Sept. 16, 2001
Clemson, SC –
After more than a week off due to terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C., college athletics resume on Monday. Florida State soccer opens its ACC schedule in Clemson, SC where they face the seventh-ranked Tigers. Clemson, the 2000 regular season ACC champion, is off to a 3-0 start in 2001 and faces a FSU squad (2-2-0) playing its third Top 10 team in a row.
“Clemson is a very good and very dangerous,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “This is a team that we have to try to be successful against if we want to move up in the conference, which is something we have talked about ever since we took over the program.”
Clemson returns its top two goal scorers from their record-breaking 2000 campaign in which they recorded a program-high nineteen victories. All-American’s Deliah Arrington and Lindsay Browne combined for 71 points including 25 goals last season. Junior Heather Beem leads Clemson in 2001 with seven points and freshman NSCAA All-American Paige Ledford leads the squad with three goals.
“They have a collection of three to five of the best frontrunners we are going to see all season,” said Baker. “Under new head coach Todd Bramble, we heard they were trying to be a little more of a possession team but when you have the type of players they have up front you don’t want to play around with the ball too much. Beem, Browne, Arrington and Ledford are about as good as you get.”
Florida State and Clemson played twice last season with the Tigers winning both matches. Clemson dropped FSU 3-2 at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Florida State’s ACC opener on a goal with less than 2:00 remaining on the clock. The win denied FSU its third victory over a Top 10 team in the season’s first seven games. The two teams then met again in the round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament with the Tigers moving on with a 2-0 win.
“We don’t have great memories of going up there and getting beaten in the Sweet 16 but watching the tape I felt we were close to doing some very positive things,” said Baker. “They were definitely the better team on that night. They made us pay for our mistakes.”
Last time out, the Seminoles played two of the nation’s best teams at the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational. Although FSU lost both matches, the first time the Seminoles lost back-to-back games in more than a year, they played even or within a goal for 150 of the 180 minutes.
“This is another great opportunity, for the third straight time, to play somebody in the Top 10,” said Baker. “Once again we get a chance to see where we are at and hopefully we can play a little bit better than we did against Portland and Santa Clara. We have worked methodically all week. We worked on a lot from the Santa Clara game knowing they play in the same type of system that Clemson does. The team’s personalities and strengths are different but it doesn’t change the fact that we need to collectively and individually play better soccer, which I know we are capable of.”
The Seminoles were scheduled to take on No. 15 Miami Wednesday night and then travel
to Clemson for a Sunday afternoon match. After the terrorist attacks on the United States Tuesday, the ACC suspended all athletic competition until Monday and the Seminoles will be one of the nation’s first athletic teams to resume play after this week’s tragic events.
“We shouldn’t have played games this weekend,” said junior Katie Talley. “I think people need time to mourn and let themselves begin to get over what happened. There were athletes who were personally affected by this tragedy. I don’t even know if Monday is too soon to start but I think by then we have to get back to leading our normal lives as much as possible.”
Florida State returns home to host Kansas Friday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. and then continues ACC play against NC State in a regionally televised game Sunday, September 23. Both games take place at the Seminole Soccer Complex where admission is always free for regular season matches.