The 7th-ranked Seminoles face the biggest challenge of the Patrick Baker era this weekend when they travel to Winston-Salem, NC to face the highest ranked opponents they have ever faced in back-to-back games. Florida State recorded it’s first-ever win over a top 5 team last season when they defeated the second-ranked Tar Heels at home but the challenge is a little different this year as they go on the road to face two nationally-ranked powers in the span of three days. The University of Portland played in the Women’s College Cup last season (the equivalent of the Final Four) and Santa Clara was a member of the 2000 season’s Elite Eight.
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
Portland wasted little time facing some of the country’s top teams as they opened up with No. 2 UCLA last week and then face No. 7 Florida State and No. 15 Wake Forest this weekend in the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational…UCLA downed the Pilots 1-0 on a goal in the 31st minute in the 2001 season opener, the win marked the third consecutive win for the Bruins in their series with Portland…UCLA also defeated the Pilots by that same 1-0 score in the semifinals of the 2000 Women’s College Cup…Portland won 11 straight and 14 of the past 15 season-openers before losing to UCLA to open the 2001 season…Portland bounced back by downing Cal State Fullerton, who lost 1-0 to Denver to open the season, 3-2 at the 2001 Fila Classic…the Pilots have been to the Women’s College Cup two of the past three years and made the NCAA Tournament eight of the past nine seasons.
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
The Broncos are coming off of a trip to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2000…Santa Clara opened the 2001 season with two big victories defeating Cal Poly 3-0 and San Jose State 8-0…Ali Wagner, Taline Tahamassian and Veronica Zepeda are off to hot starts for Santa Clara as each has tallied seven points in the Broncos first two matches…in two games to start the year, SCU has outscored its opponents 11-0, out shot them 41-3 and recorded 16 corners compared to two for their competition…this is the first-ever meeting between the Broncos and Seminoles…the Broncos were 4-3 and finished in fifth place in the West Coast Conference in 2000…four Santa Clara alumni were members of the first ever WUSA Championship team (Bay Area CyberRays)…Santa Clara defender Danielle Slanton is one of 13 nominees for the prestigious Hermann Award (soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy).
LIVE STATS FOR ALL HOME GAMES
Every Seminole home game throughout the 2001 season will be broadcast live over the Internet with live stats. Fans and media can watch play-by-play coverage as the Seminoles battle in the nation’s toughest soccer conference. Live stats will be available for all eight home games. Just log on to www.seminoles.com and head to the soccer page and click on the live stats button.
ONE GOAL DOWN
After achieving so many goals during their magical run to the Sweet 16 last season, the Seminole soccer program still has a few things they need to scratch off of their ‘to do’ list. Coach Baker and his staff won’t relax until they bring a national title to Tallahassee but on of their immediate goals to break into the national Top 10 for the first time in program history. Well, that’s another thing they can cross off of their list. Florida State broke through the glass ceiling of college soccer when CollegeSoccer.com’s media poll ranked the 2-0 Seminoles 7th in its most recent poll. FSU opened the season 15th in the media poll and jumped eight spots after a dominant weekend against two conference champions at the Seminole Soccer Tournament in Tallahassee.
EAST VERSUS WEST
There are a lot of opinions about whether the best soccer in the country is played on the East coast or the West coast. The argument usually boils down to the nation’s top two women’s soccer conferences, the ACC and the Pac-10 but don’t forget about the West Coast Conference. Two of the WCC’s top teams will travel east to battle two teams from the mighty ACC at this weekend’s Wake Forest/Nike Invitational. The University of Portland and Santa Clara University will Face FSU and Wake Forest as four of the nation’s top programs face off in an early season test and maybe a postseason preview. Wake Forest is coming off of a disappointing 0-0 tie with the University of Georgia while Portland comes in off of two difficult matches at the 2001 Fila Classic played at Cal State Fullerton. Santa Clara breezed through its first two matches winning by a combined score of 11-0.100
MAKING AN IMPACT
A lot is being expected of the Seminoles’ 2001 freshman class and they seem like they are ready to live up to their No. 8 ranking if the season’s first weekend is any indication. Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year Kerry York started both games in goal for FSU and is now 2-0 on the season. She recorded a shutout in the tourney’s second match in which she was hardly tested and played well against George Mason despite allowing two goals that resulted more from defensive lapses than anything else. Jez Ratliff and Camie Bybee both recorded game-winning assists and proved to be dangerous offensive players all weekend. The two are third and fourth on the team in shots on goal percentage amongst all players with at least two SOG’s. The two combined for 14 shots with eight of those shots on frame.
