Gator Soccer Prepares for NCAA Tournament, Hoops Prepares for Wisconsin
GAINESVILLE - The University of Florida soccer team (17-4-1, 9-2 SEC) plays host to Jacksonville (12-7-1, 6-3 A-Sun) on Saturday, Nov. 16 for NCAA First Round action. Match time is set for 2 p.m. at the James G. Pressly Stadium<http://www.gatorzone.com/facilities/?venue=percy&sport=socce>. Florida is a No. 2 region seed for the fourth consecutive season.
UF is one of 32 programs playing host to 2013 NCAA First Round action this weekend. The tournament schedule for the next four weeks is 1-2-1-2. First round play will be Nov. 15, 16 or 17. The second and third rounds of play will be conducted next weekend (Nov. 22 and 24) at eight campus sites. NCAA Quarterfinal action will be held Nov. 29, 30 or Dec. 1 on four campus sites with the Women's College Cup set for Dec. 6-8 in Cary, N.C., at the WakeMed Soccer Park<http://www.ncaa.com/championships/soccer-women/d1/venue-info>.
This is the first NCAA appearance for Jacksonville since 2006. The Dolphins earned the Atlantic Sun Conference's automatic berth with a 5-3 penalty kick advantage over Florida Gulf Coast yesterday in Ft. Myers. The two teams played to a 0-0 double overtime decision, forcing penalty kicks. JU took second in A-Sun regular-season play with its 6-3 league record.
This is the Gators' 17th appearance in the NCAA Championships' field. Florida's Becky Burleigh, who has been the head coach for each of the program's 19 seasons and is still the only woman to lead her team to the NCAA title in 1998, looks forward to meeting the Dolphins on Saturday.
"Jacksonville is a team with some similarities to us. We respect what Brian Copham has done with the Jacksonville program and we know we will need to be prepared," Burleigh said.
Florida received one of the 33 at-large NCAA berths. In last year's NCAA action, Florida reached the Round of 16, falling 2-0 to Notre Dame.
Florida is 6-3 against teams in the 2013 tournament field. The Gators have registered wins against No. 4 regional seed Texas A&M (Oct. 27), Minnesota (Sept. 13), Oklahoma State (Sept. 8), Kentucky (Oct. 18), and Mississippi (Sep. 27 and Nov. 8). UF has losses versus No. 1 region seed Florida State (Aug. 30), No. 3 region seed South Carolina (Oct. 4) and Texas A&M (Nov. 10)
Six SEC teams received bids - Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas A&M. The SEC and Pac-12 each placed six teams in the field and that number is behind the eight berths awarded to Atlantic Coast and Big Ten Conference schools.
Florida (17-4-1, 9-2 SEC) claimed a share of its 13th SEC title with a 9-2 regular season record and advanced to the SEC Tournament championship match, where it lost 2-1 to Texas A&M.
Freshman Savannah Jordan<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/Jordan_Savannah.php> leads the Gators in goals (22) and points (46). Her 22 goals shares the lead in NCAA Division I play. The Gators' assist leader is junior Havana Solaun<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/solaun_havana.php>. Freshman Pamela Begič<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/begic_pamela.php> is third on the team with 14 points and shares second in assists with junior Annie Speese<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/speese_annie.php> and Lauren Silver<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/silver_lauren.php>. Junior Taylor Burke<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/burke_taylor.php> has started 16 of her 17 appearances in goal this season and her goals-against-average of 0.548 ranks in the nation's top 20.
Florida placed four on 2013 All-SEC teams. Jordan is the first freshman in the league's history to be named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Joining her on the All-SEC first team were Solaun and defender Christen Westphal<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/soccer/pages/season_info/player_bios/westphal_christen.php>. Begič joined Jordan on the SEC Freshman team. Jordan, Solaun and Westphal all were named to the SEC All-Tournament team.
Jacksonville (12-7-1, 6-3-0 A-Sun) is making its third NCAA appearance and this is the first meeting with Florida in NCAA action. In the team's last NCAA appearance in 2006, the Dolphins lost in the opening round to then No. 5 Florida State 6-0.This will be Jacksonville's first NCAA appearance under head coach Brian Copham.
The Dolphins won their program's third Atlantic Sun Tournament title Sunday with a 5-3 penalty kicks advantage after playing to a 0-0 2OT tie. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Sierra was named the tournament MVP having made multiple saves to keep the match scoreless. Dolphin teammates senior Ally Lee and juniors Kaitlyn Bassett and Joy Grove joined her on the all-tournament team.
Three Dolphins have posted more than 10 points this season including Bassett who leads JU with 13 goals and 30 points. Sophomore Sarah Moghadas has 15 points off of 5 goals and 5 assists and sophomore Marie Weckhurst has 11 points (5 goals, 1 assist). Lee is the 2013 Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year. Sierra has started 17 of the Dolphins' 20 matches in goal this season and owns a GAA of 1.07.
NCAA Soccer Championship Information - Gainesville, Fla. Site
Match Times: Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.
3 p.m. - Florida (17-4-1) versus Jacksonville (12-7-1)
Tickets: $7.00 adults
$3.00 children 12 & under, students and senior citizens
First 200 UF students with identification are admitted free
For more information, contact the UAA Ticket Office at (352) 375-4683, ext. 6800 or 1-800-34GATOR, ext. 6800 (state of Florida only)
Internet: Live stats available on www.NCAASports.com; live audio & video for UF-JU match available at www.GatorZone.com
The Gator mens basketball team will face Wisconsin on Tuesday and head coach BIlly Donovan says in order to beat the 20th ranked team in the country they will need to play much better than they did in their season opener against UNF.
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