September 9, 2002 - by
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Sept. 9, 2002

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The series between the University of Miami and FSU isn’t quite as historic as the gridiron rivalry but it has been just as close. The Hurricanes won the first two meetings in 1998 and 1999 but FSU has won the last two. The winning team has scored at least three goals in every win. The Seminoles have taken the last two by identical 3-1 scores.


The Seminoles 1-1-2 start isn’t really worrying anyone around Tallahassee because the last three years FSU has gotten off to similar starts but gone on to record-setting seasons. In Patrick Baker’s first season, the Seminoles started out 2-2 and ended the season with the best record since 1996. In 2000, FSU started 3-2 and finished the season defeating the Gators in Gainesville to advance to the school’s first-ever Sweet 16. Then last season, the Tribe once again started 2-2 and when all was said and done FSU played for the school’s first-ever ACC Championship and advanced to the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament.


When FSU opens its road-trip in Coral Gables versus Miami, one of the most important streaks in program history will be on the line. The Tribe has been .500 or above for 52 straight games now and need to beat or tie UM to keep that three-year streak alive. The Seminoles were in a similar situation last season after losses to Final Four teams Santa Clara and Portland. After its game versus Miami was postponed due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11, FSU traveled to face seventh-rankled Clemson to face the Tigers. Clemson had lost just one ACC game since 1999 and had lost just 11 times at Riggs Field in 89 games. The 3-2 FSU victory was a turning point for the season and was a key win in the 52-game run.


With three games in South Florida coming up, FSU should feel pretty confident since they have played very well in the southern end of the state. The Tribe has gone 7-1 playing in Tampa, Orlando, Coral Gables and Miami. In fact the Tribe has been better down South against UCF, USF, FIU and Miami than in Tallahassee where the team’s record is 5-2-1 all-time.


Florida State is set to face Virginia Tech and Charlotte this weekend for the first time in school history. Head coach Patrick Baker has thrived in these situations winning seven times in the first meeting with an opponent in his tenure. Last season alone, Baker’s Seminoles won four first-time meetings including two wins over NCAA Tournament teams. If you add in the first win in a series, Baker has recorded the program’s first win over 15 schools since his arrival in 1999 and FSU has scored three or more goals in 10 of those games.

UCF      2000    3-1             GMU       2001    3-2
Duke     2001    3-2             Kansas    2001    4-1
Florida  2000    3-2             Louis.    2001    3-2
Georgia  1999    2-1             Loyola    2001    2-1
Miami    2000    3-1             Oregon    2000    1-0
Texas AM 2000    4-1             Ore St    2000    2-1
UNC      2000    3-2             Wright St 1999    3-0
Wake     2000    2-0
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