WHAT A DIFFERENTIAL A YEAR MAKES
One of the biggest changes in the Seminole soccer program under Patrick Baker has been the turnaround in goal differential since he took over. The program had a goal differential of -38 in the four seasons before Baker took over the program. In the last two years plus under Baker, the Seminoles have a goal differential of +14. That 52-goal swing is one of the reasons Florida State soccer has gone from a perennial doormat to a top 10 program.
TWO DOWN AND SIX TO GO
Florida State’s two opening wins at the Seminole Soccer Tournament put Patrick Baker’s FSU win total at 25 in just over two seasons. The program had accumulated only 31 wins in the four seasons since Baker took over the fledgling program. The Southeast Region Coach of the Year now needs just six wins to equal the record for the most wins ever by an FSU soccer coach.
AIN’T THAT STRANGE
It’s hard to imagine what the voters at Soccer America are thinking or what Santa Clara did to offend them. The Broncos, who went to the Elite Eight last season, finished the season unranked in the magazine’s final regular season poll (they do not publish a postseason poll). You’d think the writer’s would try to correct that oversight entering the 2001 season but once again the Broncos are nowhere to be found in the SA Top 20. SCU in ranked No. 11 by Soccer Buzz, No. 5 by Soccer Times, No. 6 by the NSCAA and No. 7 by CollegeSoccer.com.
Florida State’s 2-0 win over Loyola College of Maryland was one of the most dominating performances in the history of the program even if the scoreboard only read 2-0. Besides being the first shutout of the 2001 campaign for FSU, the Greyhounds only recorded three shots and didn’t have a single corner kick in the 90:00 match. Loyola didn’t even take its first shot until the 25:00 mark. Florida State came within four shots of tying the single game record for shots in a game, which is 41 and was set in 1999 against Mercer. The Seminoles had a season-high 12 corner kicks on three occasions in 2000 (South Florida, Ohio State and Florida Int’l) but they never had a 16-0 advantage in 2000. Loyola hardly threatened the Seminole’s defense after playing to a 1-1 tie with the University of Miami for 60:00 minutes Friday afternoon.
BAKER BEATS A&M FOR 100
When FSU downed No. 7 Texas A&M September 8, 2000 it was one of the biggest wins of the year for a couple of reasons. The Seminoles were coming off of a difficult road trip in Missouri after starting the season 3-0 including the program’s first-ever victory over then-No. 6 Florida. Florida State jumped on the Aggies by scoring two goals in the game’s first 13 minutes and never looked back on their way to a 4-1 win.
The victory was also a milestone for head coach Patrick Baker who recorded his 100th victory that afternoon. Baker has recorded almost 25% of his 110 career wins in just two seasons at Florida State and his .625 winning percentage in 2000 was the best single season winning percentage in FSU soccer history.
In the five years leading up to the 2000 soccer season, the Seminoles had never been nationally ranked and made just one appearance in the Southeast regional rankings (peaking at #7 October 28, 1996). That’s quite a contrast compared to the 2000 squad that finished the 2000 campaign ranked in the top 15 in three polls. The Seminoles spent every week but one in the national rankings and achieved their highest ranking in the final polls after reaching the Sweet 16.
FSU ran the table in the state of Florida in 2000 to declare the unofficial state championship. Between its season opening win over UF and it’s second round victory over the Gators in the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles downed six in-state rivals on their way to a perfect 8-0 record against Sunshine State opponents. Two of those victories came in the NCAA Tournament where Florida State downed Jacksonville 4-1 and Florida 2-1. FSU outscored its in-state opponents 24-8 and scored three or more goals in six of the eight games against those teams.
STATE OF GRACE
Florida State, in Baker’s two years, has never lost a game when leading at halftime and the trend continued at the Seminole Soccer Tournament this past weekend. FSU, after leading at the half versus Loyola and GMU, now has a 17-0-1 record when it heads to the locker room in front of its opponent. The Seminoles are also an amazing 21-1-1 in games where they score the first goal. Before Baker took over the program, FSU was 44-10-2 in these games. Baker has raised the Seminoles winning percentage 146 percentage points in these situations from .789 to .935.
