Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #1 Texas A&M / #4 Notre Dame Regional Breakdown

Women's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #1 Texas A&M / #4 Notre Dame Regional Breakdown

The road to Boca Raton for Texas A&M was made a little easier by getting to be at home as the number three national seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Aggies have a great balance of their usual high pressure offensive attack combined with a strong backline that is tough to break down. There are some tough opponents in this regional with Arizona, Texas, Rice, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame as prospective opponents. Overall, the time is now for Texas A&M to try and put it all together and kick down the College Cup door in 2014.


#1 Texas A&M vs. Houston Baptist

Everything is in place for the Aggies to make a run to the College Cup as they will not have to leave Ellis Field to get there as long as they advance. Senior midfielder/forward Shea Groom and senior midfielder/forward Kelley Monogue lead the balanced attack that has outscored opponents 27-10 in each half this season. Houston Baptist upset Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference Tournament final to secure the automatic bid. Senior forward Natalee Hager is the leading scorer for the Huskies with eight goals on the season. The Aggies are going to get the best shot from Houston Baptist, but they should move on to the second round.


Oklahoma State vs. Arizona

This should be a very evenly played match between two pretty good power five conference programs. The Cowgirls have gotten better as the season has gone along and they finished second in the Big 12 during the regular season. They also will be looking to atone for a 3-1 loss to the Wildcats earlier this season at the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe. Junior midfielder/forward Allie Stephenson is going to have to come up big for Oklahoma State in order for them to advance. Arizona has big wins at Washington State and a draw against California that helped them get into the tournament. Freshman midfielder Gabi Stoian has ignited the Wildcats attack nicely as she scored 13 goals and dished out seven assists this season. This should be a high scoring match.


Texas vs. Rice

Texas, under Angela Kelly, has done a nice job building their program to get back to being a rock solid NCAA Tournament caliber team that can do so damage in the tournament. Freshman forward Megan Brook has had a very solid rookie season and leads the Longhorns in scoring with six goals and two assists. Sophomore defender Brooke Gilbert anchors a strong back line that has kept Texas in most matches this season. Rice is the Conference USA representative as the Owls took down regular season champion North Texas to secure the automatic bid. This is the first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2005 for Rice and they will need big performances from CUSA Offensive Player of the Year junior forward Lauren Hughes and Conference USA Midfielder of the Year senior Quinny Truong. This should be a pretty even match overall.


#4 Notre Dame vs. Valparaiso

The Fighting Irish have been pretty solid all season long in all phases and they are in the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd straight season. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Andrews and senior forward Lauren Bohaboy are going to be key in this match and setting the tone for Notre Dame with the attack. Valparaiso rolled through the Horizon League Championship thanks to outstanding defense. They have only conceded eight goals this season. April Cronin paces things up front for the Crusaders and has scored nine goals. This match has a potential upset alert feel to it if Valparaiso can get the match to second half on level terms.


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