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Banquet kicks off 2013 NJCAA DI Women's Soccer Tournament
 November 18, 2013

The 2013 NJCAA Division I Women's National Championship Soccer Tournament got off to a festive start on Sunday night with the welcoming banquet at Eastern Florida State College's King Center for the Performing Arts.

All 12 of the tournament teams were represented along with family, friends and members of the college and local community.

In welcoming the attendees, Eastern Florida President Dr. Jim Richey said while the tournament features "some of the best intercollegiate athletes in the country" it's about much more than who wins and takes home the trophy.

"It's a tribute to the outstanding character of the student-athletes who are participating and the high standards in academics and sportsmanship to which they adhere," he said.

He also lauded the coaches and the families of the athletes "who have given so much to the sport" and called collegiate athletics "a winning formula" for the players, their colleges and their communities.

The tournament is taking place on a new state-of-the-art soccer field and complex on Eastern Florida's Melbourne campus that includes seating for 1,000 spectators, a press box, a practice field, adjacent locker rooms and concession area.

The banquet keynote speaker was Danielle Fotopolous (right), the head women's soccer coach at NCAA Division II Eckerd College and the NCAA Division I all-time leading goal scorer, former U.S. National Team member and former All-American at the University of Florida.

Fotopolous told the attendees success could be attained through goal setting.

"I'm very goal oriented," Fotopolous said. "That is something I'm really thankful that I have the privilege to share with each and every one of you.

"Sitting where you are sitting is truly awesome. All of you have come and achieved much. You set goals when you were probably five or six; not knowing where you wanted to go or want you want to achieve in your life. You're doing it now. It's pretty awesome.

"It's just the beginning."

Fotopolous also challenged the players to believe, achieve and succeed as a mean of reaching their goals.

And if goals are not met? "There's only one team in here that's going to win the national championship," she said. "All the other people in here you're going to re-evaluate . . . you're going to re-set your goals . . . and then you're going to re-start."

All tournament games will be streamed live via NJCAA TV at www.NJCAATV.com. The championship game will be televised live across Central Florida starting at 6:30 p.m. EST on WEFS-TV. WEFS can be viewed over the air on channel 68.1 and on Bright House cable via channels 9, 455 and 1068.

Competition begins with four pool play games at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday. Those games will be followed by four pool games at the same times on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two semifinal games are scheduled for 5 and 8 p.m. Friday with the championship game set for 7 p.m. Saturday.

Iowa Western Community College, 17-2, is the top seed followed by defending national champion Paradise Valley Community College (AZ), 20-1-1; Navarro College (TX), 16-3-1; Darton State College (GA), 20-1; Butler Community College (KS), 21-2; College of Southern Maryland, 17-1; Laramie County Community College (WY), 17-2-1; Monroe College (NY), 13-1; Owens Community College (OH), 17-2; host and 2012 runner-up Eastern Florida State College, 11-2-1; St. Louis Community College, 15-5-1; and the College of Lake County (IL), 16-3.

Iowa Western, a 2012 semifinalist, Navarro, which did not qualify in 2012, and Paradise all were ranked No. 1 nationally at different points in the 2013 season with Paradise Valley opening the season atop the table thanks to its 2012 national title.

The match schedule is:

-         Monday, Nov. 18: Lake County vs. Iowa Western, 10 a.m.; St. Louis vs. Paradise Valley, 1 p.m.; Owens vs. Darton State, 4 p.m.; Eastern Florida vs. Navarro College, 7 p.m.

-         Tuesday, Nov. 19: Lake County vs. Monroe College 10 a.m; St Louis vs. Laramie County, 1 p.m.; Owens vs. Butler, 4 p.m.; Eastern Florida vs. College of Southern Maryland. 7 p.m.

-         Wednesday Nov. 20: Monroe College vs. Iowa Western, 10 a.m.; Laramie County vs. Paradise Valley, 1 p.m.; Butler vs. Darton State, 4 p.m.; College of Southern Maryland vs. Navarro College, 7 p.m.

-         Thursday, Nov. 21 is an off day.

-         Friday Nov. 22: Semifinals: 5 and 8 p.m.

-         Saturday, Nov: 23: National Championship Game: 7 p.m.

Tournament admission prices for the games at the Melbourne Campus' new soccer facility at 3865 N. Wickham Road are: Tournament adult pass $35; tournament student pass: $15; children 5 and under, free;

All students must present school ID, college or school; session admission, adult, $10; session admission, student, $7; children 5 and under, free.

Concessions and restroom facilities are located adjacent to the north end of the soccer field.



























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