PLAYING WITH THE LEAD
After losing all 10 games when an opponent scored first in 1999, Baker instilled a new attitude in the 2000 Seminoles. During their record breaking 2000 campaign, Florida State came back to win four games when an opponent scored first including the two biggest wins in the history of the program. After losing 14 straight games to North Carolina and Florida, FSU fell behind to both opponents during its regular season meetings with these two national powerhouses. FSU had to comeback on two occasions to notch its first ever win against UF in the 2000 season opener. Florida took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before FSU opened the nation’s eyes with what seemed to be a stunning 3-2 victory on a last minute goal by senior April Murphy.
DOWN BUT NEVER OUT
The defending national champion Tar Heels came to Tallahassee with a No. 2 ranking and 9-0 record against Florida State and the trend seemed like it would continue when North Carolina took a 1-0 lead after 12 minutes. FSU answered just 2:17 later and they eventually sealed the victory in the 113th minute on Kristin Boyce’s game-winner. Not only did FSU stage three comebacks in these two huge victories but they did it in unprecedented fashion. The Seminoles evened their games with UNC and UF by answering their opponent’s goals in 2:17, 1:30 and a school record :24.
Seminole seniors Marte and Maren Vik Edvardsen enter the final season of their storied Florida State careers on the verge of appearing in every all-time record category. After posting identical 5 goal, 4 assist campaigns in 2000, the sisters seem ready to continue their assault on the record books if the season’s opening weekend is any indication. The twins combined for a goal and three assists against George Mason and Loyola to lead FSU to its second consecutive 2-0 start.
Maren is already the most prolific offensive player in the history of Florida State soccer and after regaining a starting role in the preseason she is poised to re-write the FSU record book. She is already the school’s all-time leader in points (55), goals (22) and game-winning goals (6). After recording two assists, six shots and three shots on goal this past weekend, the senior from Oslo, Norway is now tied for fifth in all-time shots, increased her lead as the greatest point scorer in Seminole soccer history and moved into a third place tie amongst FSU’s all-time assist leaders,
Marte is already FSU’s all-time leader in shots and she increased that lead this past weekend by posting 11 more. Her two starts this past weekend brought her career total to 58 and moved her within three starts of the all-time top 5 in that category. After scoring a goal and recording an assist versus GMU and Loyola, Marte is now just four points away from cracking the top 5 list for all-time point scorers with her career total now at 35. Her header goal against Loyola this past Sunday placed her as one of the top five goal scorers in Florida State history. She is also closing in on the top 5 in career assists. Marte’s game-winner against George Mason gave her nine assists in her career and put her just two shy of tying her sister and Cindy Schofield for fifth-place on the list. Marte also entered the top five all-time game-winning assist leaders after picking up a game winning assist against George Mason Friday and she should finish her career in among the career leaders in game-winning goals and game-winning assists. She also holds the longest consecutive start streak at 46 straight matches.
For the sixth consecutive year, Florida State opened its season under the lights and for the second consecutive season, FSU came out victorious. Last year, FSU faced No. 6 Florida to open the 2000 campaign. Almost 1,300 fans came out to see FSU battle its in-state rival. The Seminoles entered the season with a 0-5 record against the Gators and had been outscored 20-1 in the team’s previous five meetings. The Seminoles last-minute 3-2 victory gave FSU just it’s third-ever opening day victory and seemed to spark the team to a run that lasted all the way through the Sweet 16. After the Seminoles season opening win over GMU, FSU now has a 14-8-1 record at night since head coach Patrick Baker took over the team. A trend they hope continues when they face Portland at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
THERE’S ALWAYS A FIRST TIME
Florida State faces six teams in 2001 that they have never played in the six-year history of the program and four of those matches take place during the first two weekends of the season (George Mason, Loyola, Portland and Santa Clara). FSU is already off to a good start by downing George Mason and Loyola (Md) in this past weekend’s Seminole Soccer Tournament. They will get an even bigger test this weekend from Portland and Santa Clara. The Seminoles recorded first-time victories over eight times in 12 chances during the 2000 season (Oregon, Oregon State, Miami, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida, UCF and Wake Forest) and four of those eight victories came against ranked opponents. The Seminoles would love to repeat that success with opportunities to garner first-ever wins against eight teams including No. 3 Portland, No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Santa Clara and No. 17 Duke.
