College Cup Preview: Florida State Takes On Notre Dame Friday Night
Dec. 5, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Florida State women's soccer is headed to College Station, Texas for the 2007 Women's College Cup hosted by Texas A&M. The Seminoles are making their third straight appearance in the national semifinal and fourth in the last five years. Florida State will battle Notre Dame on Friday, December 7 at 5:00 pm on ESPN2 in a rematch of last year's semifinal game in which the Fighting Irish defeated the Seminoles 2-1.
This is the fourth time in eight trips to the NCAA Tournament that Florida State has advanced to the College Cup and all those trips have come in the last five seasons. Florida State has never won a match at the College Cup and has been outscored 8-1 in three previous trips. In 2003 FSU faced UConn in Cary, N.C. and lost to the Huskies 2-0. In 2005, the Seminoles opened up with UCLA in College Station, Texas and fell 4-0. Last year in Cary, N.C., the Garnet and Gold fell to Notre Dame 2-1, but not before registering a program first scoring their first goal in the national semifinals.
Florida State earned an at-large berth out of the Atlantic Coast Conference and is making its eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame, who is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history, received an automatic-bid after capturing the Big East Conference Championship. FSU is 20-6-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, while Notre Dame is 43-12-1.
In a rematch of last year's national semifinal contest, Florida State will seek redemption against a Notre Dame squad that eliminated the Seminoles from the tournament with a 2-1 victory in Cary, N.C. The Irish scored two first half goals less than three minutes apart to take a 2-0 halftime lead. Florida State came out of the locker room and answered with a goal in the 52nd minute as India Trotter cut the Seminole deficit to one. But Notre Dame would hang on to the one-goal victory and advance to the championship final against North Carolina.
For the third straight season Florida State received a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. This year the Seminoles earned a No. 3 seed, while the last two years saw FSU land a No. 2 seed in the tournament. The only other time the Seminoles received a national seed was in 2003. That year the team was seeded 11th. Every year Florida State has earned a national seed, the Seminoles have advanced to the College Cup.
Friday's semifinal round pits two of the top 10 winningest active coaches in Division I history in FSU's Mark Krikorian and Notre Dame's Randy Waldrum. Waldrum sits fourth all-time with 292 career victories and a winning percentage of .774. Krikorian has 223 victories and a .769 all-time winning percentage. Together the two coaches have combined for 515 victories in the college ranks.
The game will be televised live on ESPN2 at 5:00 pm EST, while gametracker will also be available for the contest.
NOTING THE COLLEGE CUP
This is the fourth time in eight trips to the NCAA Tournament that Florida State has advanced to the College Cup and all those trips have come in the last five seasons. Florida State has never won a match at the College Cup and has been outscored 8-1 in three previous trips. In 2003 FSU faced UConn in Cary, N.C. and lost to the Huskies 2-0. In 2005, the Seminoles opened up with UCLA in College Station, Texas and fell 4-0. Last year in Cary, N.C., the Garnet and Gold fell to Notre Dame 2-1, but not before registering a program first scoring their first goal in the national semifinals. Senior India Trotter brought the Seminoles within one with her eighth career tournament goal scoring in the 52nd minute. This is the second time FSU will play in the College Cup in College Station, Texas. When the Seminoles face Notre Dame on Friday in game one of the 2007 College Cup, it will mark the third time Florida State has played a match inside the Aggie Soccer Stadium. For the second time in as many years, FSU played four straight NCAA Tournament games at home to reach the College Cup. FSU has never lost at home posting an all-time record of 14-0-0. In the first six NCAA invites, FSU played just six of its 19 games at home. In the last two tournaments, FSU has played eight home games. In the first three rounds of this year's tournament, Florida State faced two opponents for the first time in school history (Kennesaw State and Texas), while it was the first time FSU had squared-off against three opponents in the NCAA Tournament (Kennesaw State, LSU and Texas). Florida State had never beaten Connecticut in two prior meetings before last weekend's 3-2 double overtime thriller. All three meetings against the Huskies have come during postseason play.
