Aug. 20, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State soccer is now 2-for-2 when it comes to preseason top five rankings. The Tribe was pegged No. 5 in Soccer America’s preseason poll Friday. It is the highest ranking ever for FSU from the nation’s oldest soccer publication. The previous high was No. 6 and that was in the magazine’s final poll in 2003, which was released before the NCAA Tournament.
This is the second preseason poll this week to place FSU in the top five. Soccer Buzz picked the Seminoles fifth as well in its preseason poll released Wednesday. Both rankings are the second highest in school history. The only time FSU was ever ranked higher than fifth was when CollegeSoccer.com ranked the team fourth in September of 2001. The fans of Tallahassee will get their first look at the No. 5 team in America tonight at 7:00 p.m. when the Seminoles play their only home preseason game of the year against No. 8 Tennessee.
This will be the final tune-up for FSU before opening the season next week when it hosts the 2004 Nike Seminole Classic. Tennessee is a Sweet 16 squad from 2003 and defender Keeley Dowling is one of the top players in the nation. The Lady Vols should provide FSU with a challenge similar to what they will face during the regular season.
The Seminoles are one of two ACC teams in the top five, joining defending Champion North Carolina who enters the season ranked No. 1. Four ACC teams are in the first top 12 of the season. Virginia, tabbed third in the ACC preseason coaches poll, is ranked seventh and Clemson is No. 12.
Five of FSU’s 2004 opponents are ranked among the nation’s top 25 squads. Three of the teams are ranked in the top 12, No. 1 North Carolina, No. 7 Virginia and No. 12 Clemson. Florida is No. 16 and the Tribe’s season opening opponent Arizona State comes in at No. 20.
Tonight’s scrimmage between two of the south’s top teams is open to the public and free of charge. Live Stats and the first of 14 Internet radio broadcasts will also be available exclusively through seminoles.com.