IT’S OVER IN OVERTIME
In two years under head coach Patrick Baker, the Seminole soccer team has NEVER lost an overtime game. Baker’s squads are 2-0-3 in overtime contests and four of those five overtime contests came during the historic 2000 season where FSU posted a 2-0-2 record. Florida State recorded two of the program’s most historic accomplishments in overtime games last season. The Seminoles advanced to the second round of the ACC Tournament for the first time ever when they moved past second-seeded Wake Forest in sudden victory shootouts after a double overtime match. Florida State recorded the biggest win in the history of the program when it defeated 17-time national champion North Carolina 3-2 in a double overtime game that saw both teams have a golden goal disallowed. Baker’s only overtime game in 1999 was a 2-2 tie against NC State.
THERE IS A CONSENSUS
After never being nationally ranked before the 2000 season and never appearing in a preseason poll, the 12th-ranked Seminole soccer team is now ranked in all four preseason polls. Florida State equaled its highest-ever ranking when it was ranked No. 12 by Soccer America and also appeared at No. 18 in the SoccerTimes.com coach’s poll. Earlier this year, the Seminoles were preseason No. 13 in the SoccerBuzz poll and No. 16 in the NSCAA coach’s poll.
Before FSU’s remarkable run in 2000, the closest the Seminoles ever came to a national ranking was in 1996 when they received votes in all four polls after downing No. 10 Clemson 1-0. Florida State did make an appearance in the regional rankings during Baker’s first season in Tallahassee as the Seminoles spent four weeks as the No. 10 team in the Southeast region.
SEE YOU SOON
Although the Hurricanes and Seminoles didn’t meet in the Seminole Soccer Tournament this weekend, the two schools won’t have to wait long to meet again. Miami will make another trek to Tallahassee next weeks when the two teams renew their regular season rivalry at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Florida State went a perfect 8-0 against teams from Florida to claim the ‘unofficial’ state championship in 2000. The Seminoles 3-1 win in Miami last year marked the school’s first-ever win over their rivals to the South. Miami went an impressive 2-0 last weekend downing Loyola 5-1 and GMU 3-2.
WHAT A CHANGE UNDER BAKER
*FSU can boast 23 wins during its two years under Baker compared with 31 for the previous four years combined. *FSU 's first winning record (14-8-2) since the 1996 season (12-7-1). *Five wins against nationally ranked opponents in two years, compared to only two wins the previous four years. *FSU has a .561 winning percentage in Baker's two years as head coach compared to a .413 winning percentage in the previous four seasons. *FSU has 13 home wins during two years with Baker compared to 15 home wins for the previous four years combined. *In the two years with Baker at the helm, the Seminoles had 10 road wins, compared to 12 for the previous four years combined. *In Baker 's first two seasons as head coach, the Seminoles averaged 119 total points a season compared to 96 points per season the previous four seasons. *Baker 's teams have four come-from-behind victories in his two-year tenure compared to just six come-from-behind victories the previous four years. *Five of the top ten attendance records have been set since Baker took over the program. *In 2000, Baker's Florida State team broke the previous single season record for home attendance by almost 3,700 (8799 compared to 5106). *Home attendance during the two years with coach Baker is 11,757,as compared to 15,690 for the previous four years combined.
BAKER CHANGING TRENDS
*Against ranked opponents, the Seminole's winning percentage has increased by an amazing 273 percentage points since Baker became the head coach at FSU. *The Seminoles winning percentage at home increased from .500 to .711 since Baker took over. *In overtime contests, the Seminoles have a .700 winning percentage under Baker compared to .409 before his arrival. *In games played in the state of Florida, FSU has raised its winning percentage from .512 to .729. *When the Seminoles lead at half, their winning percentage under Baker is .969 compared to .850 in the previous four seasons. *FSU 's winning percentage when they score the game's first goal increased 151 percentage points, from .778 to .929 since Baker arrived in Tallahassee. * When FSU scores two goals in a game, its winning percentage under Baker is .722 compared to .500 before his arrival.
