Local interests in the NCAA Women’s Tournament: Part Two

In part one of our look at who you can root for in the NCAA Women’s Tournament while FC Dallas takes a collective vacation, we looked at the Friday games and which local players are playing in them. The likes of likely-future pros in Dominique James and Madison Haley featured along with the first Texas-A&M game since 2011. Now we’ll take a look at the Saturday games and the lone Sunday game that rounds off the first round of the tournament. Each title consists of links to the in-game article and the relevant streaming feed via the NCAA, and here’s an always handy link to the tournament bracket.

West Virginia at Georgetown, 11AM | Big East Digital Network 

The first game of the day features Dallas’ Enzi Broussard. The freshman, and her twin sister Yori, started with FC Dallas before Enzi moved to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Yori is at West Virginia with Enzi, but only Enzi appears on the roster. The freshman has three goals and two assists in 19 appearances.

West Virginia will be hoping to repeat last year’s 6-0 opening round win over Radford, while the Hoyas will be happy to just not be paired with North Carolina again. The sides already met once this year with Georgetown recording a 3-0 win at home. Broussard only saw 25 minutes of action in that game, and will hope for more as WVU returns to Washington DC.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
West VirginiaEnzi Broussard(Fr.)Dallas, TXIMG AcademyIMG AcademyFwd

Monmouth at Brown, 11:30AM | ESPN 3

Brown clinched its first Ivy League title since 1994, and the NCAA Tournament berth that comes with it. A tie with Yale in the final game of the regular season was the only thing to prevent a clean sweep of the Ivy League.

Plano’s Caylah Griffin could be in line to take part in the school’s first postseason game in 25 years. The freshman defender has made four appearances so far. Monmouth have failed to win any of their six NCAA Tournament games in program history. Brown, ranked 15th, have a 100% record at home in 2019 and are looking towards a potential second round match with number one seed and defending champions, Florida State

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
BrownCaylah Griffin(Fr.)Plano, TXPlano EastFC DallasDef

Samford at No. 2 South Carolina, 5PM | SEC Network Plus

Two years ago South Carolina made a run to the semi-final, losing to eventual champions Stanford. The Gamecocks reached the quarters in two of the three previous years. Despite those successes, they just won their first SEC tournament in a decade. Frances Matise’s side will be looking to return to those heights as second seed in the Virginia Section.

Highland Park Scot Matise has featured 27 times for South Carolina without making a start in her two years. The former Sting defender did make a late appearance in the 1-0 SEC title win over Arkansas.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
South CarolinaFrances Ann Matise(So.)Dallas, TXHighland Park HSSting SCDef

Iowa at No. 3 Kansas, 5PM | ESPN 3

In part one we alluded to Virginia Tech’s Karlie Johnson meeting FC Dallas team mate Grace Wiltgen if Tech and Kansas both win. Wiltgen isn’t the only DFW link in Kansas, as the 11th ranked team in the nation is also home to a trio of Solar SC products. Wiltgen has the most starts under her belt, with 11, but Kathryn Castro is the only player to feature in all 22 games for the Jayhawks this year. Italia Bradley is just behind on 20, while Avery Hall has seen seven games in the Kansas midfield.

Kansas’ last two visits to the tournament have ended with a second round loss to North Carolina, so the potential match-up with Xavier or Virginia Tech is a great boost. This will be the first meeting with Iowa in 21 years and only the third of all-time. The schools are currently split 1-1. The game is also Iowa’s second ever tournament appearance. They previously reached this stage in 2013, losing 4-1 to Notre Dame.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
KansasAvery Hall(Jr.)McKinney, TXMcKinney BoydSolar SCMid
KansasKathryn Castro(Jr.)Plano, TXPlano WestSolar SCMid
KansasItalia Bradley(Fr.)Coppell, TXCoppell HSSolar SCDef
KansasGrace Wiltgen(So.)Denton, TXDenton HSFC DallasDef

Radford at No. 1 Virginia, 6PM 

As with Madison Haley’s Stanford in part one, we have another one seed in Virginia. Taryn Torres has impressed in the Cavaliers midfield for three years as we documented her fight back from U-17 World Cup disappointment to making the US roster for the U-20 World Cup. The FC Dallas product wasn’t the only North Texan after Lauren Hinton, but was joined this year by two club mates. Diana Ordonez is joint top scorer with 14 goals, carrying on her remarkable USSDA form into NCAA play. Ordonez and Torres were both named to the all-ACC Tournament second team. They’re joined by Emma Dawson, who has made 15 appearances only 18 months removed from ACL and meniscus tears.

Virginia won their last meeting with Radford 5-0 in 2012. It’s been 33 years since Radford last beat the Cavaliers. The winners will meet the winner of Washington State v Memphis.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
VirginiaDiana Ordonez(Fr.)Prosper, TXProsper HSFC DallasFwd
VirginiaTaryn Torres(Jr.)Frisco, TXCentennial HSFC DallasMid
VirginiaEmma Dawson(Fr.)Richardson, TXJJ PearceFC DallasMid
VirginiaLauren Hinton(So.)Parker, TXPlano EastD’FeetersMid

TCU at Arizona, 7PM | Pac-12 Plus

The last game featuring a North Texas team as the Horned Frogs travel to Arizona. The winners get trip to Stanford to face Penn State in the second round.

Former Solar forward Messiah Bright leads TCU with 12 goals and six assist. The Sophomore also scored TCU’s first game-winning goal in four trips to the NCAA Tournament as they defeated BYU in the first round last year. Frisco’s Gracie Brian is second in goals scored, with nine and four assists from the midfield. That earned Brian a place in the Big 12 all-freshman team.

While not a local player, we’ve mentioned Emily Alvarado frequently over the past couple of years as the Mexican National Team keeper was named to U-20 and senior rosters. Alvarado leads the Big 12 with 82 saves. Alvarado isn’t the only TCU player to see national call-ups as Belerica Oquendo was one of four local players to go to the 2018 Concacaf U-17 Championships with Puerto Rico.

The Horned Frogs and Arizona have already played once this year as Arizona won by the odd goal in seven.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
TCUMcKenna Saul(Fr.)Burleson, TXBurleson HSSting SCFwd
TCUMessiah Bright(So.)Dallas, TXCedar Hill HSSolar SCFwd
TCUMichelle Slater(Fr.)Plano, TXPlano WestSolar SCMid
TCUGracie Brian(Fr.)Frisco, TXWakelandSting SCMid
TCUHaley Birmingham(Jr.)Prosper, TXProsper HSSting SCGK
TCUNatalee Heiser(Jr.)Arlington, TXJames Martin HSFC DallasFwd
TCUBelerica Oquendo(Fr.)Euless, TXEuless TrinityD’FeetersDef

Saint Louis at Notre Dame, 12PM (Sunday) | ACC Network Extra

Elli Brunts looks to feature in the final game of the first round this weekend as her Saint Louis Billikens go to Notre Damn. The former Dallas Texan and FC Dallas Special Olympics Unified Partner has featured in six games this season. The Atlantic 10 Conference regular season and tournament champions are making just their fourth Tournament appearance.

The teams met for the first time ever in the season opener as Notre Dame took a 1-0 home win. The teams will want to keep an eye on the Samford v South Carolina game on Saturday, as the winners of the two games will meet in round two.

SchoolPlayerYearHometownSchoolClubPos
Saint LouisElli Brunts(Jr.)Plano, TXUrsuline Academy of DallasDallas TexansDef

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