Aug. 14, 2001
TALLAHSSEE, Fla. –
After establishing 24 program firsts during the 2000 campaign, the Florida State soccer team has already established three more firsts before the 2001 season even begins. After garnering its first-ever top 10 recruiting class last week, FSU received its first preseason ranking Tuesday when SoccerBuzz placed the Seminoles 13th in its first poll of the 2001 season. FSU also achieved its highest regional ranking ever when SoccerBuzz put the Seminoles at No. 2 in the Southeast Region rankings just behind defending national champion North Carolina.
“We are obviously excited with our first-ever preseason ranking,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “This is a reflection of where we ended last season and it is great to see that people think we might be that good again. It is important for us to remember that this is just a preseason poll and we haven’t played a game yet. Our goal is to be this highly ranked when November rolls around.”
Florida State is coming off the most successful season in the history of the school after making an appearance in last year’s Sweet 16 and establishing 34 team and individual records. The Seminoles finished the 2000 campaign ranked 12th in the final SoccerBuzz poll and added the nation’s 8th-ranked recruiting class to a team that is returning seven starters. In 2000, Florida State posted a 14-8-2 record and recorded wins over five ranked opponents including North Carolina, Florida (twice), Wake Forest and Texas A&M on its way to the Sweet 16.
North Carolina, who has won 17 of the last 19 national championships, opens the 2001 season atop the SoccerBuzz poll and is just one of eight nationally ranked opponents the Seminoles will face this season. Florida State will also face No. 3 Portland, No. 4 Virginia, No. 11 Santa Clara, No. 14 Clemson, No. 16 Florida, No. 17 Wake Forest and No. 20 Duke.
The Seminoles open the 2001 season August 31 at 7:00 p.m. when they face George Mason, ranked sixth in the Mid-Atlantic Region preseason poll, at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The match is just the second-ever home opener that FSU has played in the evening with the first coming last season when an unranked Seminole squad downed No. 6 Florida to start FSU’s run to its first NCAA Tournament berth.
For a complete list of the 2001 SoccerBuzz preseason rankings, please visit: Soccer Buzz Preseason Poll