AGAINST THE FIGHTING IRISH
In a rematch of last year's national semifinal contest, Florida State will seek redemption against a Notre Dame squad that eliminated the Seminoles from the tournament with a 2-1 victory in Cary, N.C. The Irish scored two first half goals less than three minutes apart to take a 2-0 halftime lead. Florida State came out of the locker room and answered with a goal in the 52nd minute as India Trotter cut the Seminole deficit to one. But Notre Dame would hang on to the one-goal victory and advance to the championship final against North Carolina. Courtney Rosen and Jill Krivacek each scored for the Irish in the win. Notre Dame outshot Florida State 15-10 while the Seminoles held an 8-3 corner kick advantage. The two teams combined for 36 total fouls. Florida State is 11-4-1 versus current members of the Big East conference. Most of those wins came versus South Florida who FSU is 7-0-1 against lifetime. The Seminoles defeated Connecticut in last week's quarterfinal round, the team's first victory over the Huskies in three all-time meetings.
AGAINST THE BRUINS
Florida State and UCLA met for the first time in program history back in College Station, Texas at the 2005 College Cup and it was not a good memory for Florida State. After playing the first 38 minutes of the game even at 0-0, the Bruins scored two goals just under five minutes apart before half on their way to a 4-0 win. The Bruins handed FSU it's most-lopsided NCAA Tournament loss and scored the most goals ever allowed by an FSU team in the NCAA Tournament. If the teams were to meet again, it would be a match-up between the two most successful programs as far as College Cup appearances the last five years. Florida State and UCLA have combined to make nine trips to the College Cup in the last five seasons. While both have had success in reaching the final weekend of the season, neither has been able to hoist the National Championship trophy as of yet. Only Connecticut (7) and UMass (6) have been to more College Cups without winning a title than UCLA and FSU. If the two teams were to advance to the National Championship Sunday, obviously one would finally get to hold that trophy. The Seminoles have become a lot more familiar with Pac-10 opponents as of late. Two years ago, FSU defeated both Arizona State and Cal to raise the program's record to 9-2-1 all-time versus Pac-10 teams. The Seminoles are 4-1-0 versus Pac-10 teams in games played away from home with the only loss coming to UCLA in the 2005 College Cup.
AGAINST THE TROJANS
Of the three opponents in this year's College Cup, Florida State has faced Southern California the most. The Seminoles are 2-1-0 all-time against the Trojans having won two straight in the series. USC downed FSU 2-1 in the first-ever meeting back in 2003 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. But the Seminoles defeated the Trojans in back-to-back seasons in 2004 and 2005 outscoring USC 6-1. In fact, Mark Krikorian made his Seminole head coaching debut against Southern California in Los Angeles as the Seminoles upset the No. 18 ranked team in the nation 4-0 in 2005. In that game, Mami Yamaguchi, Kirsten van de Ven and Katrin Schmidt all started for the Seminoles in the win. Holly Peltzer also saw action for Florida State in the shutout victory. Melissa Samokishyn, who has been sidelined all season with a leg injury, is the only Seminole on the current roster to register a point against the Trojans, assisting on a goal by Ceci Shell. The Garnet and Gold are 1-0-0 against the Women of Troy on the road.
GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN Florida State's trip to the 2007 College Cup officially marks the program's ascension to one of the nation's elite. FSU is still searching for that first National Championship but nobody can deny the Seminoles' place among the top handful of programs this decade. FSU has now gone to three straight College Cups and has advanced to four of the last five national semifinals. Only UCLA has been to more College Cups over the last five seasons then FSU and only two schools have been to more College Cups this decade than the Seminoles. UCLA has made six appearances since 2000 followed by North Carolina with five. Notre Dame and Portland join Florida State with four trips to the College Cup this decade. FSU and UCLA are also the only two schools to make it to three straight College Cups (2005-2007). FSU now joins a prestigious list of only nine programs that have ever gone to three straight College Cups and one of just four schools that has accomplished that feat this decade.
