Scouting the Cowgirls...
Oklahoma State is coming off a Big 12 Conference Tournament win where the Cowgirls defeated No. 2 seed Texas (1-0), No. 3 Kansas (1-0) and No. 8 seed Missouri (3-2, 2OT) on the way to the title. The championship game between Oklahoma State and Missouri is the first time the bottom two seeds have met in the title contest. Adriane Radtke leads all OSU scorers with 12 goals and eight assists on the year. Nikki Wojtowicz has been the team assist leader with an impressive 17 assists, which leads the conference, and four goals. Also a dominant scorer for the Cowgirls is Jolene Schweitzer, who has tallied 12 goals and added six assists on the season. Defensively, Oklahoma State has been near the top of the league as well as goalkeeper Kathrin Lehmann is second in the Big 12 in goals against average at 0.70, giving up 14 goals in 22 games. Lehmann was named the Tournament Defensive MVP for her efforts in the three games. Midfielder Cassie Lewis was named as the offensive MVP in the tournament for the Cowgirls. Head coach Karen Hancock is in her eighth season with the Cowgirls and has accumulated a record of 71-73-11 and was named as the 2002 Big 12 Coach of the Year.
The Tigers will play in their third consecutive NCAA Tournament this weekend as they take on Oklahoma State, whom they have never met up with on the field. Auburn fell to Georgia in the first round of the SEC Tournament 2-1 in double overtime bringing its record to 13-3-3 on the year. Before the tournament loss, Auburn was 6-0-1 in its last seven contests. Last season, the Tigers also traveled to Florida State for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Auburn picked up its first NCAA victory with a 2-0 win over Central Florida and fell to Florida State 2-1 in the second round. Although Auburn has never met up with OSU in competition, the Tigers hold a 2-3 record against opponents in this bracket with a win over Dartmouth on the road earlier in the season and a 1-3 record against Florida State. In the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers hold a record of 1-2 with trips to the tournament in 2001 and 2002. Sarah Steinmann continues to lead the Tigers with 11 goals and six assists on the year while freshman Ronda Brooks is second with seven goals and an assist. Sophomore Jac Schwarz leads the team in assists with eight and junior Chrissy Culver has accumulated seven. Goalkeeper Megan Rivera currently holds an impressive 0.65 goals against average allowing just 13 goals in 19 games and has shutout 11 opponents from 2003.
Quotes From Selection Show
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.
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.