The Ole Miss soccer team opens NCAA tournament play this evening as they take the pitch against Florida State in Tallahassee at 6 p.m.Ole Miss comes into the tournament with a 10-6-3 overall record and finished in ninth place in SEC league play. The Rebels were led on the field this season by CeCe Kizer with 16 goals, which leads the conference.
Coach Matt Mott’s squad fell to Arkansas by the score of 1-0 in the first round of the SEC Tournament.
Florida State comes into tonight’s tournament tilt with an 11-6-1 record, finishing seventh in the ACC at 5-4-1. After hitting the midpoint of their conference slate hot, the Seminoles struggled a little to finish, going 1-3-1 in their final five contests, including a 2-1 loss to No. 2 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
FSU is spearheaded by sophomore sensation Deyna Castellanos, who is considered not just one of the top college players in the nation but one of the elite players internationally. The forward is also a star for the Venezuelan national team and in September was named one of three finalists for the 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Player Award, alongside USWNT standout Carli Lloyd. Castellanos ranks second in the NCAA in goals per game, one spot ahead of CeCe Kizer, netting 15 goals in her 17 games this season.
Junior midfielder Dallas Dorosy also provides some offense with seven goals on the year. Meanwhile, Cassie Miller minds the net for the Seminoles, registering 1.10 goals against average with six shutouts in her 18 contests.
The Rebels and Seminoles have faced off five times previously. Florida State has controlled the series, winning the last four matchups after a 2-2 tie in the first meeting in 1996 in Atlanta. The two sides have met up in the NCAA Tournament twice, with FSU knocking out the Rebels on both occasions.
This marks the seventh time that Ole Miss has appeared in the NCAA Tournament overall and the third time in the last five years.
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