Aug. 5, 2003
Tallahassee, FL - In the last two seasons under head coach Patrick Baker, Florida State soccer has won more ACC games than the previous five years combined and FSU has finished in the top half of the ACC both years. According to the conference's coaches, Florida State will make it three years in a row. The eight ACC coaches picked Florida State to finish third in the conference this year, the highest preseason ranking ever for FSU. The Tribe edged Clemson for third place by one point securing 37 points.
"It would be great if that is where we ended up," said Baker. "We are excited that our peers thought enough to rank us that high. We haven't usually been thought of in this high regard so it is something we are proud of."
Only five points separated FSU from Duke who was picked sixth. Maryland recorded 34 points and finished just two points behind Clemson in fifth. Wake Forest and NC State placed seventh and eighth respectively.
"As you can tell there is a logjam in the middle of the poll and to be honest you could flip those around and it would make as much sense," said Baker. "Traditionally, North Carolina has always been the clear cut favorite. Then the other seven teams could be flip flopped around depending on the year. From seven to two isn't that big of a gap."
The Florida State soccer team finished their ACC campaign fourth last season and third in 2001. The Seminoles have more overall wins than five other conference foes since 2000 and have advanced into the conference tournament semifinals two of the last three years. The Seminoles return eight starters and 13 players who earned letters in 2002.
"It is nice to be recognized as an elite program in our conference. It will be a new role for us since we have always been the underdog and now we'll have more of a target on our backs," said team co-captain Amber Tollefson. "We are expecting more of ourselves than anyone outside of the program could expect of us so our goals are very high."
The Seminoles open up the 2003 campaign at home versus two teams that will open the season in the top 25. The Tribe takes on Southern California (11-8-3) at 7:00 p.m. August 29 and then hosts 2002 College Cup participant Penn State (19-4-1) Sunday, August 31 at 1:00 p.m.
All games will be played at the Seminole Soccer Complex where there is never an admission charge for regular season games. For more information on the 2003 Seminole soccer program, please visit the official online home for Florida State athletics at www.seminoles.com.