WEEKLY RELEASE: No. 1 FSU Heads Down South To Face FAU Sunday At Noon
Sept. 15, 2006
SERIES RECORD: FSU leads 2-0
IN BOCA RATON: First meeting
WIN STREAK: FSU has won two in a row
LAST MEETING: FSU 3 FAU 0 (2005 NCAA)
After facing off just once in the first ten years of the program's existence, FSU and FAU will meet for the second time in two seasons Sunday. Florida State played 207 games before facing FAU for the first time and faced the Owls just once in the first 255 games of program existence but when the teams meet Sunday it will be the second game for FSU versus Florida Atlantic in its last 10 matches. This will be the first meeting between the teams played at FAU. The Owls and Seminoles played an opening round NCAA Tournament game in Gainesville last season with FSU winning 3-0 in taking its first step towards the College Cup. The only previous meeting came in Tallahassee in 2003. FAU came into that game 12-1 in its last 13 matches while FSU was 9-1-1 in its last 11. In one of the most impressive performances of the season, the Seminoles exploded for a 7-0 win. With wins over FAU in 2003 and 2005, both times FSU has played the Owls the squad has advanced to the College Cup later that season. The first time the two squads faced off Leah Gallegos scored four of the seven goals. While no current FSU player scored in that game, that wasn't the case last year. In the NCAA Tournament meeting, India Trotter scored two goals sandwiched around a Holly Peltzer goal. Trotter's goal came late in the first half and the second and third goals both came with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
SO WE MEET AGAIN
While there is very little history between Florida State and Florida Atlantic that isn't the case for the program's two head coaches. Brian Dooley of FAU and FSU's Mark Krikorian both began their head coaching careers at Division II powerhouses. Dooley spent four years at Barry before making the jump to FAU while Krikorian spent the early 90's building Franklin Pierce into a dominant program. The two head coaches' paths did cross in 1995. That was Krikorian's last season with the Ravens and Dooley's first at Barry. Krikorian's Franklin Pierce team defeated Dooley's Barry team 4-0 in the regular season and then beat them again 5-0 in the 1995 National Championship game. That win capped off back-to-back undefeated and National Championship seasons for Krikorian, who in his final two seasons with the Ravens was 39-0. With last year's win in the NCAA Tournament, Krikorian is now 3-0 in his career versus Dooley-led teams.
As much as the game with the Gators is a rivalry because of the familiarity between the players, it doesn't even come close to FAU if you only take into account the athletes who grew up playing against one another. Nine players on the FSU and FAU rosters are from Boca Raton or the closely surrounding areas. With such a large group of players sharing roots, it is a little surprising that only three attended the same high school. FSU's India Trotter and Colette Swensen and Christina Rodriguez from FAU are all seniors who attended St. Thomas Aquinas and played for Team Boca. Besides that pair, none of the Seminoles and Owls were high school teammates but many played with or against one another on club sides.
FSU IN SOUTH FLA
Kimberly Diaz GK West Boca Raton HS
India Trotter MF St. Thomas Aquinas
Melissa Wheeler MF St. Andrew's Prep
Colette Swensen MF St. Thomas Aquinas
2 IN 5
If you consider just goal production, the 2006 season has gotten off to a much better start for Seminole midfielder Mami Yamaguchi. With her second goal of the season versus UCF, Yamaguchi now has equaled her goal total from all of last season, which covered 24 games. The sophomore got off to a great start with a game-winner in the season opener versus Portland. Last season Yamaguchi's first goal came in the eighth game of the year versus NC State. This season she has both of her goals within the first five games. Her two goals last year came in an eight-game span so this is the first time she has followed a goal with another in such a short time. While Yamaguchi scored just twice last season, she did assist eight goals. Four of her eight assists came on game-winners as well. The Japanese International has had an impact in some huge games. Half of her career goals have been game-winners and they came against Duke in OT and Portland. Her game-winning assists have come against teams like Florida, Boston College and Clemson. In 29 career starts, Yamaguchi has recorded either a game-winning goal or assist in seven games. That means the sophomore has had a hand in 28% of Florida State's victories since she stepped on the pitch last fall with five of her six game-winners coming versus ranked opponents.
Selin Kuralay just keeps building on her already impressive resume. The junior is a pre-season All-American and a nominee for the Hermann Trophy. She is already proving she deserves those accolades. With her goal versus UCF, Kuralay has now scored in four straight games and is one match short of tying the FSU record for consecutive games with a goal. That translates to a goal in 80% of Florida State's matches this year. The Australian has recorded a point in every game this season and scored the game-winning goal in three of Florida State's five games. With her GWG versus UCF, the junior is now just two game-winners away from moving into a tie for first all-time at Florida State.
