Coming off an intense Mid-American Conference tournament last season, the University of Toledo women's soccer team didn't play its best in its first ever NCAA tournament match.
Several of the players who endured that disappointing loss to Villanova are back, and they hope to take the next step this year.
"This year there's a little bit different focus," UT coach Brad Evans said. "We want to get that one win in the NCAA tournament. We'll give it a great try and see what happens."
UT knew it was in the NCAA tournament based on its 3-2 shootout victory over Bowling Green in Sunday's MAC championship. Last night the Rockets found out their opponent - Indiana.
The Rockets will play the Hoosiers in the first round Friday in West Lafayette, Ind., on the campus of Purdue. Game time will be announced this afternoon. The winner of that match will play the winner of the match between Purdue and Oakland on Sunday.
Indiana is 12-6-2 and finished fourth in the Big Ten. IU lost to Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.
The Hoosiers won seven matches in a row earlier this season, but have lost four straight and five of six heading into the NCAA College Cup.
"We know they have a very physical team," Evans said of Indiana. "Very good on restarts, very good in the air. That will be a challenge because they'll have us on size for sure. But once you get to that point, you're going to have to play well to win. These are the better teams in the country."
The Rockets have some recent experience against Big Ten teams, playing Purdue to a 1-1 tie last season. Although the MAC final was emotional and draining, UT will be able to move on to a new challenge, senior defender Suzi Siwinski said.
"Sunday was exciting for us, and today's exciting, but we have to get back and focus on what we need to do right now," Siwinski said.
"I think we have a good chance to do something and take that next step. I think this is the team that can do it. We have a lot of chemistry."
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.