Sept. 7, 2005
Game Notes |
GAME TRACKER: No. 11 FSU vs. UCF
Tallahassee, FL – Last season UCF came into Tallahassee and stunned the Seminoles. Florida State looked to be cruising to its fifth straight victory over the Golden Knights leading 2-0 at half. The Knights then tied the game with 30 minutes remaining and won the match with 45 seconds left in regulation. It was the last time the Seminoles lost a home game and seemed to be a springboard to UCF’s NCAA Tournament run where they upset Florida in Gainesville in the opening round. Tonight the teams meet again but this time in Orlando with a scheduled 5:30 p.m. start.
“This is definitely a big game for us,” said Teresa Rivera. “We have a lot to prove after what happened the last time we played UCF. Everyone is excited to test ourselves against such a tough team. We know how tough tonight will be.”
“I had a chance to see the tape of last year’s game and I was very impressed especially with their second half,” said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “I was impressed with the chances they created and the way they finished them off. We are expecting to go down to Orlando and have our hands full this evening.”
The Golden Knights are the first NCAA Tournament team FSU will face this season and they begin a run of four straight games against 2004 tourney squads for FSU. The Seminoles play 11 of their 18 games this year versus teams that played in the 2004 tournament with more than a quarter of those games coming in the next 10 days.
“Playing a NCAA Tournament team from last year once again gives us the opportunity to see where we stand,” said Rivera. “It is also a big regional game for us. We need to have as much success regionally as possible because that is a big factor once we get to tournament time.”
“I am sure (UCF Head Coach) Amanda (Cromwell) is going to have her team very organized and disciplined,” said Krikorian. “Knowing Amanda they will be a hard working team because she had all of those qualities as a player.”
Not only is the first of four straight games against NCAA Tournament teams, the first three of which will all be played on the road. The Seminoles got off to an impressive road start in 2005. They downed then-No. 18 USC 4-0 and came back from a late 1-0 deficit at LMU to win 2-1 in double overtime. It was the first time in school history FSU opened a season with back-to-back road wins and the first time since 1996 the squad won its first two roadies of the season.
“We feel comfortable playing on the road after the California trip,” said Krikorian. “We showed that we can go on the road and win tough games in tough situations. USC was the first game of the year and they had the nation’s top recruiting class. I thought our players preformed very well in that game. Then to fight back and find a way to get a result versus LMU when the chips were down showed a lot of character on our team’s part. Right now we are in a good place and this team continues to work hard everyday.”
“I think going to California and playing well is definitely going to give us confidence going back on the road this week,” said Melissa Samokishyn. “It is going to be a very tough stretch of road games for us but we are looking forward to it.”
After being unranked to start the season, the Seminoles are now a consensus top 20 squad. Florida State’s highest ranking is No. 11 entering tonight’s contest and the Seminoles are no lower than 16 in any of the four national polls. After upsetting USC to start the year, the target is now on the Seminoles’ back as UCF looks to upset FSU for the second straight season.
“I think we all liked being unranked because it kind of gave us an underdog mentality,” said Samokishyn. “People obviously weren’t expecting this team to be as good as we have been so far. We try not to pay too much attention to that and stay focused on the game in front of us, which is UCF tonight.”
“Rankings don’t matter to us,” said Krikorian. “It is nice for the various organizations and coaches to feel we deserve to be ranked but as I have said before the only ranking that matters is the one at the end of the season. We let the polls sort themselves out and just prepare each day to go out and compete. That won’t affect the kids at all.”
Game Tracker will be available for tonight’s contest exclusively at Seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State University. Florida State will continue its road swing this weekend as they head to the home of another NCAA Tournament squad in Ole Miss. That game is slated for a 1:00 p.m. EST start and Game Tracker will also be available for that contest.