Oct. 4, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 2000 Florida State soccer team had a dream season last year establishing 24 program firsts and advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament but the 2001 edition is already doing things their predecessors never accomplished. The 14th-ranked Seminoles (7-3-0, 2-0-0) will look to continue the best-ever start in the history of the program when they travel to Orlando to face UCF (5-3-0, 3-1-0) in the team’s third game against an in-state rival in the last eight days.
“Here we go,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “It’s another tough in-state team on the road. This will be our third game in six days and once again we’ll jump on the bus and head down to Orlando. It is not going to be easy and with Duke looming, we don’t want to get caught looking ahead. That has been one of the points we’ve focused on when talking to the players. We have to keep the right mental approach. We have to try to take care of UCF and be sensitive to what they do.”
The game against the Golden Knights marks the start of the second half of FSU’s 2001 campaign in which the Seminoles have continued to add more program firsts under the guidance of Baker. Not only is FSU off to the program’s best-ever start but the Seminoles have already established the best-ever home start at 5-0, the best-ever start to an ACC season at 2-0 and are looking to continue their success over the last season and a half against schools from the state of Florida. Florida State is 12-I in its last 13 games against in-state competition.
“UCF signals the start of the second half of the regular season,” said Baker. “We feel that we have to do as well, if not better, than we did during the first half of the season. We went 6-3 over the first nine, we got a win in that middle game against USF and now we have another nine game stretch. We would love to improve on that 6-3 mark. We want to finish strong and this is the first step in doing that. It will help us tremendously Sunday if we can get a good performance and somehow find a way to win Friday night.”
The series between the Golden Knights and Seminoles is tied at 1-1 with FSU taking last season’s meeting 3-1. The game played at the Seminole Soccer Complex saw FSU score back-to-back goals within 3:12 of each other to start the second half to go up 3-0. The Golden Knights scored with 2:22 left in the match to make the final score 3-1. Sophomore Kristin Boyce recorded an assist on FSU’s first goal and Summer Corum and Maren Vik Edvardsen added second half goals to lift the garnet and gold. The Golden Knight’s lone goal came from UCF’s second leading point scorer in 2001 Michelle Anderson who has eight points on two goals and four assists. The first-ever meeting between the schools took place in 1998 when UCF downed Florida State 1-0 at the UCF Arena Soccer Field. Last season, UCF entered its game with FSU with a 2-7-0 record but have turned things around and enter this year’s match at 5-3-0.
“We have traditionally had slow starts against them dating back to even before I was here,” said Baker. “Last year, we created good chances but weren’t as clean in our finishing in the first half as I would have liked. Finally, we got things going in the second half. If we can play like we did against Florida and South Florida in the sense of our level of play and the amount of chances we created, we should stand a good chance. Stepping back out and putting together good back-to-back performances will be crucial.”
The Seminoles have had their troubles on the road in the past. After starting the 2000 season at 1-3 on the road, FSU has gone 6-6-2 in their last 14 away from the Seminole Soccer Complex and included in those fourteen games have been two matches against Clemson and Florida and single games against Wake Forest, North Carolina, NC State, Portland and Santa Clara. The biggest reason for FSU’s turnaround in 2000 and 2001 has been their improved play away from home, which should be critical since Florida State plays six of its final nine regular season games on the road.
“I think this is an important game for us because we need to continue to find ways to win on the road,” said junior Cindy Schofield. “We need to continue to play well against the teams in our region and this is the type of game we should have a chance to play well in. We need to do well against UCF to get our confidence up since we have so many road games in the second half of the season.”
The Seminoles return home Sunday, October 7 for their third ACC match of the season when Duke (4-4-0) travels to Tallahassee for a key ACC battle that will be televised regionally by the Sunshine Network. Florida State is 3-2 in its last five conference games at home and a win over the Blue Devils would continue FSU’s unprecedented start to an ACC campaign. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start and there is no admission charge for all regular season matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex.