Ladyjacks Set To Open NCAA Tournament Play
Nov. 14, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - This Week: The Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks begin play in the NCAA Championships Thursday, when SFA squares off with Texas A&M at 6 p.m. in College Station, Texas. SFA is making its second tournament appearance in program history and first since reaching the big dance in 2003. The four-team pod for the first and second rounds also includes Texas and BYU. All three potential opponents are ranked in the Top 25 in every major national poll.
Last Week: After winning an unprecedented fifth Southland Conference title, SFA dominated its two matches in the SLC Tournament to earn the NCAA bid. The Ladyjacks defeated Texas-San Antonio, 1-0, in the semifinals on Friday, then clobbered McNeese State, 3-0, Sunday in the championship game. This marks the first time in program history for SFA to win both the regular-season and tournament championship in the same year. The Ladyjacks bring a 13-4-2 overall record into the tournament after winning a share of the SLC title with a 7-1-1 league record in the regular season.
The Field: After spending most of the year ranked among the nation's top five teams, Texas A&M is the No. 2 seed in the 16-team quadrant. The Aggies enter the tournament with a 17-3-2 overall record. A&M won the Big 12 title with a 9-1-0 mark. The Aggies are making their 13th appearance in the NCAA Championships. Texas brings a 14-3-5 record and a lot of momentum into its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance. The Longhorns defeated Texas A&M, 2-1, in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament last weekend. Texas went 6-2-2 in Big 12 action to finish second in the regular-season race. BYU enters tournament action with a 17-3-2 overall mark. The Cougars went 4-3-0 and finished in a tie for third in the Mountain West Conference. But BYU got hot in the conference tournament, winning three straight games and outscoring its opponents, 6-1, overall to reach the NCAA Championships.
SFA against the Field: The Ladyjacks are winless in two meetings with Texas A&M. SFA last played Texas A&M in the 2005 season opener, and dropped a 3-0 decision. Both meetings with the Aggies have come in College Station. Earlier this season, the Ladyjacks dropped a 4-0 decision at Texas in their first game against the Longhorns. SFA and BYU have never met.
SFA in the NCAA Tournament: Thursday's game will mark the Ladyjacks' second appearance in the NCAA Championships. SFA's only other tournament berth came in 2003, when it was defeated by No. 12 Duke, 3-0, in a first-round game in College Station.
Fan Bus: Ladyjack fans will have the chance to catch a free ride to Thursday's game courtesy of the office of Student Affairs and Student Government Association. A fan bus will carry SFA supporters to and from College Station at no charge. Fans are responsible only for the cost of their tickets and meals. The bus will depart from the commuter parking lot at 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Call (936) 468-1018 to reserve your seat on the bus.
Live on the Web: Texas A&M will provide Live Stats coverage and free video streaming of all the games this weekend on the university's athletics Web site. Visit www.aggieathletics.com and go to the women's soccer home page to find the links.
For a complete release, click on the "Weekly Notes" link in the side bar of the women's soccer home page.
-- SFA --