When Patrick Baker left Florida State for Georgia just one season after leading the Seminoles to the school's first College Cup in 2003, there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the program. That was until Mark Krikorian came in. In just three seasons, Krikorian is proving himself to be one of the best Division I coaches in the game. Krikorian is not only the first DI coach to ever lead his team to three straight College Cups in his first three years in the era of the 64 team tournament, but he is also the only coach in the history of the NCAA to ever to take over a program and lead it to back-to-back-to-back College Cups in his first three seasons. No coach in America has advanced through 12 rounds of NCAA Tournament play in his first three seasons at a school except for Krikorian. Krikorian hasn't just been brilliant in the postseason. For the third straight season his teams have recorded at least 17 wins. The previous single-season record for wins came in 2003 when FSU recorded 17 victories that year. The two highest win totals in FSU history have now both come under Krikorian. In his first three seasons, Krikorian has led the Seminoles to 55 victories; it wasn't until the opening game of the 2001 season when Florida State reached its 55th career school victory. To put into perspective just how amazing that number is you just have to look back at the history of FSU soccer. It took 125 games from 1995 to 2001 for FSU to notch the 55th win in program history yet Krikorian has done it in just 76 career games.
For a team that never played in the NCAA Tournament prior to this decade, Florida State is making its presence felt quickly and is truly one of the biggest success stories in women's college soccer. Despite starting its program just over a decade ago, the only school that has matched Florida State's success over the same span is the Seminoles' biggest rival, Florida. FSU and UF are both in the top 10 for all-time NCAA Tournament wins despite having programs for just 13 seasons. Florida has won a National Championship and been to two College Cups while the Seminoles have been to four College Cups. The Seminoles have been to eight straight NCAA Tournaments, six round of 16's, four quarterfinals and four College Cups in the last eight seasons. Most amazingly, FSU is already in the top 10 for all-time NCAA Tournament wins sitting eighth all-time with 20. The Seminoles rank fifth in the history of the NCAA in wins per trip to the NCAA Tournament. The only schools that have won more games per trip to the NCAA's are North Carolina, Notre Dame, UCLA and Portland. Getting there is one thing but winning once you're in is another. Few teams have done a better job winning NCAA Tournament games than Florida State. Of the teams that have played 10 or more all-time games, FSU has the fifth-highest winning percentage of any team in NCAA Tournament history. Only the University of North Carolina, Notre Dame, UCLA and Portland have a better success rate in the tournament. FSU is in elite company. Only five teams have a winning percentage of .750 or better and three have won National Championships this decade (UNC, Notre Dame and Portland). Considering the fact that FSU has never gone through a tournament undefeated like Portland, UNC, Notre Dame and Santa Clara, it is amazing that their winning percentage is in the top five all-time.
THIRD TIMES A CHARM
The Seminoles return to the Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas for the third time in the history of the program. Florida State is 0-2-0 in its first two trips and they hope that a third time is the charm. Florida State made its first trip back in 1999 to face Texas A&M. The Aggies defeated the Seminoles 2-1 in front of a crowd of 1,525. Heather Ragsdale gave Texas A&M an early 1-0 lead scoring in the 15th minute, but Florida State would tie the gave a minute and 20 seconds into the start of the second half on a goal by April Murphy. At 77:03, the Aggies would take the lead for good as Nicky Thrasher knocked in the game-winner for a 2-1 victory. Seminole goalkeeper Sarah Crawford made eight saves in the defeat. The second trip to College Station came in the 2005 College Cup as Florida State lost to UCLA 4-0 in the national semifinals. Hopefully the third time around will mark FSU's first-ever victory in the state of Texas as well as the school's first win in the College Cup.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
When Florida State played Connecticut in the 2003 College Cup the team really had no idea what to expect. It was just the third time FSU had played in an NCAA Tournament and the Seminoles handled being just one game away from the national championship pretty well playing with UConn most of the way despite falling 2-0. Four years later it is a completely different story. The Seminoles enter Friday's game with Notre Dame with seven players who have started in a College Cup match and three others, Katrin Schmidt, Libby Gianeskis and Mami Yamaguchi, who have started two in their careers. Five of FSU's 11 starters Friday will have experience starting in last year's semifinal versus the Fighting Irish including Schmidt, Gianeskis, Yamaguchi, Kirsten van de Ven and Becky Edwards. Senior Holly Peltzer, who has started 21 games for FSU this year, saw action in the 2005 College Cup trip to College Station.
