Aug. 11, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - The Seminole soccer team will open the 2006 season with the highest preseason ranking in school history. Florida State is ranked fourth in the first college soccer poll of the year. This is the second time in three years the Seminoles have opened the season in Soccer Buzz's top five but the first time FSU has been ranked this highly. It is a stark contrast from the 2005 season when FSU was unranked coming into the year.
The No. 4 ranking in Buzz's poll is not a school record as FSU was ranked third in back-to-back weeks in 2004 after opening that season ranked fifth. Although the rank may not be a record overall, FSU did establish a Soccer Buzz first when the poll was released today. For the first time in the history of the Soccer Buzz poll, North Carolina did not open the season as the No. 1 team in the Southeast rankings. That honor belongs to the Seminoles this year. Florida State is only the fourth team ever to be ranked No. 1 in the region joining the Tar Heels, Clemson and Florida. This is just the eighth time in 116 polls that somebody other than UNC is first in the Southeast region rankings.
The Seminoles return nine of 11 starters from a squad that advanced to the College Cup in 2005. FSU is one of just two schools to play in two of the last three College Cups and the team is coming off its best season in school history after posting a 20-4-1 record and an 8-2 mark in the ACC. Florida State was already picked to finish second in the conference by the ACC coaches.
The Seminoles opened preseason practice today as they prepare for their season opener August 27 versus defending National Champion Portland. The Pilots are one of four top 10 teams on the FSU schedule and one of six top 15 teams the Seminoles will face. Three of FSU's first seven games will come versus top 11 teams as the Seminoles face No. 5 Portland, No. 11 Florida and No. 6 North Carolina in the first month of the season.
Check Seminoles.com later tonight for news, quotes and photos from FSU's first day of preseason training.