As USF (13-5-3) prepares to face Auburn (11-5-7) in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night in Tallahassee, coach Denise Schilte-Brown put her team’s accomplishments in perspective.
“The girls just have to realize that this is just another soccer game,” Schilte-Brown said. “We just have to forget the hype and focus on us as a team and do what we do.”
The Bulls are not in an enviable situation from a scouting standpoint, with league rules coming into play in the tournament.
“The leagues don’t allow us to exchange video and scouting reports from one league to another,” Schilte-Brown said, “and with Auburn being from the SEC, we can’t get any reports from their league games, so we won’t be able to see exactly what kind of team they are now. But Auburn is the kind of team that is inconsistent in style of play, if I remember correctly, so I don’t know how much we could have gotten anyway.”
The Bulls, however, are not worried about who they play. With an extra week of preparation, the team is confident that they’ll be able to face the challenge.
“This extra week is fantastic for us as a team,” Schilte-Brown said.
“We have some recovery time for the girls. The day we had off for the tournament selection viewing party was great for us, too,” she said. “Now, we can start up again and focus on the task at hand. I think Auburn’s usual style of play is something that we can have success against, and we are confident about the game.”
Bulls’ fans looking for some sort of comparison between the teams need to look no further than Auburn’s early season 3-0 loss to Marquette, which USF defeated 3-2 to stamp their spot in the Big East title match.
The winner plays Sunday and will face the winner of the match between No. 2 seed Florida State and Middle Tennessee State.