USF to host FGCU in first round of NCAA Tournament
One day after it won the AAC championship, the USF women's soccer team was selected to host Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
"You feel really great about being the automatic seed,” USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown said after Monday night's NCAA selection show. “Obviously, I haven't been in that spot in a while, so today was the first selection show that was not stressful for me in 10 years. We've been on a lot of selection shows, but never just to wait to see who we get to play. That was a really nice feeling to sit back and enjoy."
The game will be the Bulls' third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last four years and fourth overall — all with Schilte-Brown at the helm.
"I think this program has made tremendous leaps and bounds, and I think we're just getting started,” senior goalkeeper Kat Elliott said. “We have so much potential. We can go anywhere with the talent and knowledge from the coaching staff."
FGCU defeated the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament, which earned the Eagles an automatic spot in the post season.
The game is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. and will be played at Corbett Stadium. USF (12-3-2) didn’t play the Eagles (14-3-1) in the regular season and had no common opponents.
The Bulls are 6-1 at home, with their only loss coming against No. 4 North Carolina.
"Corbett Stadium I think is one of the best in the country and we're just so grateful to have this opportunity to play in the stadium,” Schilte-Brown said. “I think a lot of people say when you play at home, you feel like you have an extra player in the stands because there's that energy. The energy is for you and you have that familiarity.
“You get to sleep in your own bed and it's great. It's a huge leg up, I think it's a big advantage and we're going to take every ounce of that advantage we can get."
The Bulls hosted FGCU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2015 at Corbett Stadium, but lost 2-1.
To make Saturday’s match even more of a revenge matchup, USF men’s soccer lost to FGCU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season at Corbett Stadium.
“We know them well, we know the coach well,” Schilte-Brown said. “We're really excited about the selection."