Nov. 15, 2006
§This is the fifth time FSU has played in the round of 16 with the first three trips all coming on the road.
§The Seminoles lost their first two third round matches in school history but have now won two in a row leading to College Cup appearances in 2003 and 2005.
§FSU and Illinois meet for the second time in the history of the programs. The first meeting was in the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament in Gainesville.
§The Seminoles have never defeated a Big 10 team in the regular season (0-2) but never lost to a Big 10 team in the NCAA Tournament (1-0).
§This is the first time in NCAA History there have been three consecutive NCAA Tournament games played in Tallahassee.
§Current FSU assistant coach Eric Bell spent four years as an assistant with the Fighting Illini before coming to Tallahassee this season.
§The Seminoles are in the midst of a program-best 18-game home unbeaten streak that dates back to a September 22, 2005 loss to North Carolina.
§With two wins opening weekend, FSU now owns the fifth-best all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage of teams with 10 or more postseason games.
§Only three schools have advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament more often than Florida State in the last four years.
§This is the second straight season FSU will need to beat Illinois and Cal in back-to-back games to reach the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
§With nine goals versus Jacksonville and Cal opening weekend, FSU scored more goals in two games than the team did in all five matches on its run to the College Cup last year.
§For the sixth year in a row Florida State shutout its opening round opponent in the NCAA Tournament.
§When FSU takes on Illinois Sunday, it will be the Seminoles 10th straight game versus a 2006 NCAA Tournament team.
§This is the first time FSU has ever played an NCAA Tournament game on SUN Sports.
This is the fifth time in seven trips to the NCAA Tournament that Florida State has advanced to the round of 16. In 2000 FSU lost to Clemson by a score of 2-0 in South Carolina. In 2002 it was a 1-0 loss to UConn in Storrs. Florida State finally got over the hump in 2003 when they traveled to West Virginia and beat the Mountaineers 3-2 in double OT. After three shutout losses, the game played in Morgantown in 2003 was not only the first win for FSU but it was the first game the Seminoles even scored in. After a first round exit in 2004,FSU won its second third round match last season at home versus Cal. This year's run through the NCAA's is unlike any other for FSU. Although the program has advanced to the third round five times now, none of the routes have ever been like this. For the first FSU will play three straight NCAA Tournament games at home. In the first five NCAA invites FSU had been sent on the road twice to open play. In 2001 the squad was sent to Clemson where they won the first game but lost the second. In 2004 it was off to Gainesville where FSU tied BC in the opening game and was knocked out in a shootout. The three previous trips to the round of 16 all started with at least one home game. In 2000 a home win versus JU started FSU's run. In 2002 there were home victories over Ole Miss and Auburn and in 2003 over Dartmouth and Auburn once again. Sunday's match versus Illinois mark just the second time FSU has ever played a game at the Seminole Soccer Complex later than November 17. The latest game ever played coming into 2005 was November 17, 2003 when FSU beat Auburn 2-1 to advance to UConn for the Sweet 16.
SERIES RECORD: FSU leads 1-0
AT TALLAHASSEE: First Meeting
WIN STREAK: FSU one in a row
LAST MEETING: FSU 2 Illinois 1
SO WE MEET AGAIN
Although this is the second straight year Florida State and Illinois will meet in the NCAA Tournament, it is still a pretty rare occurrence for FSU to face a team from the Big 10.Of the 264 games played in program history only three have ever come against Big 10 teams. That is just over 1% of Florida State's all-time games. That is probably a good thing for the Seminoles considering FSU is just 1-2 lifetime versus Big 10 schools with the only win coming over the Fighting Illini last year in the NCAA Tournament. The only two times FSU had squared off with Big 10 opponents prior to last season came in 2000 versus Ohio State in Missouri and in 2003 at home versus Penn State. Both games were 2-1 losses. FSU reversed that trend last season when FSU and Illinois met in Gainesville storming out to a 2-0 lead before surrendering a late goal. FSU out shot Illinois 20-8 in that match but both teams put six of their shots on goal. Florida State returns both of its goal scorers from that match as both Selin Kuralay and India Trotter recorded goals for Florida State.
If you are thinking Florida State's 2006 NCAA Tournament path seems very similar to the team's trek in 2005, you are not crazy.Florida State will face Illinois and Cal in back-to-back weeks for the second straight year in NCAA Tournament play. The opponents for the Seminoles are the same in the second and third rounds but the weeks are reversed. Last year Florida State faced Illinois in the second round and Cal in the third round. This season the match-ups are flip-flopped having faced Cal last week and Illinois this Sunday. The Seminoles went a perfect 2-0 versus those two teams last year on the way to the team's second College Cup and have already defeated the Golden Bears in 2006. This Sunday's game with Illinois will mark the fifth time FSU has faced a team in consecutive NCAA Tournaments and the Seminoles have posted a 3-1 record in the next meeting with that team. After losing to Clemson in 2001 following a 2000 loss to the Tigers, FSU has won three straight second meetings with an NCAA Tournament opponent. Florida State faced Auburn for the first time in 2001 and then defeated the Tigers in 2002. After beating Auburn in 2002, the Seminoles beat them again in 2003. This year FSU picked up a win over Cal after seeing the Bears in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Overall, FSU is 4-2 in its second meeting with a team in the NCAA Tournament.
