Auburn Soccer Earns NCAA Tournament Bid; Will Play Oklahoma State in First Round

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Auburn Soccer Earns NCAA Tournament Bid; Will Play Oklahoma State in First Round

Nov. 10, 2003

 Action Chrissy Culver 111003

 Chrissy Culver

AUBURN - The Auburn soccer team earned its third consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament as the Tigers will meet up with Oklahoma State Friday, Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. CDT in Tallahassee, Fla. in the first round.

The 64-team bracket was announced Monday afternoon on ESPNews with five SEC schools earning a bid and six of Auburn's 2003 opponents including Pepperdine, Dartmouth and Illinois.

The postseason trip to Tallahassee will be the second for Auburn as the Tigers defeated Central Florida 2-0 in the first round in 2002 in Tallahassee, but fell to Florida State 2-1 in the second round.

"We have been to Tallahassee before so we know what the field is like, we know what the facility is like, so we have some familiarity and we are going to have to use that to our advantage," head coach Karen Hoppa said. "Our group of four, I think, is the toughest group of four top to bottom that there is. Dartmouth won their league, Oklahoma State won theirs and then there is Florida State and us."

Auburn sits at 13-3-3 on the season while Oklahoma State, the Big 12 tournament champion is 15-4-3 on the year. The matchup will be the first for both teams on the field and the bid is Oklahoma State's first in school history.

"We are really thankful to be back in the tournament again," junior forward Sarah Steinmann said. "We were upset last week in the SEC Tournament so now we are just ready to prolong our season. We are really excited to play Oklahoma State. They are competition that we have never played before and it is always fun to play new teams."

The Tigers' record in the NCAA Tournament is 1-2 in two appearances with the second round in 2002 being the furthest Auburn has reached.

The winner of the Auburn vs. Oklahoma State match will play the winner of the Florida State vs. Dartmouth match on Sunday Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. CDT. Earlier in the season, Auburn defeated Dartmouth 2-0 on their home field in the Dartmouth Tournament.

Auburn's game with the Cowgirls on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CDT will be broadcast live on www.auburntigers.com. If the Tigers were to advance to Sunday's game, the contest will be broadcast on the internet, as well as, WAUD 1230 AM.

Quotes:

SARAH STEINMANN
We are really thankful to be back in the tournament again. We had an upset last week at the SEC Tournament so now we are just ready to prolong our season.  We are really excited to play Oklahoma State.  They are competition that we have never played before and it is always fun to play new teams.  Being in the tournament again with Florida State is the same thing that has happened the last two years so I think we have some revenge that we owe them, because they took us out of the tournament both of those years.  We will be excited if we get the chance to play them or Dartmouth who we played earlier in the year. 

COACH KAREN HOPPA
We were hoping to host, but then again you are just happy to see your name come up on the board.  We have been to Tallahassee before so we know what the field is like, we know what the facility is like, so we have some good familiarity and we are just going to have to use that to our advantage.  Our goal is first of all to focus on Oklahoma State because they are a tough first round opponent.  There is no doubt about that.  Our group of four, I think, is the toughest group of four top to bottom that there is.  Dartmouth won their league, Oklahoma State won theirs and then there is Florida State and us. Just as they said on TV, it is really a wide open group.   

MEGAN RIVERA
We have to take care of business when we play Oklahoma State.  That is the first team that is on my mind and I think the same can be said for the team as well.  If we do get that chance and Florida State does beat Dartmouth then we will try for revenge when we play them again.  It was a very close match last year.  With this being our third year with a chance to play them, hopefully the third time will be the charm.  I have no idea about Oklahoma State. I don’t know who they have played and I don’t know how well they have done in their season.  I think right now we are getting to the point where we are going to start jumping up and we will catch on fire.