Aug. 29, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the second consecutive season, the FSU soccer team will open their campaign as a consensus preseason Top 20 selection. The Tribe was picked 16th in the nation by SoccerTimes.com who’s poll is made up of 15 Division 1-A head coaches including Anson Dorrance of North Carolina, Ray Leone of Arizona State and G. Guerrieri of Texas A&M. The Seminoles are now in the Top 17 of all four preseason polls with their highest ranking coming from SoccerBuzz at No. 10.
Florida State opens its season Friday night at home versus Oregon State in the Nike/FSU Invitational Tournament. The Seminoles have won their last two home openers including a win over No. 6 Florida to start the 2000 season. The game is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start and it will be just the second-ever meeting between the Seminoles and Beavers.
The 2002 Seminoles are a consensus Top 20 selection partly because they enter the season with nine players who started every game over the second half of the 2001 campaign on top of coming off the most successful season in school history. Florida State returnees scored 47 of the team’s record 55 goals in 2001 and FSU returns 80% of its offense from a team that finished as the 29th-best in the entire nation last year. When the Garnet and Gold take the field Friday night against Oregon State there will be only two new starters in the line-up and the other nine returnees have a combined 262 starts in their Seminole career.
“Last year was really an amazing offensive season and it came from a lot of different players,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We have some wonderful attacking personalities on this team and I think we can create chances and score goals.”
After allowing a program-low 31 goals in 2000, the FSU defense should once again return to form as the Seminoles return six of its eight starters from the defense and midfield. Gatorade High School Player of the Year Kerry York has a year of experience behind her in net and all-southeast region third teamer Kristin Boyce will lead an FSU back line that should be much stingier in 2002.
“If we are going to have success this year, we are going to have to defend better,” said Baker. “One of our major areas of emphasis this preseason has been better individual defending, better team defending across the board and starting to form a better mentality in our back four.”
The Seminoles host the Nike/Florida State Invitational this weekend as they welcome in Oregon State, Oregon and Wake Forest. After opening the season at home Friday at 7:00 p.m. versus the Beavers, FSU will face Oregon Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. The Sunshine Network will broadcast the game live and it is one of three FSU regular season games fans can see live on television this season. There is never any admission charge for regular season games at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
For more information on the 2002 Seminole soccer team please visit www.seminoles.com where the complete 2002 media guide is now available in PDF format and live stats for all home games are available. A complete schedule for the 2002 Nike/Florida State Invitational is listed below.
NIKE/FLORIDA STATE INVITATIONAL Friday, August 30th
Wake Forest vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. Florida State vs. Oregon State 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 1
Oregon State vs. Wake Forest 11:30 a.m. Florida State vs. Oregon 2:00 p.m.