Team 1st Game/YR 2nd Game/YR
JU W 4-1/2000 W 6-0/2006
Clemson L 2-0/2000 L 1-0/2001
Florida W 2-1/2000 W 2-1/2003
Auburn W 1-0/2001 W 2-1/2002
UConn L 1-0/2002 L 2-0/2003
Cal W 2-1/2005 W 3-1/2006
SIXTEEN IS SWEET
Although the third round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament isn't called the `Sweet 16' it has been just that for Florida State. Entering the 2000 season the Seminoles had not been to a single NCAA Tournament. Seven years later the squad is preparing for its fifth round of 16 match.The Seminoles are one of only nine schools that have played in five or more third round games in the last seven years. Only six schools have been to more and among that group are three National Champions. This group of only nine schools represents some of the most successful programs in the history of women's college soccer including North Carolina, Portland, UCLA and Notre Dame among others. Virginia joins FSU and UNC as the only ACC schools on the list and only North Carolina has gone more times than the Seminoles. The ACC leads the way with three teams on the list while only one other conference has even two teams and that is the WCC (Portland and Santa Clara). Regionally speaking, FSU is the only southern team to make it onto the list.
16's SINCE 2000
Santa Clara 6
Texas A&M 6
Penn State 6
Florida State 5
Notre Dame 5
The Seminole soccer team came into the NCAA Tournament having played the third-most games versus NCAA Tournament teams in the nation. FSU played 12 games versus nine teams that were invited to the postseason. After the first two rounds of play, the Seminoles schedule looks even tougher.Florida State has played seven games versus the 15 teams still remaining in the NCAA Tournament. Only North Carolina has played more (9) and Texas A&M is the only other school to equal FSU with seven. Only five of the remaining NCAA Tournament teams have played six or more games versus the 16 schools still standing and three of those schools are from the ACC. When FSU takes on Illinois Sunday, it will be the Seminoles ninth straight game versus a 2006 NCAA Tournament team. When you compare that to the rest of the country those number are pretty amazing. For example, Notre Dame, a No. 1 seed and the No. 1 team in the nation, did not play a single game in 2006 versus any of the round of 16 squads. The Big 12 would be the next best behind the ACC with all three of its remaining teams playing at least five versus the remaining field but still less than the ACC's four.
Games Versus NCAA Teams
Team 1st Rnd. Team 2nd Rnd. Team 3rd Rnd. Team
North Carolina 15 12 9
Florida State 12 10 7
Texas A&M 10 8 7
Clemson 10 9 6
Penn State 10 6 6
Virginia 9 8 5
Texas 8 7 5
Colorado 9 7 5
As good as a weekend as it was for the Seminoles, it was an even better opening weekend for the conference office in Greensboro as far as the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament is concerned. The ACC sent a five of its seven NCAA Tournament teams through to the round of 16, more than any other conference. Florida State, North Carolina, Boston College, Clemson and Virginia are all still alive as the ACC represents 31% of the 16 teams still playing soccer this week. No other conference sent even four teams through and only one other, the Big 12, sent three. What's even more impressive is the way the ACC's seven performed on opening weekend. In the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament the ACC posted a record of 8-1-5 with the only loss coming in a match-up of ACC teams between Virginia and Wake Forest. That means no other conference in the entire NCAA Tournament recorded a victory versus an ACC team last week. Compare that to the Big East which also placed seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. Of the seven teams only Notre Dame is still alive. The Big 12 has fared very well also as three of the four teams the conference sent to the NCAA Tournament all advanced.
16 By Conference
Big 12 3
Big 10 2
Big East 1
TURNING IT ON
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the Seminoles entering the 2006 NCAA Tournament centered on the team's offense. FSU scored just 28 regular season goals, the second-lowest total in the history of the program. If the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament was any indication, those troubles are a thing of the past. With nine goals versus Jacksonville and Cal opening weekend, FSU scored more goals in two games than the team did in all five matches on its run to the College Cup last year. The nine goals in two games were more than the team had scored in the previous eight games combined coming into postseason play. It all started with a school postseason record six goals versus Jacksonville and then continued to roll with three more versus Cal, all of which were scored in the first 27 minutes of that match. The Seminoles offensive outburst is a positive sign. The last time FSU scored nine or more goals in any NCAA Tournament was in 2003 and that team ended up playing in the College Cup. Something can be said for scoring early building confidence. Versus Jacksonville FSU scored the quickest NCAA Tournament goal in school history versus JU and then followed with five more over the course of the match. Versus Cal, Florida State tallied three goals in the first 27 minutes of that match and cruised to another win. Overall, in two NCAA Tournament games the Seminoles have scored seven first half goals of which five have come before the clock reached 30:00.
