Oct. 26, 2006
CLEMSON (10-6-1, 5-3-1)
SERIES RECORD: Tied at 7-7-1
IN TALLAHASSEE: FSU leads 3-2
WIN STREAK: FSU is 5-0-1 in the last six
LAST MEETING: FSU won 4-0 at ACC Tournament
Clemson was the first ACC team FSU ever beat and that win came back in 1996. It was the lone bright spot in the series for FSU up until 2001. The Tigers led the all-time series 7-2 up until 2001 but FSU has gone 5-0-1 since then and are now tied with Clemson in the all-time series at 7-7-1. Florida State is on a five-game win streak in regular season games versus the Tigers last losing to Clemson in 2000. The Seminoles five-game win streak is the second-longest streak ever by FSU versus an ACC opponent in regular season games. The record is six games versus NC State, which FSU extended earlier this season with a 2-0 win in Raleigh. Prior to 2005, this series was characterized by close matches. Before last year the last six meetings between the teams had either been decided by one goal or ended up in ties. In ACC games, FSU and Clemson had played five straight one-goal games dating back to 2000 and FSU was 4-1 in those matches. That all changed last season when the Tigers and Seminoles faced off in back-to-back games. The teams met to close out the season in South Carolina and then opened ACC Tournament play against one another. The Seminoles won those two games by a combined score of 7-0. FSU's 3-0 win in the regular season was the most lopsided win for the Seminoles in the series until a few days later when Florida State beat the Tigers 4-0 in Cary, NC at the ACC Tournament. This is just the second time the teams have ever closed out ACC play against one another. It is also just the fourth time they have ever played in October. The previous three late season meetings have all been FSU wins. The first one came in Tallahassee October 20, 1996 by a 1-0 score. The next was in Clemson October 14, 2003 and was also a 1-0 Seminole victory. The last one was the 3-0 win for FSU last season.
EVERYTHING TO PLAY FOR
This Friday's match between Florida State and Clemson is huge for both teams. With a victory FSU ensures itself of at least third place in the ACC standings and most likely second place. If FSU is able to beat a hot Clemson team, the only way the Seminoles would not finish second is if Wake Forest beat both Duke and North Carolina in its last two games. Considering the fact that UNC has won 17 straight games and FSU fans know what the Blue Devils did to Florida State just this last weekend that will be a tall order for the Demon Deacons. The Seminoles need at least one point to ensure a top four finish. If FSU is able to get the win over Clemson it will mark the best back-to-back finishes in the ACC for FSU in school history. The previous best finishes were second place in 2003 and third place in 2004. Last season Florida State finished tied for second with Virginia but was seeded third in the ACC Tournament due to a head-to-head loss versus the Cavs. This year Florida State has a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed in the tournament for just the second time ever and the first time since 2003.
The final home game of the season is always a sad night. There is no doubt the Seminoles season will not be over with a top 10 ranking and a 13-2-2 record but you never know if it will be the last game of the season played on your home field. The last game of the year has been a sad day for the Seminoles through out the program's history as the Seminoles are just 3-8 all-time in the last regular season game of the year. Nine of those 11 games have been played versus ACC teams and FSU is 3-6 in those matches. Things aren't much better for Florida State when it comes to the final home game of the regular season. On a night reserved to honor seniors, FSU has gone just 4-7 all-time.
A CLASS CLASS
Florida State will honor the most successful senior class in the history of the program before the game versus Clemson. This class has been a part of 62 wins, four straight NCAA Tournaments, an ACC Championship game and most importantly two College Cups. In their four years at Florida State, the 2006 seniors have won almost 75% of the games they have played and in doing so transformed Seminole soccer from a great program to one of the nation's elite destinations for college soccer. They have taken this program to the heights of a number one ranking earlier this year to a school record 20 wins last season. The 62 victories compiled in four seasons are more than any other senior class compiled in school history. The 2006 seniors will also graduate with the best winning percentage of any class by far. This group will be the first class to ever leave FSU with a winning percentage above .700. What is most remarkable though is the fact that this is the sixth straight senior class to leave FSU with a lifetime winning record. Even more amazing is that every senior class has graduated with a better winning percentage than the group before them with just one exception. The 2004 senior class fell just three-hundredths of a percentage point shy of besting the 2003 class' winning percentage.
Most Wins By Class
2006 Seniors 62 .747
2005 Seniors 60 .695
2004 Seniors 54 .642
2003 Seniors 59 .644
2002 Seniors 51 .598
2001 Seniors 45 .544
2000 Seniors 38 .482
1999 Seniors 36 .475
1998 Seniors 31 .418
SHE'S THE SCHMIDT
Seminole sophomore Katrin Schmidt is having an absolutely wonderful season. The German defender is blossoming in her second season. In 2005 she played in the backline for the first time in her life and had a stellar year but this season she is proving herself to be one of the most dangerous attacking defenders in the nation. Schmidt set a new personal best for points in a game when she scored and assisted on a goal versus Jacksonville.She now has established a single season high for points with six and goals with two. She is heating up at the right time as well. Schmidt has four of her six points in the last four games. This is the most productive stretch of her career as far as points go. Last season she had four points in a six game stretch which was previously the most productive the defender had been from an offensive perspective.
