Sept. 13, 2002
CORAL GABLES, Fla. –
The 2002 Florida State soccer team got a big win to open its road campaign Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over Miami (3-2-0). The Seminoles (2-1-2) will look to carry that momentum into today’s game versus Virginia Tech (0-3-1) as the squad opens play in the 2002 Miami Invitational.
“We have to improve on Wednesday’s performance versus Miami and that is something we stressed all day during our off day,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We did a light workout Thursday with the emphasis of trying to get our legs back. We also watched video. Since LSU, we are trying to make each performance a little better. That is hard when you don’t get to train but our girls probably prefer to step out against another opponent. They’ll get that chance tonight versus Virginia Tech.”
This will be the first-ever meeting between the Seminoles and Hokies in women’s soccer. Since he took over the head coaching position at FSU, Baker has won the first meeting between his Seminoles and a first-time opponent on seven occassions. When you combine that number with the first wins in a series that have come since Baker’s arrival, the head coach has recorded 15 of the program’s first wins over a school.
“I think that is more by chance than anything else,” said Baker. “We prepare for all teams the same way. I can’t really explain it and we’ve been very fortunate. We probably have more information on the ACC schools and our in-state rivals like Miami and Florida than we do on teams like LSU and Virginia Tech.”
For the second straight year, FSU opened its season with a road victory Wednesday night. Last year, Florida State opened its road portion of the schedule with a victory versus Clemson in South Carolina. Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Miami marked the 53rd-consecutive game in which the Seminoles have had a record of .500 or better. The streak was in jeopardy coming into the UM match with the Tribe sitting at 1-1-2 on the year and the Hurricanes ranked ahead of FSU in the regional rankings.
“One of the big positives from the win over Miami was the fact we were able to win our road opener,” said Baker. “That is something this program has struggled to do in the past. Regardless of the opponent, to step out versus a regionally ranked team that is ahead of us in the polls and get away with a win was important. It doesn’t always have to be pretty. Its about getting results and good wins on the road mean a little more than good wins at home in the NCAA Tournament committee’s eyes.”
After facing Vireginia Tech this afternoon, the Seminoles will close out this stretch of five games in ten days versus Charlotte (3-0-0) Sunday, September 15 at 12:00 p.m. The 49ers will open tournament play against the Hurricanes after the FSU-Virginia Tech match Friday.
The Seminoles return home to face No. 18 Clemson September 20 at 7:00 p.m. as they open their conference schedule versus the Tigers for the third straight season. The Seminoles and Tigers have each won an ACC match on their opponent’s field the last two seasons with Clemson winning 3-2 in Tallahassee in 2000 and the Seminoles returning the favor by an identical score last season in Clemson. For more information on FSU soccer, please visit www.seminoles.com.