Nov. 7, 2005
Indianapolis, IN – Monday’s NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament selection show turned out to be a case of good news/bad news for the fifth-ranked Seminoles. Florida State soccer was awarded the highest national seed in team history. The Seminoles were tabbed the No. 2 seed in their portion of the bracket. The bad news, they won’t be playing at home. The NCAA is sending FSU to Gainesville where they will open the tournament with A-Sun Champion Florida Atlantic (16-3-1).
“We have had a great season,” said first year FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “All season long this group has done a heck of a job. It is nice that the NCAA rewarded us with a No. 2 seed. It would have been nice to be home but we will go to Florida and have a chance to measure ourselves.”
Florida State (17-3-0) is one of six seeded teams that was not selected to host the opening weekend of the tournament. Only one No. 1 seed, the University of Portland, was sent on the road while FSU was the only No. 2 seed traveling. The other four teams were all seeded third or fourth.
“That is a committee decision,” said Krikorian. “We will support the committee’s decision and will deal with it.”
“I was very surprised when I saw our name pop up in the Gainesville bracket,” said All-America candidate India Trotter. “You think when you have the season we had you hope you would get to play at home. We would have liked to but that’s just the reality of how the selection goes. We have to go out there and play wherever the draw takes us.”
Despite the disappointment of not playing at home, the Seminoles came out of the selection show once again breaking new ground. Not only did the team draw a seed for just the second time ever but they were seeded as one of the top eight teams in the nation. For the first time, this year each quadrant of the 64-team bracket had four seeded teams making FSU’s No. 2 seed a top eight seed overall. This is also FSU’s sixth straight selection to the tournament something only 15 schools have accomplished.
“Getting a No. 2 seed was amazing,” said Trotter. “It is always awesome to see your team on TV getting talked about. It is an amazing feeling. It is another huge step in the development of this program and it is something to build upon.”
“That is really exciting,” said senior Teresa Rivera when asked about FSU’s No. 2 seed. “It shows how hard we’ve worked all year. It is nice to get some credibility for what we have done this season.”
This is the second straight season the Seminoles have been sent to the University of Florida. Last year, FSU tied Boston College in the opening round of the tournament and was eliminated in PK’s. Florida State defeated Florida earlier this season at UF 4-2 and this is the fourth time in six seasons that FSU will play at least one NCAA Tournament game in Gainesville.
“The atmosphere in Gainesville is always great,” said Rivera. “They bring in a great crowd especially for the NCAA Tournament. The intensity in that stadium is great. We are all looking forward to that. It is why we play the game to be in an environment like that with everything on the line.”
“We have played at Gainesville already and are familiar with that field,” said Trotter. “There are a lot of us on this team very used to playing on that field. We have to go down there and be strong mentally and be prepared to deal with adversity because the Florida fans won’t be rooting for us when we step out against FAU.”
This is just the second meeting ever between FSU and Florida Atlantic. The last time the teams met was in 2003 when the Seminoles downed the Owls 7-0 in Tallahassee. FAU is fresh off an A-Sun title and is 14-0-1 in its last 15 games after getting off to a 2-3 start. The last time the teams met FAU was on another streak entering their match with the Seminoles 12-1 in their previous 13 matches.
“(FAU’s) Brian Dooley is a very good coach,” said Boca Raton native Rivera. “They are having a great season. We know they will be ready to play and will give us everything they have. We need to be prepared to play versus a very tough FAU team.”
Ticket information and game times will be available on the Florida website as early as Tuesday. For more information on FSU soccer, please log on to the official athletic website of Florida State University at www.seminoles.com