COUNT ON THEM
When it came time to move into the NCAA Tournament the Seminoles turned to their most reliable offensive players and they delivered. Florida State's top two scorers over the last two seasons both stepped up their games opening weekend and even more specifically versus Cal. India Trotter and Selin Kuralay accounted for two goals, two assists, a game-winning goal and two game winning assists. While Katrin Schmidt stole the show Friday night versus Jacksonville, Trotter and Kuralay were the heavy hitters on Sunday. Kuralay put FSU on top just 6:52 into the match with a jaw-dropping strike and then she sealed FSU's win when her picture perfect assist which led to the eventual game-winning goal. Kelly Rowland, the most experienced starter on the team, played a huge role as well. The defender-turned-midfielder scored that first goal versus JU three minutes in then assisted on the second goal of the match. Those three points equaled the number of points Rowland had in five NCAA Tournament games in 2005.
Since Mark Krikorian took over the Seminole soccer program in 2005, Florida State has made Tallahassee a very difficult place to play. Not only are the Seminoles unbeaten in their last 18 home games, FSU is 18-1-2 all time at the Seminole Soccer Complex under Krikorian. In those 21 matches, Florida State has outscored its opponents 55-13. The statistical edge FSU has playing at home is remarkable. FSU has scored four times as many goals as its opponents over the last two years in Tallahassee but where the team has really hurt opponents is in the second half. Over the last two seasons Florida State has a 33-4 edge in second half scoring. That isn't the only area where FSU has been dominant though. The Seminoles have out shot opponents 495-154, taken 139 corners to just 41 for opponents and put 200 shots on goal compared to just 61. Over this two year stretch the defense has been just as remarkable led by Ali Mims in net. Since 2005, Mims has posted a 0.66 GAA in home matches and FSU has shutout 11 of those 23 opponents.
As remarkable as those numbers are over a two-year stretch, they are even more amazing this season. Florida State is 9-0-2 this year at home and the reasons for that success are numerous. First, FSU has scored almost six times as many goals that their opponents at home this year. The Seminoles outscore teams 23-4 at the Seminole Soccer Complex in 2006. FSU takes more than three shots for every one shot an opponent takes (286-62) and has three times as many corner kicks. The Seminoles' defense is another huge reason for the success. FSU has a home GAA of just 0.35 this season and seven shutouts. Those are phenomenal numbers considering Portland, Florida, Virginia and Clemson are among the teams that played in Tallahassee this season. Another sign of how good the defense is at home. In 2006, of the four goals FSU has allowed three have been unassisted as the backline is just not allowing opponents to break them down.
FSU AT HOME (05-06)
Record 18-1-2 1-18-2
Goals 55 13
Shots 495 154
SOG 200 61
CK 139 41
SO 11 2
GAA 0.60 2.54
NOT SO FAR FROM HOME
Florida State's roster features six international players from five countries. The Seminoles feature players from Germany, Japan, Australia, Spain and Holland. You would think the comforts of being in Tallahassee would apply less to them than anyone else but that isn't the case. This year FSU's top three goal scorers and point producers in home games are international players. Mami Yamaguchi, Selin Kuralay and Katrin Schmidt are 1-2-3 in goals scored at the Seminole Soccer Complex and 1-2-3 in points as well. Those three players are the only Seminoles to record double digit points in home games this year. Yamaguchi, Kuralay and Schmidt have combined for 15 of FSU's 23 goals scored at home and 37 of the squad's 68 points. On top of that, the three internationals also have two-thirds of the squad's nine game-winning goals.
TRY TO HOLD HER DOWN
Selin Kuralay's goal versus Cal which put FSU up 1-0 was the first for the Australian in a four game stretch. After scoring versus Duke, Kuralay went three straight games without a goal before the Cal match. It was the first time all season Kuralay had been held without a goal in three straight games and just the second time that had happened in her FSU career. The midfielder has been remarkably consistent scoring goals over the last two seasons. Kuralay has only been held without a goal in back-to-back games 10 times in 45 opportunities during her two years at FSU. The last time she was held without a goal for three straight games was in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Kuralay scored versus Illinois in the second round and then did not tally another goal the rest of the season. This year she has once again scored a goal in a second round game but Kuralay will look to not repeat 2005 when that was her last goal of the year.
SHE'S A DEFENDER?
