Stetson (9-10-1) at USF (12-6-1)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: USF Soccer Field
The story: It’s a rematch for the men’s soccer team’s first match of the NCAA Tournament when it faces Stetson today.
Although Stetson had a regular season record of 7-10-1, the Hatters finished the season with a 5-2-1 record in the Atlantic Sun Conference and upset the Campbell Camels 2-1 in the final round of the conference championship to earn an automatic bid for the tournament. Now at 9-10-1, Stetson is one of only two teams in the NCAA tournament with a losing record – Western Illinois is the other (6-9-4).
While the Hatters may not be in the Big East, they are one of USF’s oldest rivals, facing off 25 times in the 40-year history of the program.
Earlier in the season, the Bulls needed overtime to beat the Hatters 2-1. In a heated match, Kevon Neaves scored a goal and received a yellow card for an altercation with Stetson defender Ben Dyon.
USF’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament was in 2001, when it made it to the second round in which the Bulls were defeated by Penn State 1-0 in triple overtime.
If the Bulls beat the Hatters, their second-round match will be in Charlottesville against No. 24 Virginia on Tuesday.
Keep an eye on: Jordan Seabrook. Seabrook was named to the All-Big East second team for his play this season. The freshman forward leads the Bulls in goals (11), points (30) and shots (64). Seabrook is also second on the team in assists (8) and third on the team in shot percentage at .172. USF has not scored a goal in its last two games, and for the Bulls to rebound from their offensive funk, Seabrook and company will have to step up on offense.