As amazing as those numbers are you really can't appreciate how amazing Kuralay has been until you look at her numbers from a per game perspective since she has played just over a season. The Australian leads FSU in goals per game, points per game and game-winning goals per game for a career. She is the only player ever to wear the Garnet and Gold who has averaged more than 1.5 points per game, .55 goals per game and more than .25 game-winning goals per game for more than a single season. While Kuralay is a little behind last season's pace when she had seven goals in the first five games, she is making her influence felt in a higher percentage of games so far. As mentioned above, Kuralay has scored in 80% of this year's games which is better than the 54% of matches she scored in last season, which was the highest single season percentage in the history of FSU soccer.
Player G/gm Pt/gm GWG/gm
Selin Kuralay 0.69 1.72 0.31
Cindy Schofield 0.52 1.34 0.14
Emma Breland 0.50 1.29 0.21
Leah Gallegos 0.47 1.17 0.18
With a win over Florida and UCF within a seven-day span, the Seminoles will look for another regional, in-state victory this Sunday at FAU. FSU plays six games versus teams from the state of Florida this year and those games are crucial when it comes to regional seeding and postseason hosting. Florida State has been VERY good versus in-state competition. This decade the Seminoles have gone 33-4 versus teams from the state of Florida, a .892 winning percentage. Three of those four losses have come to Florida and the only other defeat came versus UCF in 2004 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are currently on a seven game win streak versus in-state foes. The last loss was the 2004 defeat to the Golden Knights. Last year FSU went 5-0 versus Florida schools and they are off to a 2-0 start this season.
OUT OF THE GATE
For the second year in a row Mark Krikorian has gotten his group off to a fast start. Last season the Seminoles sprinted to a 7-0 start, the best win streak to begin a year in school history. With Wednesday's victory over UCF, Krikorian's teams now have the two best win streaks to open a season at seven (2005) and five (2006). What the Seminole head coach is doing when it comes to consecutive victories is unprecedented in FSU soccer history. The top two winning streaks and three of the five longest winning streaks in Seminole soccer history have been set in Krikorian's 30 game coaching career. Last year he led FSU to nine and seven game streaks and this year FSU has already won five straight. If the Seminoles are able to get a victory over FAU Sunday, the three longest win streaks in school history would have all come under Krikorian's guidance.
Games Year Coach
9 2005 Krikorian
7 2005 Krikorian
5 2006 Krikorian
5 2003 Baker
5 2000 Baker
THAT WAS 30
Florida State improved to 5-0 on the 2006 season with the victory over UCF Wednesday night. It was the 30th game in head coach Mark Krikorian's short but brilliant FSU career. With the victory, Krikorian improved to 25-4-1 at FSU with a lifetime winning percentage of .850 in Tallahassee. It is hard to ask much more of the FSU boss in the first 30 games of his tenure. He has already led FSU to a No. 1 ranking, taken the team to a College Cup and beat the Gators twice. Krikorian inherited a program in much better shape than either of his predecessors so comparisons are not really fair but even so the numbers are stunning. Florida State's first head coach, Heather Kerby-Nelson, won 12 of her first 30 games as she led the inaugural FSU soccer team. Patrick Baker improved on that mark as he won 15 of his first 30 games as the Seminoles' boss. The two previous coaches combined though have won just two more games (27) than Krikorian has (25) in his fist 30 alone.
ALL EVEN EXCEPT
The Seminoles have a nice symmetry to their stats through the early part of the season. When you look at what the squad is doing in the first half compared to the second half, the numbers are fairly close. FSU has 43 first half shots compared to 45 in the second. The Seminoles have won 11 first half corners compared to 12 in the second. Even the fouls are pretty close with 26 committed in the first half compared to 30 in the second. While FSU is still scoring twice as many goals in the second half and OT, that number has evened out lately as well with three of the last six FSU goals being scored in the first 45 minutes. There is one area though where the numbers really don't mesh and that is in offsides. FSU has been whistled for nine offsides compared to none for their opponents. That is a trend that started in 2005 when FSU was called offsides 86 times compared to just 34 for the opposition. Part of the reason for that is the attacking style Mark Krikorian likes to play but he would still prefer to see some of those runs timed a little better as ACC play approaches.