September 20, 2005 - by

WEEKLY RELEASE: No. 7 Seminoles And No. 1 Tar Heels Open ACC Play In Tallahassee Thursday Night

Sept. 20, 2005


  • Game Notes


  • NORTH CAROLINA


    SERIES RECORD: UNC leads 16-1


    IN TALLAHASSEE: UNC leads 4-1


    WIN STREAK: UNC has won 7 in a row


    LAST MEETING: UNC 4 FSU 0 (2004)


     


    ALL EYES ON FLORIDA: PART 2


    After playing one of the biggest games on the collegiate soccer schedule this past Friday at Gainesville, the Seminoles will play another high profile game Thursday night when consensus No. 1 North Carolina comes to town. The meeting between FSU and UNC will be one of just two games Thursday night between top 15 teams.  The other is also an ACC battle, which features No. 10 Wake Forest and No. 11 Virginia. The Tar Heels have owned the series between the teams winning 16 of 17 matches. The only time FSU has defeated the Heels came in a game played in Tallahassee on a Tuesday night in 2000. While UNC has won seven in a row, two of the last three meetings have been decided by just one goal. After going 0-9 and being outscored 62-3 from 1995 to 1999 against the Tar Heels, FSU has been outscored just 26-8 since 2000 but still posted a record of just 1-7 in that span. Since 1995, the year FSU began its soccer program, no team in the country has faced North Carolina as many times as the Seminoles. Only one other school has played as many games against UNC in that span and that is Wake Forest who also has played 17 games versus the Heels in the last 10 seasons. This is the second straight season that North Carolina has traveled to Tallahassee for a regular season game marking the first time in 10 years that any ACC team has traveled to Tallahassee for a regular season match in back-to-back seasons. The reason for the rare return trip is the new conference alignment with BC joining the ACC this year.


     


    MOST GAMES VERSUS UNC SINCE 1995


    Florida State    17


    Wake Forest     17


    Clemson           16


    Duke                16


    Maryland          14


    NC State          13


    Virginia 13


     


    BACK TO BACK VERSUS THE BEST


    When the Seminoles host North Carolina Thursday night it will mark FSU’s second straight match versus a top 10 team. Since 2000 FSU has played back-to-back regular season games versus ranked opponents nine times and only won both of those games once. That came in 2004 when FSU opened the season with home wins over No. 8 Tennessee and No. 14 Arizona State. Overall, Florida State is 5-15 since the 2000 season when playing consecutive regular season games versus ranked opponents. The Seminoles have played back-to-back games versus top 10 teams five times in the last five years and posted a 2-8 record in those matches while never sweeping such a series. The last time Florida State played two top 10 teams in succession was in 2003 when the Garnet & Gold dropped games to No. 6 Penn State and No. 7 Florida. Friday night’s win over Florida marked the first time FSU has ever won the first game of two versus top 10 teams in the regular season. If you include postseason competition (ACC and NCAA Tournaments), Florida State won back-to-back games versus top 10 opponents in 2003. On the way to the school’s first ever College Cup, the Seminoles defeated No. 9 West Virginia and No. 7 Florida on the road. Overall since 2000, FSU has played an astonishing 17 sets of games versus ranked opponents and posted a 12-19-3 record in those games. Against the toughest competition on its schedule in back-to-back games, FSU has won nearly 40% of those contests.


     


    2004


    No. 8    Tennessee        W


    No. 14  Arizona State    W


    No. 3    Virginia L


    No. 14  Duke                L


     


    2003


    No. 19  USC                 L


    No. 6    Penn State        L


    No. 6    Penn State        L


    No. 7    Florida              L


    No. 25  Maryland*        W


    No. 1    UNC*              L


    No. 16  Auburn^            W


    No. 9    West Virginia^  W


    No. 9    West Virginia^  W


    No. 7    Florida^ W


    No. 7    Florida  ^           W


    No. 16  UConn  ^           L


     


    2002


    No. 7    Wake Forest     L


    No. 2    UNC                L


     


    2001


    No. 2    Portland            L


    No. 5    Santa Clara       L


    No. 5    Santa Clara       L


    No. 7    Clemson           W


    No. 8    Virginia L


    No. 24  Maryland          W


    No. 8    Virginia*           T


    No. 1    UNC*              L


     