THAT IS RARE
The Seminoles scored three goals in a game for the third time this season when they faced Jacksonville last time out in a 3-0 win.Last season Florida State scored three or more goals in 14 matches, which obviously represents a huge decrease this season. What was so unique about the three goals versus the Dolphins is that they were scored by three different players and none named Selin Kuralay. In the 17 games the last two seasons where FSU has scored three or more goals there have been just five occasions where Kuralay didn't at least record a point in one of those matches. Almost 70% of the time when Florida State scores three goals in a match Kuralay has recorded at least a point. The first two times this season where FSU scored three goals Kuralay scored in each of those matches. The last time the Seminoles scored three times and Kuralay was shutout was in the NCAA Tournament opener versus FAU. The last time it happened in a regular season game was October 21 versus Wake Forest.
WHAT A SHAME
Seminole senior Kelly Rowland may take the field at the Seminole Soccer Complex for the last time in her career Friday night versus Clemson. It will be the first time for her that she will be returning to the field though.Rowland had a minor knee injury and was held out of the Jacksonville game, which snapped the longest consecutive starts streak in the history of Florida State soccer. The Pennsylvania native had started every game of her collegiate career, a streak that was 87 games long. Rowland's start streak was so long it came just three matches shy of tying her for the most starts ever by a Seminole and hers would have all been consecutively. Rowland is currently second all-time at FSU for career starts and seventh for games played. She is one of just four players in Seminole soccer history to ever make 80-plus starts in her career.
AT HER BECK AND CALL
Becky Edwards has been one of the shinning stars for Florida State this season. The freshman will be in the running for ACC Freshman of the year honors. She has been just phenomenal as the Seminoles right back and now she is starting to show how much of an offensive threat she can be as well.With an assist versus Jacksonville Edwards now has four assists in the last seven matches. The Pennsylvanian recorded the first assist of her career in the opening game of the season versus defending national champion Portland. After that she had just one assist in the next nine games. Now she leads the team in assists and game-winning assists. She has tied the freshman record for game-winning assists set by Mami Yamaguchi in 2005. Edwards is looking to join a distinguished list of Seminole freshmen that have led the squad in assists in their first year on campus. Four Seminole freshmen have led the team in assists in 11 previous seasons. Four freshmen have also led FSU in game-winning assists and Edwards is currently leading the team in that category as well.
SIGNS OF LIFE
The Florida State offense has been a bit of a concern for FSU this season as the Seminoles are averaging a goal less per game than the team did last season. That may be changing though as the Seminoles have begun to find their rhythm as of late.Since a 0-0 double OT tie versus Boston College, Florida State has scored 11 goals in the last five games. There has been just one time in the last five matches where FSU failed to score multiple goals in a game and the Seminoles have scored a season-high three goals in two of their last three outings. For the first time all season FSU has scored multiple goals four times in a stretch of five games. Compared to the first 12 games of the season FSU is scoring almost a goal a game more in the last five matches, taking 10 more shots a game and putting more of those shots on frame.
GAMES 1-12 13-17
Goals/gm 1.37 2.20
Shots/gm 15.3 25.8
SOG% .364 .411
Shot% .092 .085
While Florida State may not be scoring at the record pace of the 2005 squad, that hasn't stopped this team from shooting the ball. The Seminoles came one shot shy of tying the all-time record when FSU fired off 40 shots versus Stetson.A few weeks later the Seminoles got that record when they took 42 shots versus Stetson's A-Sun partner Jacksonville. With those 42 shots, FSU eclipsed 300 shots for the season, which isn't near a record but there is an alarming stat when it comes to that magic 300 number. No Seminole team that has taken 300 or more shots has ever scored fewer than 45 goals yet the 2006 Seminoles enter the Clemson game with just 28. This year's team is averaging 18.4 shots per game, which is currently the highest per game number in program history. One of the problems is that FSU has put just 120 of those 313 shots on frame. This season the Seminoles shot on goal percentage is just .383, which would mark the first time in school history that FSU put less than 40% of its shots on frame. In fact, the lat two seasons FSU teams have put up two of the lowest SOG% since FSU began to keep the stat in 2000. Obviously last season it didn't seem to affect the Seminoles' scoring as the team scored a record 65 goals. Florida State averages just 7.05 shots on goal per game, which is the lowest average since the 2000 team put just 6.1 shots on frame per match.
After downing Jacksonville Tuesday night, the Seminoles improved to 8-0 in non-conference games.This is the second straight season an FSU team has gone through an entire season undefeated in non-conference games as head coach Mark Krikorian is now 16-0 having never lost to a team outside of the ACC in the regular season. Before Krikorian's arrival the previous best mark for FSU was 8-2-2 set in 2002. What is most amazing about this season's 8-0 mark is the fact that FSU played out of conference games versus No. 6 Portland, No. 13 Florida and Arizona State in Tempe to name just a few.