Women's soccer draws Auburn for NCAAs
TAMPA -- A late six-game winning streak gave USF coach Denise Schilte-Brown confidence that her team had done enough to earn its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, but there was still a moment of celebration when the Bulls saw their school announced for a first-round game Friday night in Tallahassee against Auburn.
"It's a great draw and a great bracket and I'm excited to be at home in Florida. It's going to be a great experience," said Schilte-Brown, whose team upset two RPI top-20 opponents in the Big East tournament to lock up the NCAA berth.
The Bulls gathered in the Big East room of USF's athletic facility to watch the live selection show on ESPNU -- after the announcement, athletic director Doug Woolard addressed the players, who also got a congratulatory phone call from USF President Judy Genshaft.
The Bulls (13-5-3) face Auburn (11-7-2) on Friday, while host Florida State -- whose head coach has been suspended after keeping key players at home to rest during the ACC Tournament -- opens against Middle Tennessee State, with the winners meeting Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Auburn faced just one Big East team this season, losing 3-0 at Marquette -- the same team USF beat in the Big East semifinals on Friday. The Tigers also faced FSU, edging the Seminoles 3-2 in double overtime in September.