SBC Soccer Tournament Seeds Released; Three Crowned Reg. Season Champs
NEW ORLEANS - The FIU Panthers, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and North Texas Mean Green were each crowned 2012 Sun Belt Conference Women's Soccer regular season champions on Friday evening after each team finished the year with 25 points. It marked the
first time in the league's brief 12-year history that the SBC has crowned tri-champions.
North Texas (13-4-2, 8-1-1 SBC) earned the tournament's top seed by winning the three-team tie-breaker over Middle Tennessee and FIU. Rule (1) of the three-way tie-breaker states:
The highest point total earned in matches involving the tied teams
The Mean Green tied FIU and defeated MT giving NT four points, while MT defeated FIU and loss to NT for three points. FIU earned one point for tying with NT. Thus, the Mean Green are the top seed in the tournament.
The top seed for the crew from Denton marked the second consecutive season the Mean Green have earned the tournament's top draw. All-in-all, NT has earned the tournament's top seed a total of four times, winning the tournament as the top seed during the
2005 tournament - which was also held in Mobile, Alabama.
NT will face-off against eighth-seeded Florida Atlantic (5-12, 3-7 SBC) on Wednesday, October 31 at 10 a.m.
The Mean Green have never had a losing season in its history. Senior Michelle Young leads the way for the Mean Green as she ranks first in the league in shots (79), and second in both points (23) and goals (10).
Middle Tennessee (13-4-1, 8-1-1 SBC) earned the tournament's No. 2 seed after tying Western Kentucky 1-1 on Friday night. MT will face seventh-seeded and tournament host South Alabama on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Blue Raiders offense ranks third nationally in scoring offense, boasting 3.12 goals per game and is led by Paige Goeglein, a midfielder, who is the offensive anchor for the Raiders having scored 14 goals and notching four assists for the Blue Raiders
this season. Goeglein's eight game-winning goals rank first nationally, while her 14 goals rank ninth in the NCAA and leads the SBC.
FIU (11-5-2, 8-1-1 SBC) defeated in-state rival Florida Atlantic on Thursday evening, 2-1, and will be the tournament's third seed. FIU will face sixth-seeded Troy (9-9-2, 4-5-1 SBC) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Panthers are led by Chelsea Leiva who scored
both goals in Thursday night's win over the Owls giving the Royal Palm Beach, Fla. native ten goals on the season and putting her into sixth-place all-time at FIU with 64-career points scored.
FIU enters the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the league, having gone undefeated in the last seven matches. The Panthers will look to win back-to-back tournament titles after taking the 2011 title over WKU on penalty kicks.
WKU (11-4-3, 6-1-3 SBC) will be seeded fourth and will face fifth-seeded Arkansas State on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The Lady Toppers also enter the tournament on a hot note as they too have gone undefeated in their past seven matches.
WKU has allowed just 15 goals on the season, the fewest in the league, as goalkeeper Nikki Hall has an SBC-best seven shutouts.
The Red Wolves are making their second consecutive appearance in the SBC tournament. The team’s 11 overall wins and five SBC wins are program records. The Red Wolves also notched the school’s first 10-win and winning season in its history.
Troy has compiled five consecutive winning seasons and is making its fourth-straight appearance at the SBC tournament.
The Jaguars will be hosting the tournament for the fifth time and first since the 2007 season. FAU is back in the tournament this year after a one year hiatus, missing the tournament in 2011.
Sun Belt Conference soccer action begins on Wednesday, Oct. 31 with the four first round matches. Action will take a break on Thursday and will resume on Friday, Nov. 2 with the two semifinal matches.
The two championship participants will have an off day on Saturday before the playing the 2012 SBC Soccer Championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4.
All games can be watched live on www.sunbeltsports.org. The web stream for the entire tournament is provided at no charge.
2012 Sun Belt Conference Soccer Tournament Seeds
No. 1 North Texas (13-4-2, 8-1-1 [.850] SBC)
No. 2 Middle Tennessee (13-4-1, 8-1-1 [.850] SBC)
No. 3 FIU (11-5-2, 8-1-1 [.850] SBC)
No. 4 WKU (11-4-3, 6-1-3 [.750] SBC)
No. 5 ASU (11-7-1, 5-4-1 [.550] SBC)
No. 6 TROY (9-9-2, 4-5-1 [.450] SBC)
No. 7 USA (8-9-3, 3-5-2 [.400] SBC)
No. 8 FAU (5-12, 3-7 [.300] SBC)
2012 Sun Belt Conference Soccer Tournament Schedule of Events
Wednesday, October 31
MATCH 1 - 10 a.m. CT – No. 1 North Texas vs. No. 8 Florida Atlantic
MATCH 2 - 1 p.m. CT – No. 4 Western Kentucky vs. No. 5 Arkansas State
MATCH 3 - 4 p.m. CT – No. 3 FIU vs. No. 6 Troy
MATCH 4 - 7 p.m. CT – No. 2 Middle Tennessee at No. 7 South Alabama *
Friday, November 2
MATCH 5 - 4 p.m. CT - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
MATCH 6 - 7 p.m. CT - Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner
Championship Sunday, November 4
MATCH 7 - 1 p.m. CT - Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner
All times central
* - South Alabama, as tournament host, reserved the right to choose the game time of their first-round game only and the Jaguars chose to play at 7 p.m.