Sept. 6, 2006
FSU vs. FLORIDA
SERIES RECORD: Florida leads 8-5
IN TALLAHASSEE: Florida leads 3-2
TRENDS: FSU has won five of the last eight
LAST MEETING: FSU 4 UF 2 (2005)
There is no doubt that throughout the northern part of Florida, soccer fans think there is no better rivalry in the women's game than Florida State and Florida but that opinion is growing beyond the Sunshine State. Since 2000 the series is 5-3 in favor of FSU and five of the last nine games have been decided by one goal. On top of the natural rivalry between the schools, the games have obviously been close and the teams have met in the NCAA Tournament twice in the last six years. There is some evidence though that since 2000 there has been no better series in all of college soccer than the annual clash between the Seminoles and Gators and that isn't just regional bias talking. Since 2000, 10 different schools have played in the College Cup and of those 10 schools only Florida State and Florida play an annual out of conference game. Florida (FSU and UF) and California (UCLA and Santa Clara) are the only two states to even have two schools that have played in a College Cup since 2000. Florida State also plays North Carolina annually as members of the ACC making FSU the only team in America to play two College Cup teams from the last five years every season since 2000. One good omen for Florida in this meeting has to do with the rankings. The lower ranked team in the series has won seven of the last eight meetings. The only exception came in 2003 when the seventh-ranked Gators defeated an un-ranked FSU team 2-0 in Gainesville. While Florida State is still looking for its first ever shutout against UF they did get one monkey off their back in that 4-2 win in Gainesville in 2005. That was the first time an FSU team had ever defeated the University of Florida by more than one goal.
HE KNOWS FLORIDA
Anytime a new coach comes to FSU he or she usually can't truly know the FSU/UF rivalry until they have been through it. The same was the case for first year head coach Mark Krikorian when the Seminoles first traveled to Gainesville in September of 2005. He has a better understanding now. On top of getting his first taste of the rivalry, Krikorian's success versus UF continued with a 4-2 win. The Seminole coach went 2-2 versus Florida as the head coach of Hartford and his Hawks upset the defending National Champion Gators in their first NCAA Tournament game after capturing the crown in 1999. To show just how good a coach Krikorian is his same Hartford team had lost 5-0 earlier that same season to Florida. The year before the Hawks fell to the Gators 5-2. Krikorian continued to have the Gators number in 2000 as his Hawks once again downed UF this time by a 3-0 score in Virginia. So after being outscored 10-2 in his first two games against UF, Krikorian went 2-0 in the next two games winning by a combined score of 4-0. Talk about making adjustments. With his win in his first meeting with Florida as FSU's coach, Krikorian is now 3-2 lifetime versus UF.
The series between the Seminoles and Gators has been a hard one to figure since 2000. After the Gators jumped out to a 5-0 lead, it has been a very tightly contested series. After Florida State beat UF last season, the Seminoles moved out to a 5-3 lead this decade. Since 2000 there has been no rhyme or reason to the series really. In 2000 the teams met twice and FSU won once in Gainesville and once in Tallahassee. After that it was all about home field advantage. The next three games were all won by the home team until the national quarterfinal match in 2003. FSU went down to Gainesville and eliminated the Gators to go to the College Cup signaling the start of a three game run where the visitor has won each game. The last time UF came to Tallahassee was 2004 and the Gators won that game 2-1. That broke a mini two-game win streak for FSU at home in the series.
WE'RE STILL STANDING
Florida State's run to the 2005 College Cup was easily one of the top storylines of the 2005 season. The Seminoles were unranked, playing under a new coach and returning players who scored just nine goals the previous season so FSU's run to the final four was pretty amazing. What the Seminoles are doing in 2006 is pretty amazing as well. Of the four teams that played in the 2005 College Cup, FSU is the only one that has not lost a game as of yet. Defending National Champion Portland is 2-1-1, national runner-up UCLA is 3-1 and Penn State is 1-1-2. Florida State handed Portland its only loss and Texas beat Penn State who opened the season by beating UCLA.