One of the reasons for Florida State's success in the NCAA Tournament has been playing in the ACC. The conference continually proves itself to be the best in the nation as eight of 11 teams made the NCAA Tournament field in 2007. The ACC has at least one team in the final four for the 25th time in 26 years, while FSU has represented the ACC in four of the last five seasons. Teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference have excelled in NCAA Tournament play because of the level of competition. The ACC season is basically like playing in the NCAA Tournament. For example, when FSU takes on Notre Dame Friday, it will be the Seminoles 13th straight game versus a 2007 NCAA Tournament team. No other team has played more than seven straight versus NCAA Tournament teams heading into the NCAA semifinals. Of the four teams still remaining only Florida State has played eight or more in a row and every other team have played seven or less. Not only has FSU played 12 straight versus NCAA Tournament teams they have dominated that competition. In the previous 12 games versus NCAA Tournament teams leading up to the semifinals FSU posted a 9-2-1 record.
REPRESENTING Florida State is not near to being mentioned in the same breath as the University of North Carolina but when the question is who are the two most successful ACC teams, FSU would be mentioned behind the Tar Heels. The last time an ACC team besides North Carolina or FSU went to the College Cup was back in 1992 when Duke made its lone appearance. In just five seasons, Florida State has been to four College Cups while the rest of the ACC, minus UNC of course, has combined to go to four in NCAA Tournament history. Virginia and Duke are the only other ACC teams that have gone to the College Cup since 1990. Combined Florida State and North Carolina lead the ACC in all-time NCAA Tournament wins and winning percentage and they are the only two schools to make to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in four of the last five seasons.
Florida State head coach Mark Krikorian has proven he can win anywhere and at any time but if you have to choose one time of the year to really excel it would be in November. Obviously because it is conference and NCAA Tournament time and if you are playing well in November your team is playing for a title. With Florida State's win over Connecticut in the quarterfinals, Krikorian raised his record at FSU to 16-3-2 in November for a .810 winning percentage. Before he came to FSU the Seminoles were 13-15-4 in November for a .496 winning percentage. Krikorian knows how to win at the most crucial time of the year and that pre-dates Florida State. In his 14-year coaching career Krikorian is now 36-11-2 in the month of November for a .755 winning percentage. Krikorian is the first FSU coach to lead his team to three straight College Cups and the first to lead FSU to three or more wins in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
SANNA HITTING HER STRIDE
Finnish forward Sanna Talonen was having quite the freshman year heading into the NCAA Tournament posting 10 goals and five assists for the Seminoles in 2007. What she has done in four tournament games is simply amazing. Talonen has scored seven goals including a school record two hat tricks in the NCAA Tournament and has single handily won two of Florida State first four games as she was responsible for all the goals in wins over Kennesaw State (3-0) and Connecticut (3-2). She is one goal shy of tying India Trotter for the most goals scored by a Seminole athlete in the postseason tournament. Meanwhile, three of her seven goals have been game-winners as she now leads the team with six on the year. Talonen once again tied Trotter for GWG in one season in an NCAA Tournament with three. In case you were wondering, the NCAA Tournament record for goals in a tournament is 10 set by Portland's Christine Sinclair in 2002. Sinclair also holds the record for points in a tournament with 21 (10G, 1A).
For complete notes please see the link above or the attached PDF.