The No. 12 ranked Slippery Rock University women’s soccer team was selected as the second seed in the Atlantic Region of the NCAA Division II Soccer Tournament.
SRU was rewarded for their 13-3-2 season and earned a first round bye, as well as hosting rights in the second round of the tournament. California University of Pa. was labeled as the No. 1 seed.
“There is a lot expected of us, and we work hard to rise to the occasion,” senior defender Izabel Scott said. “Overall, coming in as a SRU soccer player, there are high expectations, and as one of the seniors on this team, it is my job to make sure that legacy continues to stick and pass that to the underclassmen.”
This is the fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA playoffs for head coach Noreen Herlihy, as well as the ninth out of her 19 seasons.
Herlihy has compiled a 237-106-29 record during her tenure here at SRU, placing her at 15th most wins in the history of Division II women’s soccer.
“It takes a lot of people involved to make it work and I’ve had some good help along the way,” Herlihy said. “The experience this young squad is getting this season will help massively for the future.”
Slippery Rock holds a 4-0-1 record against the other five teams selected in the Atlantic Region.
SRU defeated first seed Cal-U 2-1 in the first game of the season, fourth seed West Chester 1-0, fifth seed Kutztown 2-1 and sixth seed Edinboro 2-1. SRU tied third seed Shippensburg 1-1 in the final game of the regular season.
“We know what we’re capable of, we just have to go out there on Sunday and get it done,” freshman Andrea Felix said. “If we play our game up to the standards that I know we can, then I have no doubt that we can go far in the tournament.”
Felix led the Rock with 10 goals this season.
“I think the underclassmen have really had the opportunity to mature this year and have come up in big spots for us,” Scott said. “Their dedication to this team really speaks a lot about them.”
With the first round bye, Slippery Rock will face the winner of Shippensburg vs. Edinboro on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
“In preparation for Sundays game we’re really just trying to remain focused and take it day by day,” Felix said. “We can’t just be thinking about the game when we still have a week of practices.”
Cal-U will host the winner of West Chester vs. Kutztown on Sunday afternoon at California University.
“It’s about getting our players focused on what we need to do, and if we do that and execute it on the big occasion, the result will take care of itself,” Herlihy said.
The winner of the second round matches will face off in Albany, N.Y. at Saint Rose University.