Oct. 20, 2001
WInston-Salem, NC –
When the 17th-ranked Seminole soccer team takes the field Saturday night against the Demon Deacons (6-5-1, 2-2-0), they will once again be chasing history. Florida State (10-4-0, 3-1-0) has never had a winning record in conference play and need just one victory in its last three ACC matches to lock-up its first-ever winning season since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference. While getting to four wins is a major accomplishment, the 2001 Seminoles have the opportunity to accomplish even more. With two wins in its last three ACC matches, FSU could finish the season as the No. 2 team in the nation’s premier soccer conference.
“Tonight might be one of the biggest conference games of the year if you look at where both of these teams are in the standings,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We have the possibility of moving to 4-1 and assuring ourselves of the program’s first winning season ever in the ACC. Wake Forest is 2-2 in the conference and a loss would drop them to .500 overall and 2-3 in the conference.”
It won’t be easy for Florida State to secure that fourth conference win against the Demon Deacons. The Seminoles have only won two ACC road games in the seven-year history of the program and have never won a conference game in the state of North Carolina. On top of that, the Demon Deacons have posted a 3-1-0 record at Spry Stadium since dropping their first two home games of the season to No. 3 Santa Clara and No. 5 Portland.
“Wake Forest is one of the most talented teams we will face all season,” said Baker. “They are very good in possession and individually they solve pressure very well. They have a very good understanding of how to possess the ball and combine. They seem to be struggling a little scoring goals but it is senior night for them and there will be a lot of emotion we must withstand. I expect another great 90 minutes of soccer but hopefully like Clemson, Duke and NC State we will find a way to come out on top.”
Florida State and Wake Forest have played five common opponents in 2001 (Santa Clara, Portland, NC State, North Carolina and Clemson) with the Seminoles having a 2-3 record against that group and WFU winning just once. Wake Forest has a combined score of 2-5 against that group while FSU has been outscored 7-14 in those five matches.
“They have played a number of the best teams in the country extremely close and many of those teams have been teams we’ve faced also,” said Baker. “The difference in goals is much more favorable on Wake’s side. It will be a daunting task for us tonight. We not only will be fighting a good Wake Forest team but we will also be fighting history.”
The Seminoles return home Thursday, October 25 at 7:00 p.m. to face the University of Miami in the team’s second-to-last home game of the 2001 regular season. The Hurricanes have been ranked in the top 25 for most of the season and FSU will have the opportunity to extend some amazing records at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Florida State has won 14 of its last 15 games against in-state opponents, have not lost a home game to a non-conference opponent in 16 consecutive matches and have the opportunity to move to 7-0-0 at home and possibly become the first FSU squad to go undefeated at home for an entire season. Admission to all regular season games at the Seminole Soccer Complex is free. For more information please visit www.seminoles.com.