Nov. 19, 2010
By Zach Mendelson
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State women’s soccer team (15-5-1), one of four No. 2 seeds remaining in the NCAA Tournament, will play host to the third seeded Marquette Golden Eagles (16-4-3) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. With a win over Marquette, Florida State will advance to the quarterfinals, leaving them one game away from their fifth appearance in the College Cup.
“Marquette is really a very hard working team,” head coach Mark Krikorian said. “They have been playing a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 and their front two players are quite a handful. They are long, powerful kids with a knack for scoring for goals, and they have some kids off the bench that are pretty good up front as well. In the midfield they are solid fighters, ball winners and their backline is precise with their positioning and with good distribution out of the back. One of their backs has 13 assists this season. I don’t know if I have seen a college soccer player in the backline with that many assists. Their goal keeper was the Big East keeper of the year, so from front to back they are a very good team.”
This Saturday’s match will mark the second time ever that FSU and Marquette have faced each other. The first time the two teams faced off was during the Seminoles’ first season of soccer in 1995 where the Golden Eagles won, 1-0 in Clemson, SC.
“I really don’t know much about Marquette,” admitted junior Toni Pressley who was named to the Top Drawer Soccer team of the week for her game winning goal against USF. “I have never seen them or watched them play, but I am sure they are going to be a good team and we are just going to have to give them everything we got. I think being at home is going to help us because our fans are so great and give us so much energy. I think at the end of the day, if we don’t bring our ‘A’ game and prepare properly then maybe we don’t deserve to move on, but I think that our minds are in the right spot and that we will be ready.”
While the Seminoles haven’t played Marquette in years, they know from their previous match against South Florida, another member of the Big East, that they expect a very physical matchup.
“They are a very hard, physical playing team,” senior captain Amanda DaCosta said. “They are very similar to USF in that way, so I think it’s important that we make it a soccer game and play our style of game. If we do we can be successful against them, but they are a very worthy opponent.”
Despite not having ever coached against the Golden Eagles during his time at Florida State, Krikorian knows that Marquette is not just some flash in the pan.
“The last number of years they have been a very good team and they are one of these teams that is athletic and does a good job,” Krikorian said. “They play twenty players, have a lot of depth and have a lot of kids are coming in and contributing.”
While the Seminoles needed two big wins over Middle Tennessee and South Florida to advance to this point, the team knows they cannot take the time to savor those wins or they will have their championship hopes ended early by Marquette.
“Those were good wins and everything, but we are just kind of leaving them behind and looking forward to Marquette,” DaCosta said. “We have to get the job done on Saturday or else we are done.”
“I think they were big wins because obviously we would not have been able to continue our run here in the NCAA Tournament, but for now we just look forward to the next game and that is what our focus should be on,” Pressley added.
The team that advances from Saturday’s match will play the winner of the Stanford-UCLA game that will be played Friday at 10 p.m. If Florida State and Stanford (20-0-2) both advance, the Elite Eight game will be played at Stanford’s campus, but if Florida State and UCLA advance then Florida State will host the Bruins in Tallahassee next weekend.