Sept. 1, 2004
Tallahassee, FL – After opening the 2004 season with back-to-back wins over Pac-10 powers Arizona State and USC, the Seminole soccer team (2-0-0) found itself in unfamiliar territory Tuesday. The Tribe moved up to No. 3 in all three polls released yesterday, the NSCAA will not release a new poll until next week. The No. 3 ranking is the highest for FSU in program history and sets a record for highest ranking by Soccer Buzz, Soccer Times and Soccer America.
“This is awesome for our program,” said senior captain Katie Beal. “It is early in the season but at this point in time I think the ranking is deserved. We started out fifth and have now moved to No. 3, which is great but what we will focus on is being in that top three when the season is over.
“I think with coach Baker, the players he brings in, his knowledge of the game and how he treats his players, I knew we would eventually get here. Last year we got to the final four and I always believed we would have a top five program at Florida State. To get there my senior year is really special.”
Florida State had never recorded a single digit ranking before finishing the 2003 season in the College Cup. The squad has now been ranked sixth or above for the last three polls dating back to 2003. Very few players on the 2004 squad committed to FSU when the Tribe had a top five ranking, including most of the freshmen but they are enjoying the new found ranking success.
“I think it is a great accomplishment for this program and I am just glad I can be a part of it,” said rookie Holly Peltzer. “This is a credit to all the upperclassmen here now and the seniors the year before them. They are the ones who have helped FSU get to where it is today. When I went through the recruiting process I hoped one day I could be playing for a top five program. Florida State stood out as that type of program.”
The new polls had a strong ACC flair as four conference schools were ranked among the top six in Soccer America’s poll, the top seven in Soccer Times’ poll and among the top eight in the Soccer Buzz poll. North Carolina is a consensus No. 1 and FSU is a consensus No. 3. Virginia is ranked sixth in two polls and fifth in another. The newcomer to the top eight is Clemson who upset Texas and Texas A&M on the road opening weekend. The Tigers are ranked fifth, seventh and eighth.
“It means a lot to have so many ACC teams in the top 10,” said Baker. “With Carolina No. 1, us being No. 3 and Clemson and Virginia in the top eight, it is an amazing statement about our conference. We are just happy to be a part of this group.”