Aug. 19, 2003
Tallahassee, FL - The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) released the first poll of the 2003 soccer season Monday and FSU debuted at No. 15. The ranking is the highest preseason spot in an NSCAA poll ever for Florida State.
"It is great to receive preseason recognition. I think it not only a credit to what we have done in previous years but what the coaches think of your recruiting class and the potential of your team," said head coach Patrick Baker. "We have been in this situation before and last year we didn't handle it as well as we could have. At the end of the year, hopefully we are in the mix and a part of the national picture come December."
All three of FSU's first opponents appear in the preseason poll. Penn State leads the group at No. 7, USC is 19th and Florida is 21st. Overall, seven FSU opponents are ranked in the NSCAA poll including No. 2 North Carolina and No. 11 Virginia.
"Regardless of what other's thought, we knew Florida would be back in the top 25," said Baker. "For whatever reason things didn't seem to go their way last year but they have too much talent to not comeback and have a very good year. Penn State and USC are perennially strong. Those first three games are about as challenging as there is in the country to start off the first two weekends of play.
Florida State has started the season ranked 16th and 17th in the NSCAA coaches' poll the last two years. The Tribe's highest preseason ranking came last year when SoccerBuzz ranked the Tribe 10th in the nation.
The Seminoles watched video before their first practice today before taking the field for over an hour. Florida State will complete its second two-a-day tonight at 5:00 p.m. For complete updates on FSU soccer preseason action, log on to www.seminoles.com the official athletic website for Florida State University.