Aug. 31, 2000
After playing three home matches in six days, the 18th-ranked Florida State soccer team (3-0) is on the road for the first time this season. The Seminoles, taking part in the Ellis Copy Tiger Invitational, will face the Missouri Tigers (1-1) at 5:00 p.m. Friday and then turn around and take on Ohio State (1-1) Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
“This is going to be a tough weekend,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Going on the road to take on two very good teams will be a difficult task but we are excited by the challenge. We are happy to be representing the ACC this weekend and we are happy we are going in there undefeated.”
Missouri is currently ranked 10th in the Central region according to Soccer Buzz and is 1-1 this season. The Tigers opened up the 2000 campaign with a 4-1 win over the Creighton Blue Jays and then fell to Purdue University 2-1 in their second match. Missouri finished the 1999 season with a record of 14-8-1 and qualified for the NCAA tournament.
“Florida State is a young, well-coached team,” said Missouri head coach Bryan Blitz. “They just proved themselves against a ranked team over the weekend when they defeated Florida. We will definitely need to take our game up a step to be competitive, but I’m confident that we can prepare ourselves for the tough competition in practice.”
The Seminoles are looking to get off to their first 4-0 start in the history of the team. Florida State set the record for the best start in team history when they defeated Jacksonville University 3-0 Wednesday to raise their record to 3-0. FSU is now chasing the longest winning streak in team history, which currently stands at four and was set in 1996 and tied twice during the 1999 season.
“One of the encouraging things for our team is that we aren’t hitting on all cylinders yet,” said Baker. “With our current schedule, we have been very sporadic in our training. We played a game and then had a day off. Then we played another game and had another day off. We haven’t found a rhythm in our training yet and we haven’t had the opportunity to correct the things we’ve seen on tape.”
Florida State heads to Missouri after a strong performance from two freshmen against Jacksonville Wednesday. Emma Breland and Amber Tollefson, two members of the nation’s 13th-best recruiting class, accounted for all three of the Seminoles goals in their shutout victory.
“Our freshmen have made a big impact even though it might not be apparent if you only look at the statistics,” said Baker. “It was great to see a couple of our freshmen make a statistical impact against Jacksonville. It is very important, as the season rolls on, that different players continue to play well, create chances, score chances and get goals and assists. We like the fact that Emma was able to get on the board as a front-runner. We like that Amber was able to get behind the defense and score a fantastic goal.”
The Seminoles will return to action Friday, September 8 at the Seminole Soccer Complex when they face the 12th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies and then open their ACC schedule against the No. 7 Clemson Tigers Sunday, September 10.