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State (16-3-0) earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after finishing the season as the regular season champs of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the second time in school history. This year's postseason berth marks the Seminoles' 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Mississippi Valley State (8-9-3) earned an automatic bid after claiming the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship. The Devilettes are making their third appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2008.
Friday's first round match marks the second time these two schools have met and the first since meeting in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Auburn, Ala., a game won by the Seminoles, 7-0.
In that first meeting, FSU outshot MVSU 28-0 scoring three goals in the first half and four more in the second. Six different Seminoles found the back of the net led by Sanna Talonen's two-goal effort. Tiffany McCarty was credited with the game-winner scoring in the seventh minute, while Jessica Price tallied two assists for her first career multi-assist game.
Florida State is no stranger to schools from the Southwestern Athletic Conference as the Seminoles hosted Jackson State back in September. FSU defeated JSU, 5-0 behind Kristin Grubka's career-high five-point performance (2G, 1A). Marta Bakowska-Mathews tied a single game school record by tallying three assists in the win.
Florida State returns to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th year in a row. Not too bad for a program that has been in existence for 18 seasons. The Seminoles are just one of 10 schools out of 323 playing Division I soccer that have been to 13 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Of those 10 schools, four are from the ACC (Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest).
The Seminoles are 23-1-0 at home in the NCAA Tournament outscoring the opposition 66-13. FSU had won 18 straight NCAA Tournament games inside the Seminole Soccer Complex before suffering its first home loss in the Elite Eight back in 2009. Florida State is 10-0-0 at home in 2012 and carries a 14-game home win streak into Friday's match - a streak that dates back to 2011.
Of the 25 student-athletes on the 2012 Florida State roster, 13 have prior NCAA Tournament experience playing in a combined 95 games. Together these 13 players have tallied 49 points on 18 goals and 13 assists. Redshirt senior Jessica Price leads all players with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Keeper Kelsey Wys has started the last nine postseason matches and is 7-2 with five shutouts.
Florida State sits at 34-11-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, good for a .745 winning percentage. It is the fourth-best winning percentage among teams that have played 10 or more games. FSU's 34 wins are the eighth most in NCAA history.
For the eighth straight season and ninth time overall, Florida State received a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. After claiming the ACC regular season championship in 2012 and advancing to the semifinals of the league tournament, the Seminoles were recognized as one of four No. 1 national seeds for the second year in a row and third time overall (2009, 2011 & 2012). The Seminoles have earned a national seed nine times in 13 all-time postseason appearances.
Live stats for Friday's match will be available via gametracker, while fans can always receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Soccer. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Soccer team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer.
Tickets will go on sale beginning Tuesday, November 6 and can be purchased over the phone at 888-FSU-NOLE, in person at the Seminole Ticket Office located in side C of the University Center and online at Seminoles.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Seminole Soccer Complex beginning at 6:00 p.m., on Friday, November 9.
Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to Seminoles.com for updates regarding the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Tallahassee.