The 2016 Division I women’s soccer championship bracket was officially announced earlier today. The Florida Gator soccer team is a No.1 region seed.
The Gators will be hosting the FGCU Eagles from Donald R. Dizney Stadium on Friday, November 11. Fresh off of winning the SEC tournament this past weekend, the Gators will certainly come into the matchup as the favorites.
#Gators a No. 1 region seed – plays host to FGCU for NCAA First Round action
Friday, Nov. 11
7pm at Dizney Stadium#GoGators pic.twitter.com/Wf6GY1r3mX
— Gators Soccer (@GatorsSoccer) November 7, 2016
The Eagles, on the other hand, are coming off of an A-SUN championship. This marks the fifth time in six years the Eagles make it to the NCAA tournament. Led by senior midfielder Ali Rodgers, who scored both goals in the 2-0 win in the ASUN Championship final, the Eagles will be an early test for the Gators.
The Rest of the Field
The other number one seeds named for the NCAA tournament were Stanford, South Carolina and West Virginia. Arkansas, whom the Gators just defeated in the SEC Tournament final, will host Memphis in their first round matchup.
Record-wise, the Gators are unquestionably the weakest of the four sides. Stanford (17-1-1), South Carolina (18-1-1), and West Virginia (19-1-1) all are strong squads that were able to get favorable results throughout the season.
The Gators (15-4-1) are a side that could very well be peaking at the right time. They defeated South Carolina 1-0 in route to their SEC tournament win. If they are able to get past FGCU, Becky Burleigh’s side will take on the winner between Wisconsin and Marquette. A potential matchup against Florida State also looms as a possibility, as the Seminoles are on the same side of the bracket.
We're looking to #ProtectThePlex on Saturday! Join us at 2 pm as the Noles face Samford in the NCAA 1st Round. #YTSD pic.twitter.com/gb9qmSQ8WA
— FSU Soccer (@FSU_Soccer) November 7, 2016
For Gator fans, there is reason for optimism this could be the year the team wins its first national championship since 1998.
The 35th NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship kicks off on November 11. The National Championship match will kickoff Sunday, December 4.