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Ole Miss women’s soccer sneaks into the NCAA tournament

The Rebels will travel to Florida State in the first round

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Sporting KC Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Ole Miss soccer team had a nervy afternoon awaiting their NCAA tournament fate, but they didn’t have to wait very long into the selection show to learn that they made it in. They’ll travel to face perennial ACC power Florida State in the first round.

All White Kit’s Chris Henderson had the Rebels as the first team out in his final projections, due to a lack of a true signature win and winning just one out of their last eight matches, but the committee must have liked their two top-50 RPI wins (at Memphis, at Arkansas), as well as the fact that they had no bad losses (all six of their losses were to teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI).

The Rebels will travel to Tallahassee on Friday to take on Florida State in the first round. The Seminoles are consistently at or near the top of the ACC, which is considered women’s soccer’s most competitive conference. They won it all in 2014 and have finished in the top 10 of every postseason poll since 2005. They’ve appeared in the College Cup (final four) nine times, the most out of any ACC school. They did have a bit of a down year this season, as they went 11-6-1, though four of those losses were to teams in the top 25.

The Seminoles are led by All-ACC first-teamers Deyna Castellanos, who led the ACC in scoring and ranked in the top 10 nationally, and defender Natalia Kuikka, who also plays for the Finnish national team.

This game will mean a little more to Rebel midfielder Julia Phillips, who played her freshman season at Florida State before coming to Oxford.

For the Rebels to have a shot in this one, they’ll need first-team All-SEC midfielder CeCe Kizer to be at full strength following an ankle knock she picked up in the final game of the regular season. Her ball skills, vision, and finishing ability are crucial to the offense’s success.

The game will take place on Friday. A time has not yet been announced.