Oct. 6, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – The sixth-ranked FSU soccer team has just seven games remaining in the regular season and five of those games will be played in Tallahassee. The home stand is set to get under way tonight at 7:00 p.m. as the University of Maryland (3-6-2, 1-1-0) visits the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Seminoles (9-2-0, 2-2-0) are 3-1 at home this year with their only loss coming to No. 1 North Carolina.
“It is really important for us to get results at home with five of our final seven games in Tallahassee,” said Toby Ranck. “We need to protect our home field. Getting off to a good start at home where we haven’t played that much will be important for our confidence level as well with so many games coming up on our own field.”
While Maryland comes into the game with a 3-6-2 record, the Terps are 1-1-1 in the ACC and upset a top 10 Wake Forest team last weekend in ACC play. Five of Maryland’s six losses have come to ranked teams with four of those defeats coming at the hands of top 10 squads.
“When Maryland comes in tonight they are going to be really excited and feeling good about the way they have played lately and rightfully so,” said Kelly Rowland. “That win over Wake was a big victory. They are going to be confident and we know how dangerous they are. We aren’t focusing on their record. My freshman year we were 1-4 and ended up in the College Cup so I know that records can be deceiving.”
“Maryland is a good team but our team has done well on the balance so far this season,” said Krikorian. “We are looking forward to the competition Thursday. We have a fair idea of how Maryland will play and we know what they are capable of. They knocked off a top 10 Wake Forest team last week. We are looking forward to a great game.”
Despite the disparity in overall records, Maryland and FSU are both .500 in the conference. They are both part of a logjam in the middle of the pack that separates third place from eighth place by just one game. With the Seminoles playing four of the teams within a half game of them in the standings over the next 17 days, FSU controls its own destiny for the most part as far as the ACC Tournament is concerned.
“Playing in the best conference in the nation means every game is a battle,” said Kelly Rowland. “It doesn’t matter if you are playing the team in first or in last. There are no sure bets but we know we have to do our best to gain some separation from the middle of the pack in the standings. We need to get some results and try to get into a good position as the conference race heats up.”
After being shutout for the first time all season last Thursday at Virginia, FSU responded with a three goal outburst in their last game at Virginia Tech. The Seminoles have scored 12 goals in their last five matches and currently rank 18th in America in goals per game with 30 in 11 matches. The Terps have scored just seven goals in their 11 games this season.
“It is really important that we come out early and put together some dangerous attacks,” said Ranck. “We have started slow the last few weeks and we need to restore that attacking mentality we had at the start of the game earlier in the year. Every game on our schedule is going to be competitive so we need to be better on the attack if we want to get results.”
The Florida State defense was stellar last weekend allowing just one goal in two road ACC games. The Seminoles have six shutouts this season and have allowed just nine goals. They are on course to set new program records for shutouts and fewest goals allowed in a season. FSU has recorded shutouts over the Terps three times in the last seven matches.
“We are starting to learn each others tendencies in the back,” said Rowland. “We are getting used to how each other plays and that has built our confidence. The mixture of young players like Katrin (Schmidt) and Wags (Sarah Wagenfuhr) with veterans like me and T (Teresa Rivera) has been a great situation. When I first got here I had Katie Beal guiding me. We are just trying to pass our experience on to them. Right now they are playing at a very high level.”
Fans will be able to follow the game on a free Internet audio broadcast, which will be available exclusively at www.seminoles.com. Campo will bring you the call beginning at 7:00 p.m. Live stats will also be available via Game Tracker. For fans attending the game, the first 500 people through the gate will receive Seminole car decals and free Pizza Hut coupons will be given out during the game as well. Admission to the game is free and for more information on the 2005 Seminole soccer team, log on to the official athletic site for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.