WELCOME HOME WAGS
Florida State will get a big piece back just in time for the Florida game Friday night. Sarah Wagenfuhr will be back from Russia where she played with the US U-20 National Team. This is the completion of an eight month tour of duty preparing for the recently completed FIFA World Championships. Wags started every game for Florida State last season as a center back and she could slide right back into that role on Friday night.
RETURN TO OLD
It used to be that when Florida and Florida State played in Tallahassee you could pencil in a top five crowd. In the 2003 Florida State media guide three of the top four all-time attendances at FSU were games versus the Gators. Things have changed a bit since then. The rise of the Seminole soccer program has meant bigger crowds for all Florida State's games. That was evident when the second largest crowd in school history showed up for the season opener with Portland. That dropped Florida down to third on the all-time attendance list for FSU home games. While every FSU/UF game in Tallahassee has been played in front of at least 1,000 fans, only two of those matches rank among the top 10 when at one point just a few seasons ago four of the top seven crowds all-time in Tallahassee came in this series. That may all change Friday night. The Seminole faithful came out to the tune of 1,625 fans in the season opener versus Portland. With FSU now ranked No. 1 and the game being played on a Friday night before a home football game, the school record of 1,912 may just be in jeopardy this weekend.
TOP 10 HOME ATTENDANCES
DATE TEAM RESULT ATTENDANCE
9/22/05 North Carolina L 4-1 1,912
8/27/06 Portland W 2-1 1,612*
9/27/02 Florida W 2-1 1,603
10/17/00 North Carolina W 3-2 1,582
10/22/04 North Carolina L 0-4 1,504
10/9/05 Boston College W 3-0 1,360
9/24/04 Virginia L 0-1 1,307
8/25/00 Florida W 3-2 1,282
8/27/04 Arizona State W 3-2 1,247
10/21/05 Wake Forest W 4-1 1,143
*Largest daytime crowd in FSU soccer history
After a big win in 2005 to start the season, a then unranked Florida State team needed a golden goal to beat Loyola Marymount. If you ask FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian, he will tell you that was a big turning point for his team on the way to the College Cup. It was déjà vu all over again Friday night in Tempe, AZ for the Seminoles. After upsetting the defending National Champions in the season opener this year, Arizona State took FSU to the brink but once again Selin Kuralay scored the golden goal in the 103rd minute to send FSU to a 1-0 overtime win over Arizona State. While it remains to be seen if the overtime victory over the Sun Devils will be a turning point for this FSU team, what is more obvious is Kuralay's continued knack for the big goal. The golden goal was the second of Kuralay's career making her just the second player ever to record multiple golden goals in her career. The only other FSU player to ever record more than one OT goal is Leah Gallegos and she scored four over three seasons. The goal also represented the seventh game-winning goal of Kuralay's 27-game career. Kuralay is now tied for fourth all-time in career game-winning goals at FSU. What's most amazing about the Australian though is how little time it has taken her to climb that list. Cindy Schofield and Leah Gallegos own the record for game-winning goals at 11. It took Schofield 89 games to get 11 and Gallegos 60. At her current pace of .26 GWG per game, Kuralay could have the all-time record by the end of the season.
GWG per game
Selin Kuralay 0.26
Leah Gallegos 0.18
Cindy Schofield 0.12
Jez Ratliff 0.09
Camie Bybee 0.08
ONE NAME DOESN'T FIT
Senior Kelly Rowland has had a brilliant career in the middle of the FSU defense. Her 74 consecutive starts are the most in Florida State soccer history and she has been the centerpiece of three of the best defenses in school history. If the Wallingford, PA native had never recorded a point in her career, she would have still gone done in FSU lore as probably the best defender in Seminole history. That hasn't been the case though. With a goal and an assist this past weekend, Rowland moved into the top 10 all-time at FSU for points and she is the only defender on that list. Rowland now has 13 career goals and 16 assists for 42 points. Her goal and assist this past weekend were both game-winners as well. That upped her game-winning goal total to five in her career and her game-winning assist total to eight. With one more game-winning goal, Rowland would move into the top five in both career categories and she would be the only player in Seminole soccer history in the top five for GWG with eight GWA as well. Rowland is now just three game-winning assists away from tying the career record in that category.
