Aug. 31, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – Sel Kuralay and the Seminole soccer team opened some eyes last week. After a 4-0 upset of then-No. 18 USC and a double overtime win against Loyola Marymount, the team and Kuralay spent the early part of the week being rewarded for their efforts. Kuralay was named to Soccer America’s National Team of the Week and the Australian also earned player of the week accolades from SoccerFLA.com. The team jumped from unranked to the top 20 in all three polls released this week.
Kuralay didn’t waste anytime in making a name for herself on American soil. The Australian National Team player had a huge opening weekend for the Seminoles. Her three goals in the first two games were the most scored by an FSU player on opening weekend in seven years. The only FSU player ever to score more than three goals in the first two games of the season was Maren Vik Edvardsen and she scored five in the first two games of 1998. Kasey McCall was the only other Seminole to score as many goals in the first two games of the year when she scored three to open the 1996 campaign. Kuralay was the only player in the ACC to score three times in the opening week and sits atop the conference leader board for goals scored. Her first goal put FSU up 3-0 on 18th-ranked USC and her second two tied and won the game versus LMU.
Kuralay wrote her name in the Seminole record books in quite a hurry this past weekend. It took the Australian just two games to add her name to an illustrious FSU list. The sophomore is just the ninth player in school history to record a golden goal. Kuralay not only scored the double overtime game winner versus Loyola Marymount but she also tied the game with just 1:18 left in regulation. Her game-tying goal at 88:42 was the latest game-tying goal in school history. Leah Gallegos had the previous record when she tied the game versus Clemson in 2002 at 87:21. The latest regulation goal of any relevance ever scored at FSU was Jill Ford’s game-winner versus USF in 1997. She won the game for FSU by scoring the lone goal of the match at 89:32.
The Seminoles, unranked in the preseason for the first time since 2001, were the biggest climbers in two of the three polls this week. FSU went from not even receiving votes to 17th in the Soccer Times poll, 19th in the Soccer America poll and 20th in the Soccer Buzz poll. No team made a bigger leap in the Soccer Times and Soccer America polls than FSU did after their 2-0 opening to the 2005 season.