People who are around the FSU soccer team day in and day out rave about Katrin Schmidt. The sophomore defender from Germany had her coming out party versus Jacksonville and now a lot more people know what we all knew already.Schmidt recorded the first hat trick in FSU postseason history and set new individual records for goals and points in a NCAA Tournament game as she scored FSU's second, third and fourth goals versus JU Friday. With her three goals versus the Dolphins, Schmidt had as many goals as the entire team in any single game during the 2006 season prior to Friday night. Schmidt had a breakout game in a little bit of a different role. All season long she was the defender who was a huge part of sparking the Seminole attack but Friday she was finishing attack after attack. Schmidt's performance was so amazing considering she had just one point in five NCAA Tournament games last season and just two shots. With her assist in 2005 and three goals Friday Schmidt is already third all-time at FSU for career goals and fifth for points in NCAA Tournament play. The hat trick was just the 10th in the history of Florida State and the first ever recorded by a defender. The last hat trick was recorded by former Seminole and fellow German Viola Odebrecht at Virginia Tech last season. Coming into the 2005 season Schmidt had one career goal and five total points this year she has five goals and 12 points. She is now fourth on the team in points and goals scored.
IN THE RUNNING
Florida State University has placed a soccer player on the watch list for the prestigious M.A.C. Hermann Trophy for three straight years now but none of those players ever got any closer to the award than the pre-season list. That all changed in a big way Monday whenboth Selin Kuralay and India Trotter were named the first semi-finalists for the award in program history. FSU was one of four schools to place two players among the 15 semi-finalists. Kuralay and Trotter are first and second for Florida State in goals, points and game-winning goals. They have combined to score almost half (19) of the Seminoles 40 goals this season and they have eight of the 16 game-winners scored by FSU players in 2006. In the last two seasons Trotter and Kuralay have combined for 48 goals and 120 points in a span of 48 games.
WE SCORE, WE WIN
If you are a believer in signs, here is one to look for Sunday.Florida State has never lost an NCAA Tournament game in which they have scored a goal. All five of FSU's NCAA Tournament losses have been shutout for their opponents. FSU's five shutout losses in the NCAA Tournament have come versus Clemson (2), UConn (2) and UCLA. The Tigers blanked FSU in 2000 and 2001. The Huskies recorded clean sheets against the Seminoles in 2002 and 2003. In 2004 it was BC who kept FSU off the board in a 0-0 tie in which the Eagles advanced on PK's. While scoring seems obvious in correlation to winning, it isn't as closely related as one may think. All-time, FSU is just 25-36-7 in games where the team has scored one goal for a .419 winning percentage so that fact FSU has never lost when scoring a goal in the NCAA Tournament is a big improvement. The stat is a little misleading though. In FSU's 14 NCAA Tournament wins, 13 of the victories have come when FSU has scored two or more goals. The only times Florida State scored just one goal in a postseason game was in a 1-0 win over Auburn in 2001 and a 1-1 tie with North Carolina last year.
SUN SHINE ON ME
Florida State's game versus Illinois will be the first FSU postseason match ever televised on SUN Sports. FSU has taken a liking to playing on SUN. In 2004 SUN Sports was still known as the Sunshine Network. That year FSU soccer lost all three games broadcast by Sunshine.In 2005 the cable network changed its name to SUN Sports and since then Florida State has won five straight on the new SUN Sports. This season the Seminoles have beaten Florida, UCF and Miami on SUN. Last year it was victories over the Gators and Miami. In 2005 FSU also won a game on SUN Sports sister network FSN Florida. FSU has appeared on television in the NCAA Tournament before but the results were not nearly as good. The Seminoles lost both TV games in the NCAA Tournament when the team was on ESPN2 at the College Cup.
WHAT A START
Florida State couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2006 NCAA Tournament than what the team got Friday night versus Jacksonville. The Seminoles recorded the second-most lopsided result of the opening round's 32 games defeating Atlantic Sun Champion Jacksonville 6-0.Florida State broke or tied 15 team and individual records for postseason play in the match. FSU set new records for most goals, most first half goals, most shots, most first half shots, most second half shots, largest margin of victory, quickest goal, most points in a game by a player, most goals in a game by a player and most shots in a game by a player. The Seminoles also tied records for least goals allowed, least goals allowed in a first half, least goals allowed in a second half and fewest corner kicks allowed. The most one-sided game FSU ever played in an NCAA Tournament before Friday night was a 2003 5-0 win at home versus Dartmouth in the opening round. The Seminoles obviously bested that by a goal Friday but one record that was set wasn't even close to the previous high. The most shots ever taken by FSU in a postseason game came in the first NCAA Tournament game ever played by Florida State. In 2000 the Seminoles took 20 shots against Jacksonville in the first round. The Seminoles smashed that record versus the Dolphins this year taking 36 shots. Florida State also set a new school postseason attendance record with 1076 fans. It was the third time in eight home matches in the NCAA Tournament that the Seminoles have drawn over 1,000 fans.