“Heather Dyche had a very good weekend. There are still some things we want to refine with her as well as with our entire back but she is off to a very good start. Maren came in and made a huge statement from day one of the preseason. She came in very fit and seemed to be saying to us that it is her senior year and she wants to make things happen. She did that this weekend. Marte is the only returning starter among this senior group and I’ve always said, when we play our best soccer Marte is usually involved and I think she is our best player.”–Patrick Baker, Head Coach
“We started off 2-0 and avoided any upsets last weekend. I think there will be a lot of surprises this year and hopefully we can get one this weekend. We are healthy, we are 2-0, we played two conference champions and we are excited about the opportunity presented next week. We have nothing to lose and everything to play for but I told our kids if you think Loyola knocked the ball around, wait until you see Portland and Santa Clara next weekend.”–Patrick Baker, Head Coach
“I was a little less nervous opening night than I was during the scrimmage against Georgia. As soon as I got settled down and started going at people I felt like myself. Getting two wins is a great way to start.”–Jez Ratliff, midfielder
“It feels great getting to start with my sister. We have been training hard all summer to try improve our individual games and ultimately help the team win.”–Marte Vik Edvardsen, midfielder
“We have been creating a lot of chances but it would be great if we could start sticking them into the net more consistently. We just need to keep working. We played a very good first half versus George Mason and I was very happy with our play. Hopefully what we did this week will carry over when we play two great teams next weekend.”–Maren Vik Edvardsen, forward
“It was good that we are continuing to create a lot of chances. Every time we step out as a team we are getting better. I think we gained a lot of confidence this weekend with two wins. Everyone is stepping up and the freshmen are raising the level of their games. We are in an offensive flow and that is a positive as we enter this big weekend in Wake Forest.”–Cindy Schofield, forward
SO GO THE SEMINOLES
When head coach Patrick Baker said, “We will go as far as Marte will take us” he knew what he was saying. Senior Marte Vik Edvardsen is the Seminoles leader in the midfield and so much of FSU’s success is tied to her performance. In 2000, Florida State was 7-0 in games where Marte either scored or assisted on a goal and were 7-8-2 in matches where she was held pointless. Her game-winning assist sent the Seminoles into the Sweet 16 as FSU knocked Florida out of the NCAA Tournament. She assisted on the Seminoles’ first goal, just 3:42 into the match, against No.7 Texas A&M, which FSU went on to win 4-1. After North Carolina took a 1-0 lead on FSU, Vik Edvardsen stepped up to the line and knocked in a penalty kick that propelled FSU to the biggest upset in school history as they went on to down the Heels 3-2 in double OT. She scored two goals in the Seminoles’ 3-1 win over Miami which ensured FSU of a perfect regular season record against Florida teams (6-0) and gave Florida State its best regular season record in the history of the program.
AMBER ISN’T DOLPHIN SAFE
Sophomore Amber Tollefson had a fantastic freshman campaign for the Seminoles in 2000 and that was never more evident than in the Seminoles two matches against Jacksonville University. She scored her first collegiate goal, a game-winner, against the Dolphins in just the second game of the season as FSU downed JU 3-0. Tollefson then recorded the first-ever postseason goal in Florida State history in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament as the Seminoles downed Jacksonville 4-1.
Junior Cindy Schofield had a breakthrough season in 2000 as evidenced by her five goals and record-setting seven assists but her play in the Seminoles’ most important games really speaks volumes about the type of season she had. Five of her seven assists came in games away from the Seminole Soccer Complex. Her road assists versus Florida (NCAA’s), Oregon State, Miami, Missouri and Duke helped FSU post a 3-2 record in those five games including a trip to the Sweet 16. Four of her five goals came in FSU’s biggest games in 2000. She scored in wins over No. 2 North Carolina, No. 7 Texas A&M and in the Seminoles’ first-ever NCAA Tournament game against Jacksonville. She also scored against No. 5 Clemson and had a goal and an assist against FIU.
WHEN THE GAME IS ON THE LINE…
One of the most dramatic turnarounds during FSU’s unprecedented 2000 season was its play in the second half of games, which had been a weakness before Baker’s arrival. The Seminole’s played their opposition practically even in the first half of games during the 2000 season (being outscored just 14 to 15) but held a commanding 13 goal edge (29-16) in the second half of games played last year. They also were also 2-0-3 in overtime games and outscored their opponents 2-0 in two double OT matches.
