No. 12/19 Marquette Set to Host Toledo in the First Round of the NCAA Championship
Nov. 10, 2011
MILWAUKEE- For the 10th time in program history, the Marquette University women's soccer team will play in the NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship. The No. 12/19 Golden Eagles (17-3-0) will face Toledo (14-6-2) in the first round at Valley Fields on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.
The 2011 NCAA Championship format features 32 first-round sites with only one game being played the first weekend at each site. The second and third round games will be hosted at eight different home sites, Nov. 18 and 20. The winner of the Toledo at Marquette game will face the winner of the Army at Penn State match-up in the second round with a location to be determined.
Marquette, who is making its fourth straight NCAA Championship appearance, enters the tournament owning one of the most potent offenses in the field as it ranks 11th in NCAA Division I with 2.5 goals per game. Sophomore forward Maegan Kelly leads MU's attack with 38 points on 14 goals and 10 assists, while 17 others have contributed at least one goal.
The Golden Eagles, with their signature stingy defensive unit, has allowed a BIG EAST low 13 goals this season. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Kulla has been exceptional in net this season recording 10 shutouts and a 0.67 goals against average, which ranks 27th in the nation.
The Golden Eagles are 6-7-3 all-time in the NCAA Championship, 5-3-1 in first round games, while advancing to the second round four times. MU's longest run in the NCAAs came during the 2005 and 2010 seasons when the Golden Eagles advanced to the third round.
Saturday's NCAA Championship first round game will mark the 10th time in school history Marquette has hosted an NCAA Championship game at Valley Fields. The Golden Eagles are 5-2-2 in NCAA Championship action at Valley Fields. Last season, Marquette defeated Central Michigan (1-0) in the first round and played to a double overtime 2-2 draw with Wisconsin before advancing on penalty kicks in the second round.
Toledo, the automatic qualifier out of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) topped Western Michigan, 1-0, in the MAC Championship title game to earn its berth in the NCAA Championship. Toledo is making its fourth appearance (2006, 2007 and 2008) in the NCAA Championship and is led by MAC Offensive Player of the Year Rachel MacLeod who has registered 31 points on 11 goals and nine assists this season. The Rockets boast two other 20-plus point performers in Nicole Gyurgyik and Kristen Lynn who have tallied 24 points (10g, 4a) and 21 points (9g, 3a), respectively.
In net, goalkeeper Vicki Traven, an All-MAC First Team selection, has started in 21 games, and owns eight shutouts and a 0.90 goals against average.
Marquette is 1-0-1 all-time against Toledo. The Rockets and the Golden Eagles played to a 1-1 double overtime tie on Oct. 22, 1995, and MU routed Toledo in following meeting, 5-1, on Oct. 13, 1996.