Special on the Florida Gators soccer team
GAINESVILLE, Florida — The University of Florida soccer team plays host to Western Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 14 for NCAA First Round action. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium. Florida is a No. 2 region seed.
UF is one of 32 programs playing host to 2015 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. 13, 14 or 15. The second and third rounds will be conducted next weekend (Nov. 20 and 22) at eight campus sites. NCAA Quarterfinal action will be Nov. 27, 28 or 29 on four campus sites with the Women’s College Cup set for Dec. 4 & 6 at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. This is the seventh time the NCAA Women’s College Cup will be played in Cary.
About the Florida Gators:
The Gators are making their 19th overall NCAA Championships’ appearance and 13th consecutive. Florida claimed one of the 32 automatic NCAA berths after claiming the Southeastern Conference Tournament title yesterday in Orange Beach, Alabama.
In last year’s NCAA action, Florida tied Stanford 2-2 2OT in Palo Alto, but SU advanced with a 4-3 penalty kick advantage.
Florida is 7-3 against teams in the 2015 tournament field.
Florida’s Becky Burleigh has been the head coach for each of the program’s 21 seasons and is one of two women to lead her team to the NCAA title.
Five Gators appear on 2015 All-Southeastern Conference teams, including three on the first team. Jordan is the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Christen Westphal is the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Joining them on the All-SEC first team is center back Claire Falknor. Midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard earned All-SEC second team honors. Midfielder Mayra Pelayo appears on the SEC All-Freshman team.
Jordan is second in the nation with 21 goals and 48 points. Westphal’s 13 assists is tied for fourth in the nation. Freshman goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese has 14 starts in goal and owns a goals-against-average of 0.74.
About the Western Michigan Broncos:
The Broncos earned a NCAA Championship automatic bid by winning the 2015 Mid-American Conference Tournament title with a 2-0 win over Miami (Ohio) on Sunday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is the second MAC Tournament title for the Broncos in the last three seasons. WMU owns a 14-3-4 record and finished second in the MAC regular-season standings with its 8-1-2 league record.
Sophomore Emma Kahn, a 2015 All-MAC second team selection, leads the Broncos with 26 points and 12 goals. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Stephanie Heber has started 21 matches in 2015, owns a GAA of 0.63 and has turned in 11 shutouts. The Broncos are led by 2015 MAC Coach of the Year Nate Norman.
Western Michigan is making its third NCAA appearance in 2015 as the Broncos advanced to NCAA Second Round action in 2003 and 2013.
This is the first meeting between Florida and Western Michigan.
Florida: 17-3-1, 8-2-1 SEC
Western Michigan: 14-3-4, 8-1-2 MAC
Becky Burleigh Says:
On playing at home:
“We are excited about playing at home, especially after the long stretch we just had. It will be nice to sleep in our own beds and play in front of a big crowd of our fans.
“I think this team is really fun to watch so we are looking forward to having a big crowd.” – Florida coach Becky Burleigh
Six SEC teams received bids – Florida, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
The Atlantic Coast Conference led all leagues with eight advancing to NCAA play. The SEC and the Pac-12 were second with six each.
NCAA Soccer play will be at the Donald R. Dizney Stadium this Saturday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children (12 and under), students and senior citizens.
The first 200 UF student showing at Gator1 card are admitted free.
Ticket sales begin at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Gator Ticket Office, located at gate 1 of the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. For more information, contact the UAA Ticket Office at (352) 375-4683, ext. 6800 or 1-800-34GATOR, ext. 6800 (state of Florida only)