    2000


    No. 7    Texas A&M     W


    No. 5    Clemson           L


    No. 16  Virginia L


    No. 15  Wake Forest*   T


    No. 15  Wake Forest*   T


    No. 6    UNC*              L


    No. 11  Florida^ W


    No. 5    Clemson^          L


    *=ACC Tourney   ^=NCAA Tourney


     


    ACC DEBUT


    Conference action begins all over the country this week but the ACC is the only conference that will open with a full slate of games on Thursday. For the most part, every ACC soccer weekend will be comprised of Thursday/Sunday games. This is just the second time in 10 years that FSU will open its ACC slate against the Tar Heels. The last time that Florida State began conference play versus UNC was 1999, which was also the first season for an FSU coach. Patrick Baker’s inaugural ACC game was a 9-0 loss at the hands of North Carolina. The next time Baker faced the Heels in a conference game his Seminoles beat UNC 3-2 in Tallahassee. Florida State lost the first six ACC openers in school history but since then, FSU has gone 4-0 in its first conference game of the year. Three of those victories came versus Clemson and one came against Maryland. Three of those four ACC opening wins were played in Tallahassee. Overall, FSU is 4-5-1 in its first ACC game of the year played in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are currently riding a four-game win streak in home conference openers. The last time FSU lost an ACC opener in Tallahassee was in 2000 when they fell to Clemson 3-2.  The Seminoles have opened ACC play versus Clemson four times in 10 years, which is the most against any ACC opponent. This meeting with UNC will mark just the fourth time FSU has faced an ACC opponent more than one in a conference opener. Outside of North Carolina’s 9-0 win in 1999, seven of the last eight ACC openers for Florida State have all been decided by just one goal with the Seminoles posting a 4-3 record in those games.


     


    ACC OPENERS BY OPPONENT


    Clemson           4


    Virginia 2


    Maryland          2


    North Carolina  1


    Wake Forest     1


     


    FSU IN ACC OPENERS


    1995          UMD 5       FSU 1   H


    1996          UVA 3       FSU 1   H


    1997          WFU 2       FSU 1   A


    1998          UVA 4       FSU 3   H


    1999          UNC 9       FSU 0   A


    2000          CU 3          FSU 2   H


    2001          FSU 3         CU 2   A


    2002          FSU 4         CU 3   H


    2003          FSU 2         UMD 1 H


    2004          FSU 2         CU 1    H


     


    MEETING OF THE BEST?


    There is a lot of evidence that this meeting between North Carolina and Florida State is a match-up of the two premiere teams in the ACC this decade. Since 2000, Florida State and North Carolina are the only two teams to play for the ACC Title more than once. The Seminoles and Tar Heels met in the 2001 and 2003 ACC Title game. Virginia, Clemson and Duke are the only other teams to advance to an ACC final and each of those schools has been just once this decade. From 2000-04 UNC and FSU are first and second in overall wins among ACC teams. North Carolina leads the way with 98 total victories while FSU is second with 67. They are the only two teams playing in the ACC to have amassed more than 60 wins in that five-year span. Virginia is third but their 57 wins coming into 2005 were nine less than the Seminoles. If you include 2005 in the equation, Florida State has 11 more wins than the next best team in the conference. Florida State and North Carolina are the only two ACC schools to play in the Final Four in the last 12 years. The last ACC team to compete in the Final Four outside of FSU and UNC was Duke in 1992. In the last five NCAA Tournaments, only North Carolina has advanced to more Sweet 16’s from the ACC than FSU. The Seminoles have played in the round of 16 three times, which is tied with Virginia for second in the conference.


     


    EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD


    While Friday night’s game will be the first ever against North Carolina for five Seminole starters, that group is not entirely unfamiliar with the best Tar Heel players. Starting midfielder Viola Odebrecht has faced UNC stars Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly and Lori Chalupny in international competition as a member of the German National Team. She isn’t the only player familiar with a Tar Heel. Although goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is injured, both Kirsten van de Ven and Mami Yamaguchi faced off against her in the 2004 FIFA World Championships. That is one advantage that the current crop of Seminoles may have compared to previous teams. This group features four starters that have played against the best players in the world at the Olympics and in international competition so they have faced off against teams that feature players that are the caliber of UNC’s roster. That is something your typical freshman doesn’t bring to the table.


