The University of Toledo women's soccer team has never before won a match in the NCAA tournament, but that doesn't mean the Rockets aren't confident heading into their first round game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Marquette.
The Rockets (14-6-2) earned an automatic bid to the tournament following their 1-0 win over Western Michigan last weekend in the Mid-American Conference tournament championship game.
This will be UT's fourth trip to the NCAA tournament in program history -- all in the last six years.
Because of that experience, the Rockets have been able to strike a balance between enjoying the ride while still aiming for a victory.
"I think they're one in the same, to be honest, especially with this team and the passion and heart we have for the game and the competitive drive that each of us has within us," UT senior goalkeeper Vicki Traven said. "Enjoying the experience is going out and getting the win."
Marquette (17-3) made the field of 64 via an at-large bid after falling 1-0 to Notre Dame in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.
The Golden Eagles are 11-1 at home this season and have outscored their opponents 50-13 this year. They also held a nine-match winning streak at one point earlier in the season.
"They're an excellent team," UT coach Brad Evans said. "They play a very fast-paced, uptempo style. They rotate a lot of players in, and they keep the pressure on you the full 90 minutes. That's going to be a challenge, but when you get to this point in the year, every game has its challenges."
CROSS COUNTRY: UT will host the NCAA Great Lakes Region cross country championships Saturday at Ottawa Park.
The men's 10K race will begin at noon, followed by the women's 6K race at 1:15 p.m. Gates will open at 10 a.m., with the entrance located on Bancroft Street just east of the railroad overpass.
The Great Lakes Region includes 34 teams in the women's race and 31 teams in the men's race. The women's race includes four teams ranked among the nation's top-30 teams, with Toledo listed in the "others receiving votes" category. The men's race also includes four nationally ranked teams, including No. 1 Wisconsin.
Spectator parking will be available in the UT parking lots inside the main entrance off Bancroft Street.
MEN'S BASKETBALL: The UT men's basketball team will hold an intrasquad scrimmage that is free and open to the public at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Savage Arena.
The Rockets posted an 88-62 exhibition victory over the University of Northwestern Ohio last Thursday and will tip off their regular season Nov. 18 at the Texas-Pan American tournament in Edinburg, Texas.
"Having an open scrimmage is another opportunity for our guys to play in a game-like setting and get ready for our season opener," UT coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "We've made a lot of progress since starting practice nearly a month ago, and this will serve as our final tune-up before heading to Texas next week."
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