After the Utah soccer team defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 1-0 in overtime on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup, the Utes advanced to the second round. They are scheduled to compete against Florida State on Friday, Nov. 18.
This will be the first time the two teams will compete against each other, but while this is the third time Utah has advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament, it will be Florida State’s 16th time.
The first time Utah made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament was back in 2002 when the team defeated BYU 3-2.
For senior Katie Rogers, this will be the second time she has made the NCAA tournament, but it will be her first time advancing to the second round. As of now, Rogers isn’t too nervous about the game. She is excited for the opportunity because of how hard her team has fought to get to this spot.
“I have never made it this far and nobody on the team has right now, so it is more of excitement,” Rogers said. “We are not really sure what to anticipate and how our bodies are going to feel, but it is mostly just excitement on my part and just wanting to play and just live in the moment.”
Head coach Rich Manning said that he and the team are always excited to play challenging teams, so they are really looking forward to the competition. Manning added that since the team has played a lot of tough opponents throughout the season, it has given them the opportunity to play a lot of different styles, giving them confidence heading into the game.
While there were things during the game against Texas Tech that Manning thinks the team needs to work on, he mostly saw good aspects of the game that should be capitalized on for the game against the Seminoles.
“I felt like we got more confident as the game went on and also we got more aggressive,” Manning said. “If we can kind of use that experience to our advantage on Friday and come out a little bit more aggressive and more confident, it will help us be more successful.”
If the Utes defeat Florida State, they will move onto the third round — the first time ever for the Utes — and they will compete against either USC or Texas A&M.
“We try not to look at the name on people’s jerseys, because ultimately what matters is the name on our jerseys and who we represent,” Rogers said. “We are just excited to play an east coast school, but it is more of just of how can we become united again and what can we do to better ourselves for the game on Friday.”
Kickoff is set to begin at 12:00 p.m. in Los Angeles.
“I think what we need to do on Friday is to create momentum from Texas Tech, and make sure we are all pushing together as a team, and [make sure we] all have that one common goal in mind,” Rogers said. “If we can do that, then I think we will be good.”