     


    PACK THE HOUSE


    Despite the fact that the ACC has moved its traditional Friday night games to Thursday, the Seminoles are still expecting one of the biggest crowds in stadium history versus the Heels. The only visiting team that has ever drawn two crowds of over 1,500 at the Seminole Soccer Complex is North Carolina. In 2000, the second-largest crowd in stadium history (1,582) came out to see FSU down the Tar Heels 3-2. Last season, 1,504 fans witnessed the Tar Heels’ 4-0 victory over Florida State. The largest crowd in program history is 1,603 and that was set in a win over Florida in 2000 but UNC has drawn two of the three largest crowds ever at FSU. The large crowd shouldn’t faze North Carolina since the Heels have been involved in nine of the top 10 attended games in NCAA history.


     


    THAT’S A FIRST


    After her breakthrough performance in the game versus then-No. 7 Florida, Seminole sophomore Holly Peltzer was named ACC Player of the Week. Last week Sel Kuralay was also honored by the conference marking the first time in 11 years that Seminoles were selected ACC POW in back-to-back weeks. It was also the first time in FSU history that two sophomores were chosen the conference player of the week in the same season. This is the third time since 2001 that FSU has had multiple players selected as the ACC Player of the Week. Florida State is just one of two schools, Carolina being the other, to have multiple ACC Players of the Week in three of the last five years. Only one school since 2001 besides UNC and FSU has had multi-ACC POW’s in more than one year. The Cavaliers have had multiple ACC Players of the Week twice since 2001. Since the 2001 season only North Carolina players have won the conference honor more times than a Seminole. Peltzer’s selection was the eighth for FSU in the last five years. No Seminole has won the award twice in one season and only Leah Gallegos has ever won the award twice in her career.


     


    ACC POW SINCE 2001


    UNC    13


    FSU     8


    UVA    7


    CLEM  5


    DUKE  5


    WFU    5


    MD      3


    NCST   3


    VT       1


    UM      0


    BC       0


     


    WATCH US RISE


    With its big road victory at Florida last week, the Seminoles climbed to No. 7 in the Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times polls. No team has come further in the Soccer Buzz, Soccer Times and Soccer America polls than FSU who started the season unranked in all three polls and now is in the top 10 of each one. In just four weeks the Seminoles have gone from not even receiving any votes in any poll to the top 10 in three of the four polls. Florida State is one of a record five ACC teams in the top 10 of the latest Soccer Buzz rankings and six ACC squads are in the top 11 of this week’s poll. That means more than half of the ACC is currently sitting in the top 11.


     


    BACK HOME


    Florida State finally returns home Thursday night against North Carolina. The Seminoles played five of their first seven games at an opponent’s stadium. Talk about an adjustment for the 2005 Seminoles. Last year FSU started the year with nine straight games at home and they didn’t play five road games all season! This is the third time in 11 years that FSU has started a season with five of the team’s first seven games on the road. In 1996 and 1999 the Seminoles played at their opponent’s stadium five times in the first seven matches. The 1999 team won three of those games and just like the 2005 squad, the 1996 team went 5-0 in those first five roadies. The difference is the strength of the opponents FSU played. In 1996, the Seminoles recorded road wins versus West Florida, South Alabama, Jacksonville, North Florida and East Carolina. This season, two of FSU’s five road wins have come over ranked opponents (USC and Florida) and two came against teams that have played in the NCAA Tournament in the last two seasons (UCF and Ole Miss). The fifth was a win at Loyola Marymount who has played in an NCAA Tournament as well in the last three years (2002). Florida State‘s five road wins this season already ranks as the second most ever in a single season and FSU still has four more roadies left. The record for road wins at FSU is six and that was set by the 1996 and 2003 squads. The best road winning percentage in school history is 75% and that was established by both the 1996 and 2002 teams. FSU will beat that road winning percentage mark if they are able to go 2-2 in their last four road games, which would give the 2005 squad a winning percentage of 77%. The good thing about playing five road games in the first month of the season is that the Seminoles will now play seven of their next 11 matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex where they are 45-13-2 since 2000. Over the last five plus seasons, FSU has won a whopping 77% of their home games.


