Aug. 31, 2002
THAT'S A GOOD START
One of head coach Patrick Baker's biggest concerns after the 2001 season was the team's defense. The Seminoles set a program record by allowing just 31 goals in 2000. Baker saw that record low increase by nine goals in 2001 as FSU gave up 40 last season. Add to that the loss of Ali Mims and he had to be concerned coming into opening day. The Seminole defense and starting keeper Kerry York probably eased Baker's concerns with their performance Friday evening. The Seminoles recorded the first season-opening shutout in program history and allowed OSU just 10 shots in 110 minutes. York made big saves when she was called upon to do so and seven different Seminoles played in the back. If FSU continues to get that type of defensive effort, this could be a very special year in Tallahassee.
THE STREAK CONTINUES
One streak that continued Friday night was Baker's mastery of overtime. With the tie versus Oregon State, the fourth-year Seminole coach remained undefeated in extra time. In nine OT games, Baker has a record of 4-0-5 all-time at Florida State. Last season the Garnet and Gold played three OT games and went 2-0-1 and they didn't play their first minute of OT until the seventh game of the season.
THE STREAK ENDS, SORT OF
One of the most amazing streaks in the Baker Era at Florida State has been the amount of consecutive wins over non-conference opponents at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Entering Friday night's game, the Tribe had won 17 straight games against non-conference foes at the Complex. While that streak came to an end, FSU is still unbeaten in 18 consecutive games at home versus non-ACC teams.
SHE SHOOTS, SHE...
Well maybe she didn't score but that will come for honorable mention All-American Cindy Schofield. The senior forward had a big time game Friday night and you would expect nothing less from an All-ACC first team selection. The senior from Lakeland, FL put herself in position to score over and over Friday night with dangerous runs and skilled moves. She was in alone with OSU keeper Jo Fletcher on numerous occassions but just couldn't find the back of the net. After scoring 17 goals in 2001, its hard to remember the last time Schofield didn't capitalize on that many opportunities.
Schofield's six shots were one shy of tying her career high and her four shots on goal were just two away from also tying her career high in that category. Those numbers bode well as she enters the Oregon game Sunday because her career high for shots and was set in the second game of the season last year in a home game versus Loyola (Md).
SO FRESH AND SO DEEP
With his third-straight Top 25 recruiting class, Patrick Baker finally has one of the few things he lacked in his first three seasons, a deep bench stocked with talented freshmen. Most of Baker's past recruits have been called on to start immediately. Over the past two years, six freshmen have started 129 games their rookie season. This year only one freshman is expected to start but that doesn't mean the 2002 class is any less talented. Five saw action Friday night and more are expected to play as the season progresses. The best news of all was that there was next to no drop-off when the 2002 freshmen came in to the game.
THANK YOU FANS!
Although the 10th-ranked Seminoles didn't get the win they wanted on opening night it wasn't due to a lack of performance and especially not because of a lack of fan support. Florida State opened the 2002 campaign in front of the sixth-largest crowd in program history and the second largest opening day crowd ever. The 954 fans were treated to 110 minutes of action packed soccer as FSU took 23 shots, 10 shots on goal, 11 corners and they racked up 15 shots from inside the Oregon State 18-yard box.
TOP 7 ALL-TIME CROWDS 10/17/2000 North Carolina 1,582 8/25/2000 Florida** 1,282 10/23/1996 Florida 1,123 10/13/1998 Florida 1,046 9/8/2000 Texas A&M 963 8/30/2002 Oregon State 954 9/26/1996 North Carolina 917 **Largest opening day crowd ever
If the opening day of the 2002 women's soccer season proved anything, it showed how much parity there is in the sport right now. The four teams in the 2001 College Cup (National Champion Santa Clara, North Carolina, Portland and Florida) went 0-3-1 on the opening day of the season. They would have gone 0-4 except UNC got a tying goal late in the second half to perserve a draw. Seven Top 25 teams were upset on opening day and four others (including FSU) opened with a draw. If Friday was any indication, the race to the National Championship should be wide open in 2002.
No. 1 Santa Clara 0 No. 12 Stanford 3 No. 2 North Carolina 1 No. 10 Nebraska 1 No. 3 UCLA 6 San Diego 0 No. 4 Portland 1 BYU 2 No. 5 Texas A&M 4 Rice 1 No. 7 Notre Dame 3 Providence 0 No. 9 Connecticut 3 Hartford 2 No. 10 Texas 4 New Mexico 0 No. 13 Florida 0 No. 18 Michigan 2 No. 14 Clemson 3 No. 25 Georgia 2 (OT) No. 15 California 2 Ohio State 0 No. 16 St. Mary's (CA) 0 Purdue 1 No. 19 Rutgers 0 James Madison 0 No. 20 Tennessee 1 Duke 2 (OT) No. 22 Washington 4 Arkansas 1 No. 23 Illinois 1 Missouri 2 (OT) No. 24 SMU 5 Duquense 1 No. 25 Pepperdine 1 Arizona State 1 No. 25 West Virginia 0 Auburn 2