WE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN
Hindsight is usually 20/20 but FSU’s run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament shouldn’t have been such a surprise to many soccer fans in Tallahassee and all over the country. Even though it was their first trip to the tournament, the Seminoles were very prepared for what laid ahead of them. Florida State played eight NCAA Tournament teams in 2000 including the last two National Champions (Florida in 1998 and North Carolina in 1999 and 2000). Florida State posted a 4-4-1 record against the 2000 NCAA Tournament field including an outstanding 3-3 mark against the tournament’s top 16 seeds. They also outscored the 2000 field 17-14 during the regular season.
Florida State made major strides in 2000 towards closing the gap between themselves and the 1998 National Champion Florida Gators. After losing five straight games to UF, FSU won both meetings against its in-state rival including a second-round NCAA Tournament game in Gainesville. One of the oddest trends to emerge from the team’s two contests was the time between goals. In the Seminoles season-opening 3-2 win over Florida, Heather Dyche answered the Gator’s first goal of the game just :24 later to even the score at 1-1. Florida’s Keisha Bell then gave the Gators a 2-1 lead just 1:57 later before Maren Vik Edvardsen tied the game at 2-2 just 1:06 after Bell’s goal. The trend continued in the NCAA’s in Gainesville when FSU took an early lead at the 4:55 mark and UF’s Robin Fulton tied the game just 1:34 after the game’s first goal. When you total those numbers, 4:53 elapsed between four of the eight goals scored between the two teams in 2000.
WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
When the Seminoles downed back-to-back National Champion North Carolina 3-2 in 2OT last season, they handed the Tar Heels just their ninth loss in 337 games and became only the second ACC team to ever score three goals against UNC. It also marked the biggest win in the short history of the Florida State soccer program.
FSU looked to continue their winning ways in 2001 by signing their second straight nationally ranked recruiting class according to SoccerBuzz. In 2000, head coach Patrick Baker landed the Seminoles’ first-ever nationally ranked recruiting class with the No. 13 class in the nation. The 2000 class also ranked third in the Southeast region and in the ACC behind North Carolina and Clemson. Baker, looking to fill the holes due to the graduation of six seniors, improved on last year’s recruiting ranking by signing the No. 8 class in the nation in 2001. This class ranked second in the Southeast and third in the ACC behind Virginia and North Carolina. Florida State also won the in-state recruiting title for the second straight year finishing well ahead of Florida (No. 18) and Miami (No. 29).
Katie Beal, Freshman – 2001 Parade All-American…1999 NSCAA Youth All-American…2000 NSCAA All-South Team…1999 and 2000 U-16 US National Team…Region I Team from 1997-2001.
Camie Bybee, Freshman – 2001 Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma…first team all-district, all-conference and all-city for four years…leading goal scorer in the state of Oklahoma in 2000 and 2001…1999/2000 U-17 national team pool…1996/1997 U-14 national team pool…four year starter on Region III team…ODP state select team from 1996-2000.
Marion Cagle, Freshman – All-state first team for three years…All-Big Bend first team three years…Region III ODP team from 1999-2001…state ODP from 1996-2001…attended national trials in Las Vegas, NV and Houston, TX…Region III pool in 1996.
Jez Ratliff, Freshman – 2001 all-state selection…2001 Gatorade Scholarship Athlete…2001 Daily Oklahoma All-City First Team…U-17 national pool in 1999…U-17 region III team in 2000…U-16 region III team in 1999.
Kerry York, Freshman – 2001 Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Maryland…Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection in 2001…Anne Arundel County Player of the Year 2001…Washington Post All-Metro First Team 2000 and All-Metro Second Team 1999…Member of the Maryland State Team since 1994…selected for the U-13 team as an eleven year old.
