Nov. 10, 2008
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the ninth consecutive season, Florida State is headed back to the NCAA Tournament as the Seminoles earned a national seed for the fourth straight year and for the fifth time in the last six. The second-seeded Seminoles will open the tournament on the road in Auburn, Ala. on Friday, November 14 against Mississippi Valley State (10-10-2). Auburn (11-8-2) and Belmont (13-6-3) will play in the other first round game on Friday. Game times for both matches on Friday are yet to be determined. The winners will face-off on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CST.
“We are excited to be back in the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “This is a great time of year and I think our kids are all excited for it to get started. We are thrilled to be continuing on and our entire team is looking forward to the challenges of this year’s tournament.”
“I’m really excited,” said ACC Freshman of the Year Tiffany McCarty on getting ready to play in her first NCAA Tournament game. “We are really pumped and ready to bounce back after our performance in the ACC Tournament.”
“Watching tonight’s selection show and seeing highlights of Southern Cal against us in the national championship game gives us even more motivation,” said senior captain Sarah Wagenfuhr. “Especially with the loss against Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament, we realize that if you don’t perform you’re not going to get the results and your season is over.”
Florida State will open the NCAA Tournament on the road for the fourth time in school history and for the first time since 2005 when the Seminoles traveled to Gainesville, Fla., to face off against Florida Atlantic in the first round. The Garnet and Gold own an all-time record of 7-7-2 away from home in postseason play.
“We thought we had done enough in the regular season to earn the right to play at home, but there are other factors that play into the decision,” explained Krikorian. “We are going to head to Auburn and do our best. The good news is that we are familiar with their field. We were there earlier in the season and played two games. But we know regardless of where the game is played, we need to go out, compete and see how things end up.”
Florida State is one of just two schools to play in four of the last five College Cups. The Seminoles have made three straight appearances in the national semifinals, while advancing to the school’s first national championship game in 2007.
Florida State and Mississippi Valley State will face each other for the first time in school history. The Devilettes received the automatic bid after defeating Jackson State 2-1 to capture the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship. MVSU is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2005.
“We don’t know anything about Mississippi Valley State at this point,” added Krikorian. “Belmont we don’t know much about, but we are certainly familiar with Auburn as we played the Tigers earlier this year at their place. We will focus are attention to Mississippi Valley State and prepare for Friday.”
Auburn earned an at-large bid out of the Southeastern Conference, while Belmont is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament as winners of the Atlantic-Sun Conference.
“I think it was a fair draw,” said Wagenfuhr. “We just need to come out and perform Friday and hopefully get a good result.”
FSU is 7-1-0 against Auburn including a 2-0-0 record on the Tigers’ home turf. The two schools faced each other earlier this year as the Seminoles blanked the Tigers 3-0. Florida State has never faced Belmont.
“It’s been a good season for us,” said Krikorian. “Those competitive games against all the ACC teams hopefully have prepared us well for what’s in front of us.”
Please stay tuned to Seminoles.com for further details on ticket prices and game times for this week’s First & Second Round action in Auburn, Ala.