July 23, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the third straight year since taking over the program, FSU head soccer coach Patrick Baker has landed a nationally ranked recruiting class according to SoccerBuzz magazine. The Seminoles’ incoming freshman class was tabbed the 25th-best in the nation and the sixth-best in the Southeast Region by the online publication.
“We are very excited to have this class recognized nationally,” said Baker. “We think this is a very strong class individually and we think collectively it will continue the tradition that the previous three classes have established here at Florida State.”
Florida State’s incoming class features the school’s fourth-ever high school Gatorade Player of the Year, the first two Californian’s to ever play for the Seminole soccer program and six players from the state of Florida. It is the first time in program history that the school has brought in three consecutive Top 25 classes. Baker’s 2000 class was named the 13th-best in the nation and last year’s freshman garnered the program’s highest-ever ranking when they were tabbed as the eighth-best in the country. Before Baker’s arrival in 1999, FSU had never had a recruiting class that was ranked nationally.
“I think this class brings a combination of individuals who can make an impact right away as well as players who are going to add depth this year and make an impact their sophomore season,” said Baker. “We have immediate impact players and we have players who are going to fill some roles their freshman year and could immediately crack the starting line-up as sophomores.”
“The best team’s and the best players are in the ACC. This conference is a huge attraction for female student-athletes who want to test their skills against the best players in the country and we feel we have that. From top to bottom, there isn’t a better conference and it is exciting to be a part of it.”
Head coach Patrick Baker
North Carolina took the 2002 recruiting title as the ACC led all conferences with six of its eight members appearing amongst the Top 25. The Pac-10 and BIG EAST conferences each placed four teams on the Top 25 list while the SEC placed just Auburn and Kentucky amongst the Top 25. In the five years in which SoccerBuzz has ranked recruiting classes, this is the ACC’s third No. 1 ranking and UNC’s second national recruiting title. Four other ACC schools appeared in the Top 25 as Virginia’s class was ranked third, Duke’s seventh, Clemson’s 13th and Maryland’s 14th.
“The best team’s and the best players are in the ACC,” said Baker. “This conference is a huge attraction for female student-athletes who want to test their skills against the best players in the country and we feel we have that. From top to bottom, there isn’t a better conference and it is exciting to be a part of it.”
The Seminoles welcome their freshman and returnees to campus August 13 as the squad begins to prepare for an August 24 scrimmage with the University of Georgia in Athens. The Seminoles open the 2002 campaign August 30 at home against Oregon State in the 2002 Florida State/Nike Invitational. The match-up with the Beavers is one of 12 home matches for FSU this season. Florida State posted a perfect 8-0-0 record at the Seminole Soccer Complex in 2001 and are 17-2-0 at home over the last two seasons. It has been almost three years since FSU lost a home game to a non-conference opponent.
There is no admission charge for regular season matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex. For a complete listing of game times and dates, past releases about the 2002 recruiting class or anything you could ever want to know about the Seminole soccer program, please visit the official athletic site for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.