Oct. 11, 2006
Tallahassee, FL - After playing five of their last seven games on the road, the third-ranked Seminoles finally return home today. Florida State (9-1-2) will host Stetson this afternoon at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The game may be played at a familiar venue but not at a familiar time. FSU will kick-off at 4:00 p.m. today. It is the earliest start for a Wednesday game for FSU in seven years.
"Playing a mid-week game at 4:00 is a little strange," said forward Holly Peltzer. "It is always nice to experience something a little different and that's definitely what this is."
Playing at 4:00 p.m. during the week is going to be a new experience for every current Seminole since the last time FSU played a Wednesday game this early in the day was October 6, 1999. This is just the 16th game in program history played on a Wednesday but FSU has fared well in those previous matches going 10-3-2 all-time but posting an even more impressive record of 8-0-2 in the last 10.
The most surprising thing about FSU's Wednesday games has to do with the venues the games have been played at and not the times. Florida State has only played at home three times on a Wednesday and not once since an NCAA Tournament first round game versus Jacksonville in 2000. That means there has never been a regular season game played on a Wednesday at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
"It is weird but gameday is gameday," said senior Ali Mims. "We will just have to adjust our schedule a little bit. It kind of throws you off a little. We play games anywhere from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the season so it won't bother us."
After faring very well while playing five of the last seven on the road, the Seminoles are coming back to play at a stadium where they have been even more successful. Florida State will enter the game with Stetson in the midst of a 12-game home unbeaten streak. It is tied for the longest such streak in school history and FSU will try and set a new record today versus the Hatters.
"It has been a great environment for home games this year," said Mims. "The fans have been really supportive and dedicated. That helps us out a lot. Home field advantage is something special here. It is our turf and we want to protect it every time out."
Protecting their turf won't be an easy task for the Seminoles this afternoon. While FSU enters the match on a five-game unbeaten streak, Stetson is even hotter going 7-0-1 in its last eight after a 1-5 start to the season. Florida State has won all four meetings with the Hatters and has never allowed Stetson to score a goal in any of those matches. FSU scored multiple goals in each of the three meetings in the 90's winning 3-0, 4-0 and 4-0. The last time the teams met though it was a different story. Florida State needed a Leah Gallegos goal at 1:03 of the first overtime period to get by Stetson in Tallahassee.
"Coming into Tallahassee and going against a top five team is going to light a fire under any opponent," said senior Kelly Rowland. "They are going to try and knock us off. They have had a lot of success lately and I am sure they feel very confident as a group. We need to approach this game like we have approached each game, remain focused and I think we will be OK."
Stetson is the fourth of six in-state opponents FSU plays this season. The Seminoles are currently on an eight game win streak versus in-state foes. Winning inside the state of Florida has been a huge priority for Florida State this decade and the results show. The Seminoles are 37-4-0 versus Florida schools since 2000. That translates to a winning percentage of .902 against teams from the Sunshine State over the last eight seasons.
"In-state games always have an element of a rivalry no matter who they are against," said defender Libby Gianeskis. "We all want to be the best team in the state because that's where it all starts."
"We always want to play well against in-state schools," said Peltzer. "We have done a pretty good job of that over the years and it is something we take pride in."
Wednesday game is set for a 4:00 p.m. start at the Seminole Soccer Complex. There is no admission charge for the game. Fans who are unable to attend can watch the game live over the Internet thanks to ACC Select. Game Tracker will also be available at Seminoles.com.