Sept. 28, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - The third-ranked Florida State (7-1, 1-1) soccer team returns to ACC play tonight hosting eight-ranked Virginia (7-2-1, 2-0) at 7:00 p.m. After splitting a pair of conference road games last weekend, FSU will look to build on its win over NC State against the only ACC school they have never beaten. In 14 games versus the Cavaliers, FSU is 0-13-1. The last eight conference meetings have all been one goal losses for FSU.
"It is kind of funny that our program has never been able to beat Virginia," said All-American India Trotter. "We advanced past them once in the ACC Tournament but that game was a tie. I would love to be able to finish my last year with a win over Virginia. That would be great. We have to come out with our `A' game if we want to get a result."
"The amount of close games shows how close the levels are between the programs," said Kelly Rowland. "We haven't been able to get over the hump in close games with them. It is always a hard fought battle. I expect the same tonight."
The Seminoles and Cavaliers met twice last season with UVA winning both matches via shutouts. The last three times FSU has played the Cavs the Seminoles have been unable to score a goal. The last time Florida State scored on Virginia was in 2003 in Charlottesville. The Cavalier's shutout streak is now at 301:41 in the series.
"Our attacking is getting much better each game," said Trotter. "We just need to be on the same page. We have to take calculated risks and play all out. That is the way you generate chances on goal."
"Last year in the first game at their place I thought they played very well and we played poorly," said FSU head Coach Mark Krikorian. "They certainly deserved to win that game. I don't think we were dangerous very much in that game. In the ACC Tournament game I thought we played very well. We were dangerous many times. Territorially I thought we established ourselves very strongly in the game. I felt they scored against the run of play. My view is always if we play well, we will find a way to get good results. If we play like we did in the second game last year, I think we have a good chance to get a result tonight. If we play like we did at Virginia, we are going to struggle."
As much as the Seminoles will need to generate an attack versus a Cavalier squad that has allowed just four goals in 10 games, the Seminoles must also concern themselves with an offense that is averaging over two goals per game and has nine different players that have scored a goal this season. Seven different UVA players have multiple goals this season compared to just three for Florida State.
"We have to communicate throughout the whole game and stay compact," said defender Libby Gianeskis. "If we are on the same page in the back, we are a very hard defense to break down."
This is Virginia's sixth trip to Tallahassee and the Cavaliers are a perfect 5-0 up to this point. Florida State has yet to lose a home game in 2006 and since Krikorian took over the program FSU is 12-1 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. FSU has already had two of the three largest crowds in school history come out this season as the team is averaging over 2,200 fans per game.
"We are excited to have Virginia come to town," said Krikorian. "I think you will have two very good soccer playing teams. Both will put the ball on the ground and attack in different ways. From top to bottom their team is very talented. They are well coached and well organized. We should have a good, hard game."
"Playing at home is a big factor," said Trotter. "We get unbelievable fan support. It is a big advantage for us but there is only so much the crowd can do. We have to play well."
Thursday's game will be the second Seminole soccer game broadcast via a live video stream available at Seminoles.com. The webcast is part of the ACC Select package. The FSU/Virginia match is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start and there is no admission charge. The game will be played at the Seminole Soccer Complex on the campus of Florida State University.