Aug. 16, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For just the first time in the seven years since Florida State joined the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Seminole soccer team was not picked to finish eighth in the preseason coach’s poll. The Seminoles jumped ahead of Duke, NC State and Maryland into fifth place and was just one point behind Wake Forest for fourth place in the coach’s poll.
“I’m excited that the coaches in our conference think a team that has never finished higher than seventh can finish right in the middle of the pack of the nation’s top soccer conference,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “When the national champion comes from your conference almost every season, you are usually playing for second right off the bat. To finish between two and five is a big accomplishment. We are making a conscious effort to move up in our conference standings this year. We are excited the coaches think that highly of us and hopefully when all the conference games are done we will have justified their faith in us.”
FSU’s rise in the ACC preseason coach’s poll makes a huge statement about the state of the Seminole soccer program. The ACC is the top soccer conference in the nation and leads all conferences with six teams ranked in the NSCAA and SoccerBuzz preseason polls.
“When you consider that we finished seventh out of eight teams in the ACC last year but still made it to the Sweet 16 and finished 14th in the country, that’s pretty amazing,” said Baker. “Not too many seventh place teams can make that claim and it shows you how strong our conference is. The ACC placed four teams in the Sweet 16 in 2000 and unfortunately we all had to play one another so we didn’t get a chance to see how many teams we could have advanced into the next round. ”
The Tar Heels finished behind Clemson for the 2000 regular season title but went on to win the conference championship and NCAA title. The complete poll is listed below.
2001 Preseason ACC Women's Soccer Poll
1. North Carolina 63 2. Virginia 51 3. Clemson 49 4. Wake Forest 35 5. Florida State 34 6. Duke 26 7. NC State 18 8. Maryland 12