     


    MOST ROAD WINS


    1996, 2003        6


    2000, 01, 05      5


    1999, 2002        4


     


    BEST ROAD WINNING PCT


    1996, 2002        75%


    2004                 62.5%


    2003                 59%


    2002                 55%


     


    OH ME, OH MAMI


    Freshman Mami Yamaguchi has settled quite comfortably into her spot in the FSU midfield. After not recording a point in the first two games of her collegiate career, Yamaguchi has now recorded five assists in her last five matches. The Tokyo native recorded assists in three straight games (JU, Mercer & UCF) and then recorded two in the win over Florida including her second game-winning assist of the year. The last Seminole to record an assist in at least three straight games was Leah Gallegos who opened the 2004 season with an assist in the first four games of the year. Yamaguchi has come on so strong that she now ranks 17th in the NCAA stats for assists per game and she is tied for fifth in the ACC in that category as well. Her five points, all on assists, place her fourth on the team for points and she leads the squad in total assists on the season.  


     


    SIGNATURE WIN


    Florida State‘s win at Florida last Friday night was the first signature win for the program under new head coach Mark Krikorian. Krikorian is the first FSU head coach to win his first game versus a top 10 team in program history and the first Seminole boss to go 2-0 in his first two meetings with ranked teams. The first year coach has now won three straight games versus the Gators dating back to his days as the head coach of Hartford. It doesn’t take Krikorian long to put his winning stamp on a program. After one season getting Hartford back on track, Krikorian’s Hawks defeated powerhouse Connecticut in just the second game of his second season en route to a 19-2-1 record. Florida was a signature win for the program back in 2000 as well as then head coach Patrick Baker opened his second season at the helm by defeating No. 6 Florida 3-2 at home. That year the Seminoles defeated the Gators again later in the season on their way to the school’s first ever Sweet 16.


     


    SEL-IDIFYING THE OFFENSE


    What more can you say about FSU sophomore Sel Kuralay? The striker has gotten off to a phenomenal start to the 2005 season. The Australian Olympian leads the team in four categories and is second in two others. Kuralay leads the team in points (22), goals (9), game-winning goals (3), shots (34), shots on goal (16) and she is second on the squad in assists (4) and game-winning assists (1). Kuralay not only leads the team but she is dominating the ACC stats as well. The Melbourne native leads the ACC in goals scored per game, points per game, shots per game and game-winning goals. That  makes her the first Seminole to ever lead the ACC in points per game at any point of a season and just the second to ever rank first in the conference in goals per game at any time as well. Cindy Schofield finished the 2001 season tied for the most total goals scored among ACC players and spent four consecutive weeks atop the goals per game category in the ACC stats. FSU Kuralay isn’t just stacking up with the best in the ACC; she is among the best in the nation. In the latest NCAA statistics, Kuralay ranks sixth in goals per game and seventh in points per game. Even more amazing is that she is the only ACC player to rank in the top seven in the nation in both of those categories. While Holly Peltzer got all the attention after the Florida win, and deservedly so, Kuralay’s part in the win was largely overlooked. The striker became the first player in program history to ever score two goals versus the Gators (in a game or a career). They were huge goals too. Each one brought FSU back from a deficit. Her first goal came just over 10:00 after UF got the crowd of 3,249 into a frenzy with a 1-0 lead. Her second goal, one of the nicest ever scored by a Seminole, gave FSU new life tying the game at 2-2 going into halftime. Kuralay set the stage for Peltzer’s heroics with her two huge first half goals.


     


    STILL GOING


    Florida State‘s win at Florida kept some impressive streaks alive. The Seminoles have already shattered the school record for consecutive wins to start a season and the longest unbeaten streak to start a year. That record stood at three and was set by both the 2000 and 2004 squads. They have now tied the longest unbeaten streak in school history, which was set in 2000 when that team went 6-0-1 over a seven game stretch. Florida State’s five straight road wins tied the record of the 1996 squad, which also won its first five roadies of the year. The Seminoles have now won seven straight road games dating back to 2004 and are undefeated in their last eight road contests, both records. If you include games played at neutral sites, FSU is 7-0-3 in its last 10 games played away from the Seminole Soccer Complex. One streak FSU is chasing is consecutive games with a goal to start a season. The 2000 squad set that record scoring a goal in each of its first 14 contests. The second longest such streak was set last year when the team scored a goal in each of the first eight games. With a goal in its first seven games, the 2005 squad is just one off the second-best streak ever at FSU. The longest streak of consecutive games with a goal came in 2002 when that squad scored in an amazing 21 straight matches.

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