CREEPING UP THE LIST
Sixth-year senior Ali Mims is off to a great start to the 2006 season. Her GAA is a stellar 0.66 and she has already recorded her first shutout of the season. With the clean sheet Mims posted versus Arizona State, she upped her career shutout total to 10. That makes Mims just the third Seminole keeper ever at FSU to record double digit shutouts. The sixth-year senior is now three shutouts behind former teammate Joy McKenzie and Melissa Juhl for the career record at FSU. She has also lowered her career GAA to 1.08 with her play so far, which is now just 0.02 behind McKenzie for that career record as well. While Mims may trail in shutouts and GAA, at least for the moment, there is one category where she leads the way. With her win versus ASU, Mims is the first goalkeeper in Florida State history to reach 30 career victories. With 31 career wins, she is now five ahead of McKenzie, who is second on that list.
THE BEST EVER
Keeper Wins SO GAA
Ali Mims 31 10 1.08
Joy McKenzie 26 13 1.06
Melissa Juhl 26 13 2.32
Florida State played its first overtime game of the season out in Tempe defeating Arizona State 1-0. Selin Kuralay scored the game-winner just 2:14 into the first overtime keeping FSU's impressive run in overtime games alive. Florida State is 14-5-16 in school history in overtime games meaning when the game goes into extra time, 86% of the time FSU will either win or tie that contest. The Seminoles have been better under Mark Krikorian. In two seasons, FSU has never lost under the Seminole head coach in OT improving to 3-0-1 in his FSU career. The last time FSU lost an overtime game was October 12, 2002 at home versus Wake Forest. Since then FSU has gone 12 straight OT games without a loss covering the last four seasons. Despite the one loss, FSU has been pretty special in overtime games this decade. Dating back to the 2000 season, Florida State has lost just one of 24 OT games and posted a 12-1-11 record. That means FSU has got a win or tie in 96% of its OT games this decade.
ITS HAPPENING AGAIN
In 2005 the Seminoles were clearly a second half team. Florida State scored almost twice as many goals in the second half as they did in the first. Last season the Seminoles had 23 first half goals and 40 in the second 45 minutes. That trend looks to be holding true again in 2006. FSU's goal versus Loyola (MD) was the first scored in the first half by a Seminole this year. FSU has scored five of its six goals in the second half or OT this year and all three of FSU's wins have come on goals scored in the second half or OT. That stat is nothing new for Florida State since head coach Mark Krikorian took over. Of the 20 wins FSU recorded last season, nine were secured with a second half or OT goal. In eight of those wins the game was tied at half in one victory FSU came back from a halftime deficit. In 2006, FSU has already comeback once when trailing at half and won two games that were tied after 45:00.
Last season's meeting between the Seminoles and Gators was pretty unique for FSU. In the 12-match history of the series coming into that meeting, Florida State had never had a player score two goals in a game versus the Gators yet in the 2005 game two Seminoles did just that. Selin Kuralay scored two first half goals and then Holly Peltzer put the game away with two of her own goals in the second half. Before the 2005 game only one Seminole, Jez Ratliff, had ever scored more than one goal in a career versus the Gators but Peltzer and Kuralay joined that list in one night. Ratliff still leads the way though with three career goals versus UF.
LAST WEEK'S STARSSelin Kuralay's golden goal just over two minutes into overtime to down Arizona State 1-0 in the opener. The central defender then scored the game-winning goal versus Loyola (MD). Her second half header broke a 1-1 tie and put Florida State ahead for good in a game it went on to win 3-1. Rowland continued to add to her school records for goals, assists and points by a defender with her 13th career goal, 16th career assist and her 42nd career point. She also has five game-winning goals and eight game-winning assists in her career now.
JuniorSelin Kuralay continued her march up the all-time scoring charts at FSU with two more goals this past weekend leading No. 1 FSU to wins over Arizona State and Loyola (MD) in Tempe, AZ. Her goal Friday night was the seventh game-winner of Kuralay's 27-game career. She is already tied for fourth all-time on FSU's career list. Kuralay is only the second Seminole to ever record multiple golden goals in her career. Her goal Sunday versus Loyola (MD) was the 18th of her career as she is nearing the top five all-time at Florida State although being on the team for just over one season.