Saint Leo, Fla. (October 30, 2006) – The Saint Leo University women’s soccer team (14-3-1) earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament, as the official bracket was unveiled Monday. The Lions were the third seed in the South Region, and will face second-seed University of West Florida (15-2-2) on Friday at 5:00 p.m.
The South Region Tournament will be held at the University of Tampa's Pepin Stadium with the semifinals on Friday and the finals on Sunday. Top seed University of Tampa (15-2-1) will face fourth-seeded Nova Southeastern University (11-3-2) in an all-Sunshine State Conference showdown in Friday’s second semifinal at 7:30 p.m.
“This is a credit to the hard work of our team, and our women are very deserving of this selection,” Lions’ head coach Ged O’Connor said. “Our team has worked very hard to achieve this goal and we are thrilled to become the first team in program history to reach this stage.”
Saint Leo and West Florida met earlier this season with the teams playing to a 0-0 double-overtime draw in Pensacola, Fla. The tie marked the first time in Saint Leo women’s soccer history that the Lions avoided defeat to the Argonauts. UWF holds a 5-0-1 record in the all-time series between the two, as Friday’s meeting will mark the first-ever in post-season play.
The Argonauts recently claimed the Gulf South Conference Tournament title for the fourth time in program history, and the first since 1999. UWF will enter the NCAA Tournament riding a 10-match winning streak and was ranked No. 11 in the latest NSCAA/adidas National Poll.
Saint Leo set program records for overall wins (14) and conference victories (6) in 2006. The Lions advanced to the SSC Tournament Final where they fell 4-3 to Tampa in a double-overtime thriller on Sunday. Saint Leo had defeated Nova Southeastern 1-0 in the semifinals to reach its first-ever SSC Championship match.
The winner of the South Region Tournament will advance to play the winner from the Southeast Region Tournament in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, November 11. The semifinals and championship games will be played November 16 and 18 at the Division II National Championships Festival in Pensacola, Fla.
Friday’s match, along with any further post-season matches, will be broadcast live on the Internet via the Saint Leo Athletics Audiocast Network. Visit SaintLeoLions.com for “Listen Live” links and schedule information.