Women's DI Tournament Third Round Preview

Women's DI Tournament Third Round Preview
by Victor Olorunfemi
November 18, 2023

Florida State Region

No. 5 Texas (17-4-2) at No. 1 Florida State (18-0-1) – Sunday, November 19th, 5:30 PM Eastern, ESPN+

This one is the matchup the country has been waiting for. Florida State, the best team in the country all season, takes on an explosive Texas offense led by Lexi Missimo, who has 26 goals and 20 assists to lead the nation in both categories. And with Trinity Byars as another top-tier player on the team and the Longhorns humming to the tune of seven straight wins, this is truly a clash of two titans. The Seminoles will be rightfully favored but must stay concentrated through 90 minutes, as all the nation’s third-best offense needs is a sliver of space.  

No. 6 Memphis (20-1) vs No. 7 Pittsburgh (16-5-1) – Sunday, November 19th, 7 PM Eastern, ESPN+

To say these two teams are fortunate to be here is unfair, as this is still the NCAA tournament, and it takes immense effort to win every game. That said, a match on neutral ground in the round of 16 is a luxury either of these two teams would have jumped on at the start of the season. Add that whoever wins this will reach a quarter-final for the first time in program history, and the stakes could not be higher.


Clemson Region 

No. 6 Saint Louis (19-2-2) at No. 2 Penn State (15-2-4) – Sunday, November 19th, 1 PM Eastern, ESPN+ 

The Saint Louis train continues, and next up is Penn State, who has now only lost one of 14 home games. The Billikens and Nittany Lions have carefully built rosters with talent, immense experience, and chemistry for this moment, meaning this will be a game of high quality plus few mistakes.  

No. 4 Georgia (13-4-5) at No. 1 Clemson (17-3-3) – Sunday, November 19th, 2 PM Eastern, ESPN+

SEC versus ACC is on the menu in this matchup. The advantage must go to Clemson, who is at home, but Georgia has shown remarkable resiliency dating back to winning the first conference trophy in team history. Whatever happens, expect both to go out swinging.


BYU Region

No. 5 Michigan State (14-4-3) at No. 1 BYU (18-2-3) – Saturday, November 18th, 8 PM Eastern, ESPN+ 

A combination of high altitude and a passionate fan base makes South Field Stadium one of the most intimidating in college soccer. The Cougars have lost just four home games in the last five seasons and none so far in 2023. All that to say, the Spartans will need a monumental effort to survive this war.

No. 3 North Carolina (12-1-8) at No. 2 Texas Tech (16-1-5) – Sunday, November 19th, 2 PM Eastern, ESPN+

A Red Raider squad in new territory faces the most prestigious team in women’s college soccer. Games are not won by what you have done in the past, but that can impact the fear and confidence players approach the game with. What will not help is the Big-12 side playing a high-intensity double overtime game less than 48 hours before this one kicks off. What helps is Texas Tech will be at home and are undefeated through twelve this season at John Walker stadium. 


UCLA Region

No. 6 Mississippi State (12-5-5) at No. 2 Stanford (17-0-4) – Sunday, November 19th, 4 PM Eastern, ESPN+

Mississippi State keeps chugging but now faces the best team it has all season in a Stanford squad that continues to surpass the loftiest of expectations. The Bulldogs did not come this far to be afraid of anyone, but showing no fear means little if the Cardinals are firing at all cylinders.  

No. 16 UC Irvine (10-7-6) at No. 5 Nebraska (16-3-3) – Sunday, November 19th, 2 PM Eastern, ESPN+

Analyzing a UC Irvine game is proving to be futile as this program continues to defy all odds. Will Nebraska be the squad to stop a wholesome story, or will the Anteaters continue devouring championship hopes? Tune in on the next episode of Cinderella Goes Dancing.

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