Sept. 2, 2006
Tempe, AZ -- Friday night the top ranked Seminole soccer team got a taste of what it is going to be like playing with a bull's eye on their back. FSU (2-0) needed 92:14 to pull out a 1-0 overtime win over Arizona State (2-1) on the opening day of the Heather Farr KICKS Against Breast Cancer Tournament. Florida State will look to go to 3-0 for the third straight season when they take on Loyola (MD) (0-2) Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
"We learned last night, once again, that this team is capable of responding to adversity," said defender Libby Gianeskis. "We showed our character. We didn't let the fans or the refs get into our heads. That was the most impressive thing I took away from the game with Arizona State."
The Seminoles will get another challenge Sunday from a Loyola squad that may be 0-2 on the year but is coming off a 9-0 season in conference to go along with the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title. This is just the second meeting all-time between Florida State and Loyola (MD). The two teams met back in 2001 with FSU downing the Greyhounds 2-0 in Tallahassee. Florida State not only has very little history with Loyola but the team has very little experience versus MAAC teams as well. The Seminoles have played just one MAAC team in program history and that was the game versus Loyola.
"We want to come out really focused tomorrow versus Loyola because they are a team that went 15-5-1 last year," said Gianeskis. "We need to get the job done for this to be a successful road trip. We are all in agreement that our focus could have been better as a group Friday night. If we play like we can, we will have a good shot at getting a result."
While the Seminole may want to improve on their focus as a team, it is hard to argue with the effort turned in by the FSU defense. The squad held Arizona State to just one shot on goal in the first 40 minutes of the game. They limited the Devils to just six total shots and recorded the first clean sheet of the season.
"Shutouts are always the number one goal for the defenders in every game," said Gianeskis. "Outside of a win, it is the best result we can hope for. We are proud as a team of getting that first shutout of the year especially since we were pressed for quite a while by an intense Arizona State team."
Offensively, FSU wasn't as sharp as it would like to be in its last outing. While the Seminoles once again had a double-digit edge in shots taken, Florida State only put five of its 17 shots on frame.
"We have to get off to a better start," said Holly Peltzer. "Last night ASU's backline played high and Sel was trying to turn and get me through. India was trying to make runs through the back. We need to be better prepared tomorrow. We need to come out with more energy and work together a little bit more.
"Some of it has to do with it being just the second game of the season. We are still getting used to each other. We have a lot of players back but it is still a new year and a new team so there is an adjustment period. It will come."
Getting off to a faster start is going to be a priority for an FSU offense that has yet to net a first half goal in two games this season. The Seminoles fell behind defending National Champion Portland 1-0 before recording two second half goals. Last night versus the Sun Devils, Florida State was unable to net a goal in regulation.
"It is important to us to try and get off to a faster start," said Peltzer. "We have to finish our chances when we get them. We have created scoring opportunities in both games this year we just need to be more technical in our finishing."
Florida State's game versus Loyola (MD) will be played Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET. Game Tracker will be available for the game at Seminoles.com.