64 GET A CHANCE TO DANCE
The 2001 NCAA women’s soccer tournament is expanding and will start to look more like the vaunted men’s basketball tournament this season. The field will be expanded from 48 teams to 64 teams. The addition of 18 teams means that there will be a record-high 28 automatic qualifiers in 2001 compared to 21 last year with six teams playing three ‘play-in’ games. Another major difference between the 2000 and 2001 tournaments will be the way the first and second rounds of the tournament are staged. Last season, Florida State hosted Jacksonville in the first round and then traveled to Florida for its second round match-up with the Gators. Under the new format, Florida State, Florida, Jacksonville and a fourth team would all be playing at one site with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16. Third and fourth round matches will still be played at individual sites and the winners will advance to the College Cup, which is being held in Dallas, Texas this year.
NEVER HOME ALONE
The Seminoles were dominant within the confines of the Seminole Soccer Complex setting a record for wins (9) and fewest loses (2). Florida State set a new single season attendance record with 8,799 fans, surpassing the previous record of 5,106. The new single game attendance record (1,582) was also set in 2000 during a 3-2 double overtime win over defending National Champion North Carolina. The previous mark of 1,282 was set earlier that season in a 3-2 win over Florida.
The 2000 season was a record-breaking year for the Seminole soccer team posting 14 individual records, 19 team records and 24 program “firsts”. The Seminoles made the most of their first-ever postseason appearance reaching the Sweet 16 by defeating Jacksonville University and cross-state rival Florida. The Seminoles earned their first postseason national ranking of 12th in SoccerBuzz and 14th in the NSCAA and Soccer America polls after posting a team high 14 victories against five nationally ranked opponents. Seminole coach Patrick Baker received the Southeast region coach of the year award after leading Florida State to the most productive season in team history and he was also runner-up for National Coach of the Year honors.
BRING IT ON
Head coach Patrick Baker has always felt that his team needs to play the best competition if they want to be the best and that philosophy is evident in the Seminoles’ schedule the last two seasons. The Seminoles faced 11 ranked teams in 2000 including three teams ranked in the top 5 and seven ranked amongst the nation’s top 10 heading in to the match. FSU posted a 5-5-1 record against top 20 opponents and beat a top-5 team (No. 2 North Carolina) for the first time in the history of the program. The Seminoles also downed top 10 opponents Texas A&M (No. 7) and the University of Florida (No. 6) during their unprecedented 2000 campaign.
The Seminoles 2001 schedule is even tougher than last year’s and includes eight opponents who are nationally ranked in 2001, four opponents who are regionally ranked and four teams that were in the Elite Eight of which two advanced to the Final Four at the 2000 NCAA Women’s College Cup. The schedule features two-time defending national champion and consensus No. 1 North Carolina and final four participant Portland as well as top 10 teams Santa Clara (No. 6), Virginia (No. 9) and Clemson (No. 10).
Florida State opens the season by hosting the second annual Seminole Soccer Tournament where they will face two of the mid-Atlantic region’s top teams. FSU opens the tournament with George Mason, ranked No. 6 in the mid-Atlantic region and then faces Loyola (MD) who finished the 2000 season ranked eighth in the same region as GMU. The Seminoles then get two early road tests when they travel to the Wake Forest/Nike Invitational to face NCAA quarterfinalist Santa Clara and NCAA semifinalist Portland. The Broncos are ranked as high as No. 6 and Portland is ranked No. 2 by Soccer America and in the top three of every preseason poll.
FSU next travels to Clemson to take on the No. 10 Tigers and then faces another conference foe in NC State ranked seventh in the Southeast region, Sep. 23. The Seminoles travel to Gainesville Sep. 28 for the much-anticipated rematch with the 16th-ranked Gators. After going winless against UF in five tries, Florida State opened its 2000 campaign by upsetting 6th-ranked Florida 3-2. The Seminoles then traveled to Gainesville for a second-round NCAA Tournament match that saw FSU eliminate the Gators from the NCAA’s less than two years after UF won a national championship.
October could be a make or break month for FSU as it plays seven of its eight games away from home including three key conference battles. The Seminoles play their only home game of the month against conference foe Duke who is ranked No. 17 in the nation in the preseason polls. The week doesn’t get any easier as the team travels to Chapel Hill to take on the 17-time national champion North Carolina Tar Heels whom FSU defeated 3-2 at home last year in the biggest victory in the short history of the program. Florida State plays another ranked opponent, No. 22 Wake Forest before traveling to Charlottesville to face the 4th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in a key ACC battle. The Cavaliers recorded the nation’s top recruiting class in 2001.