Oct. 29, 2005
Clemson, SC – The fifth-ranked FSU soccer team will close out its most successful regular season at No. 23 Clemson Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. While the game most-likely won’t have any bearing on either team’s seeding in next week’s ACC Tournament, there will be plenty on the line when the teams take the field. For FSU (15-2-0, 7-2-0), the Seminoles will look to become just the second team ever to win seven straight ACC games and also set a new record for consecutive wins overall with their eighth in a row. For the Tigers (9-6-2, 4-4-1), they will look to continue to build momentum by upsetting their third top 15 team in their last four matches.
“The motivation for tomorrow is to play every game as hard as you can and test yourself against another great team,” said FSU All-America candidate India Trotter. “Whether we are going for our second ACC win or our seventh, our goal every year is to win as many games in the conference as we can. That will help us in the long run and that goal hasn’t changed.”
“This is important for us because it is the last time we will play before we start the postseason,” said Hermann Trophy candidate Kelly Rowland. “You don’t want to go into the ACC Tournament on a loss. You want some confidence and heading in with a win over a team as good as Clemson will give you that confidence.”
The Seminoles enter Saturday night’s game with the best regular season in school history already locked up. The team has more wins than any other FSU squad in the regular season, the fewest losses and will have a winning percentage above .800 for the first time in program history as well no matter what the outcome of the game is Saturday. The squad will also be looking to record their fifth win of the regular season versus a team ranked in the top 25 by the NSCAA, which would also be a new record.
“I think this year we have been very focused,” said Trotter. “We have a very talented group. This is probably the most talent we have had since I have been here and when you combine that with the focus we have maintained good things happen. I think that is why we have been so successful.”
Florida State will be looking to extend two very impressive streaks. The team has tied a record they set at the start of this season with their seventh straight win. A win versus the Tigers would give the Seminoles eight in a row. It would also be the team’s seventh straight ACC win, which would put Florida State in elite company. They would join North Carolina as the only two teams in conference history to win seven straight ACC matches.
“We don’t think about records and streaks,” said Trotter. “It would be an amazing accomplishment for this team since only one school has ever done that before. It would be great to set those types of records but we are more concerned about playing well versus Clemson and carrying that into the ACC Tournament.”
Clemson, who was sitting at 6-4-2 and 1-4-1 in the ACC less than three weeks ago, has won three straight conference games to clinch a spot in the ACC Tournament next week. Two of those three wins came against top 15 teams in Duke and Wake Forest. The Tigers enter the game on their longest winning streak of the season and have scored seven goals in their last three ACC games.
“This should be a really good game,” said Rowland. “They are a very hot team with a lot of big wins lately. It is both teams final regular season game so it is important. Hopefully we can get a result but we know it will be difficult.”
Florida State has had some recent success versus the Tigers winning the last four conference meetings, with all four victories coming in one goal games. After jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the conference series, FSU has evened things up with the four game win streak. The last time Florida State lost a regular season game in Clemson was 1999.
“Clemson is a tough place to play despite our recent success,” said Rowland. “They get tremendous fan support. It is a road game in the ACC and those are always tough as well. Saturday night won’t be any different.”
Florida State will return to Tallahassee briefly before heading to Cary, NC for the 2005 ACC Soccer Championships. The Seminoles are tied for second in the conference and can finish no lower than third. Barring an NC State win over No. 8 Virginia, the Seminoles will be the third seed and open the tournament against Clemson Wednesday, November 2 at the SAS Soccer Complex.