Senior defender Chyanne Dennis (above), named AAC Defensive Player of the Year this season, is likely to be a major contributor to USF’s success in the NCAA tournament. USF Athletics PHOTO
Shortly after winning the second AAC tournament title in a row, the USF women’s soccer team will play against Central Connecticut State in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA tournament, the NCAA announced on Monday afternoon.
However, the announcement didn’t go as smoothly as the team expected.
“The selection show should be at 1 [p.m.]So our team’s plans should come [at] 12:50 pm, get some food and watch the selection show but they started at 12:30 pm so some of us didn’t even see it, ”said Sydny Nasello, junior forward. “I just think it’s nonsense and, for many of us, not fair to miss this. If you have a scheduled time, stick to the schedule. The men were on schedule and that’s just not fair for our team and other women’s sports.
“I’m sure this happened to other teams who planned to see and experience this together.”
Coach Denise Schilte-Brown repeated a similar thought despite being part of the group that got to see the show.
“There were about a handful of us [in the room watching the selection show], a good 10 between staff and players, because we were quick to text messages and group chats and say, “Run, it’s started,” said Schilte-Brown. “I didn’t see the first bracket, I wasn’t paying attention and then it suddenly dawned on me, this is live, this is not last year, this is just happening.
“We were in the last bracket, so a good part of the girls, at least 10 of them got there before the announcement. I was sad for her and it doesn’t seem fair. “
Aside from timing issues, some of the Bulls (9-0-2, 6-0-1 AAC) also made exceptions to where they were used in the tournament. Of the 48 teams traveling to North Carolina, 16 were seeded and passed the second round, an award Nasello deserved for her and her teammates.
“I think we should have been a steady team, but we don’t feel like outsiders. We don’t feel like we have anything to prove, we feel like we should have made a little more from the NCAA, which is fine, ”said Nasello. “I just feel like [we should] Go out there and prove why we should have been sown and show them our best and earn their respect. “
Central Connecticut State (7-0, 6-0 NEC) enters the NCAA tournament as tournament champions of the North Eastern Conference after beating Long Island University in the title match on April 16.
The Blue Devils, much like the Bulls, boast formidable defenses that have proven difficult to break. In seven games this season, the Blue Devils have only allowed one goal, which came on April 13 against Mount St. Mary’s in a game in which junior goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan did not play.
If the cops want to score against the virtual impenetrable wall that represents the defense of the Central Connecticut state and win their matchup in the first round, they have to do their homework.
With this year’s tournament being held entirely in and around Cary, North Carolina, due to efforts to contain COVID-19, the NCAA committee did not need to consider regions. Ordinarily, the committee would create matchups that wouldn’t require much travel for the teams.
“I do not know anything about it [Central Connecticut State] … Tonight this is my homework, I sit down at the computer and watch them, do our homework and do the best we can… I don’t know anything about them yet, ”said Schilte-Brown.
“Isn’t that cool about the tournament this year? I would love to go ahead if there was a cash inflow and we could always run the NCAA tournaments based on real seeding as opposed to regional tournaments. I think it adds great momentum to all of the effort each team has put into work over the year. “
If USF wins against Central Connecticut State, it will face Texas A&M No. 7 (11-3, 7-1 SEC) in the second round.
The cops will face off against the state of Central Connecticut in North Carolina on April 27 at 3 p.m.