By Times staff writers
Published November 11, 2005
WHO: Florida State (17-3-0) vs. Florida Atlantic (13-3-1), 2:30 p.m.; Florida (13-5-1) vs. Illinois (11-6-3), 5 p.m. The winners meet at 1 p.m. Sunday for a chance to move on to the Sweet 16.
WHERE: James G. Pressly Stadium, Gainesville.
ABOUT FSU: The Seminoles earned a No. 2 national seed, their highest ever, but weren't rewarded with the right to host and have been sent to UF for the third straight postseason. The perceived slight could be extra motivation for a talented bunch, led by sophomore forward Sel Kuralay (15 goals, eight assists), junior midfielder India Trotter (eight goals, nine assists) and junior midfielder Viola Odebrecht (nine goals and seven assists). The offense has rolled up 57 goals, while the defense has allowed just 15 and nearly half of those (seven) came in losses to No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 seed Virginia. FSU won at UF in September, beating the Gators 4-2. FSU won its only meeting with Florida Atlantic 7-0 in 2003.
ABOUT UF: The No. 20 Gators received their ninth tournament berth, but it comes on the heels of an up-and-down regular season. This is the first time since 1998 that Florida will meet an opponent for the first time in the tournament. The Gators are 3-4 vs. teams in the 2005 field. While coach Becky Burleigh thinks playing at home will be a boost, the Gators are without several key players, four who are lost for the season, three who are questionable for tonight's game.
- BRIAN LANDMAN and ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writers
BIG EAST MEN'S SOCCER SEMIFINAL
WHO: USF (12-5, 9-2) vs. Providence (6-3-8, 3-3-4).
WHEN/WHERE: 3:30 p.m. today; Storrs, Conn.
SCOUTING REPORT: The Bulls advanced with a 4-1 win against West Virginia after leading the Big East in the regular season. USF is ranked No. 16 by Soccer America and would advance to Sunday's championship with a win. The Bulls haven't tied a match this season, while Providence had a conference-high eight. Freshman Jordan Seabrook leads the Bulls with 11 goals, while sophomore Rodrigo Hidalgo is second in the nation in assists per game with 12. Goalkeeper Dane Brenner has won six of his past seven starts. The teams did not meet in the regular season. The game will be broadcast on CSTV, and a local watch party will be held at the Clubhouse on Fowler Avenue in Temple Terrace.