Oct. 17, 2002
HERE WE GO AGAIN
With the Seminoles threatening the school record for the most OT games ever played in a single season along comes NC State this Saturday. The Wolfpack and Seminoles have gone to overtime in their last three meetings and FSU is 1-0-2 in those games. While the three OT games between the teams is a lot, it isn’t the most OT games in a Florida Sate series. This year FSU and Duke played their fourth overtime match in the eight meetings between the schools.
RING MY BELL
While there is never anything to get excited about in a 5-1 loss, you can’t blame Jessica Bell for breaking into a little smile after the game versus No. 2 UNC. The freshman has appeared in just seven games this season but recorded the first collegiate goal of her career versus the University of North Carolina. The freshman snuck one passed goalie Aly Winget in the 89th-miute to record the first points of her FSU career.
Although Florida State lost to the Tar Heels, there were a lot of positive things that the Tribe can build on. Not only did the Seminoles have numerous scoring opportunities but FSU became just the third team this season to face UNC and take more corner kicks than the Tar Heels. The only other teams to accomplish that feat were No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Portland. No team in the nation this year has held a larger corner kick advantage against the Heels than FSU when they took nine compared to UNC’s four. Only Stanford held UNC to fewer corners this year (3) than the Seminoles did and the Cardinal also had an advantage of five more corners than Carolina.
The Seminole soccer team has a unique opportunity versus No. 19 NC State this weekend. With a win, Florida State would move to .500 all-time against an ACC team for the first time since 1996. That season, FSU won two ACC games in its second year of existence and moved to 1-1-0 versus Clemson and NC State. This would be the first time the Tribe was even in a series with an ACC team with a significant number of games played. If they get the victory, the series between FSU and NC State will be knotted up at 3-3-2.
When FSU travels to Raleigh, NC this weekend they won’t only be looking for the program’s first-ever ACC road win in the state of North Carolina, they will also be looking to tie a record set in 1998. That squad was the only Seminole team to ever go undefeated in its first two ACC road games posting a 1-0-1 record. This year’s team tied its first conference road game of the year at Duke and with a win versus NC State, they could equal that mark.
THREE AGAINST THREE
If the Tribe is able to down the Wolfpack Saturday, it would be the third ACC team that FSU has three wins against in program history. The Seminoles have defeated the Terps three times, although one came in the ACC Tournament, and the Garnet and Gold notched their third ever win versus Clemson earlier this season. The only ACC team FSU has never beaten is Virginia and they come to Tallahassee for the last regular season game of the year.
If this were the FSU football team, Saturday would be considered a sod cemetery game. Whenever the Seminole Football teams defeats a higher-ranked opponent on the road, they return to Tallahassee with a chunk of turf and bury it next to the practice field. Although the FSU soccer team doesn’t have such a tradition, this game fits the bill. When FSU heads to Method Road to face the 19th-ranked Wolfpack, the team will be looking for their third road win over a ranked opponent in its eight-year history. The Seminoles only other road win versus a ranked opponent came in 2000 and 2001. Two years ago, FSU upset No. 11 Florida in Gainesville in the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Tribe won its first-ever ACC road game by defeating No. 9 Clemson at Historic Riggs Field.
Saturday’s game between the 19th-ranked Wolfpack and 21st-ranked Seminoles will be the first-ever meeting between the squads when both were ranked in the national polls. NC State is making its first appearance in the polls this season after a huge upset of North Carolina last week. FSU on the other hand is ranked in two polls coming into the game and has now been ranked in at least one poll in 28 of the last 30 weeks national polls have been released.
FORWARDS GETTING OFFENSIVE IN THE ACC
In 2001, FSU forwards Cindy Schofield, Jez Ratliff and Maren Vik Edvardsen combined to score 15 goals in the first 14 games of the season. This season Schofield, Ratliff and Leah Gallegos have 16 goals through the same amount of contests. The real difference though is coming in conference games. In 2001, FSU forwards scored just three goals in the team’s first four conference games. This season, Seminole strikers have scored twice as many goals, accounting for six of FSU’s seven goals in conference games.
THOSE ARE GOOD TEAMS
The 2002 Seminoles are on a record pace for the fewest losses ever in the regular season. The record is six and was set by the 1996, 2000 and 2001 teams. All four losses this season have came to teams with a combined record of 43-5-4 and three are currently ranked in the Top 12. North Carolina is 12-1-2 and ranked second in the nation, the Charlotte 49ers are 11-0-1 and ranked No. 12, Wake Forest is 10-2-1 and ranked No. 11 and the LSU Tigers are 10-2-1 and 2-1-1 in a strong SEC. What is most amazing is that FSU lost those three of those four games by a combined three goals. The loss to the Demon Deacons came in double overtime with less than three minutes remaining in the game. The 49ers defeated a Seminole squad that played over 60 minutes with just 10 players and didn’t get the game-winner until the 79th-minute. When all is said and done, all three teams will most likely be amongst the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.