Sept. 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Top-ranked Florida State (6-0-0) begins the defense of its conference championship this week as the Seminoles open ACC play welcoming No. 2 Duke (6-1-0) and No. 14 Wake Forest (6-1-1) to Tallahassee.
The Seminoles will face the Blue Devils on Thursday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. and then the Demon Deacons on Sunday, September 16 at 1:00 p.m. Both matches will air live on ESPN3.
No other place in the nation will feature three schools that played in last year's College Cup than Tallahassee with the likes of the Seminoles, Blue Devils and Demon Deacons playing inside the Seminole Soccer Complex this week.
Florida State opens ACC play as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in school history. The Seminoles have been ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA for three straight weeks, while moving to the top spot in the Soccer America poll for the first time on Monday, September 10.
Another first for the Seminoles will happen on Thursday as the first No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown will take place inside the Seminole Soccer Complex with the top-ranked Seminoles hosting No. 2 Duke. The last time FSU took a No. 1 ranking into a match against a top-5 opponent was in 2006 when the Seminoles traveled to face No. 4 North Carolina. UNC broke a 1-1 tie on a goal by Heather O'Reilly in the 84th minute for a 2-1 victory over FSU.
When Florida State takes the field on Thursday night, the Seminoles will be looking for its sixth straight win over the Blue Devils in Tallahassee. FSU has outscored Duke 16-6 during its five-game home winning streak in the series. This marks the first time the two schools will meet to open ACC play.
Last year, Duke defeated FSU 2-1 in Durham snapping the Noles' six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) in the series which dated back to 2006. Duke began the series in 1995 winning six straight games before FSU registered its first win in 2000. Seven times these two teams have played into overtime with five of those games reaching into double overtime. FSU is 2-1-4 when they take Duke to extra periods.
FSU enters the match with a defense that ranks t-27th nationally posting a 0.50 GAA allowing three goals in six games. Duke has the nation's top ranked offense averaging 4.14 goals per game.
Sunday's match against Wake Forest will be a rematch of last year's ACC Championship final which saw both teams play to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of action. FSU went on to defeat Wake Forest 3-1 in a penalty shootout to capture its first league title in school history.
The Seminoles have won seven of the last 14 games in the series with three of those matches ending in ties. The Deacs are 2-1-1 in the last four meetings, but FSU won the last meeting in Tallahassee thanks to a golden goal by Rachel Lim in 2010. The Noles have won four in a row at home over the Deacs.
Thirteen of the previous 23 contests have been decided by one goal or less including nine of the last 15 - the Deacs hold a slight edge in the one-goal games all-time at 5-4-4.
A combined 74 goals have been scored in the series - 38 by Wake Forest and 36 by FSU. The winning team has scored two or more goals 16 times including six times by the Seminoles.
FSU is 6-11-0 all-time in ACC openers including 4-7-0 when opening at home. At 6-0-0, Florida State is off to its best start since opening the 2006 season with the same record.
Admission to all home soccer matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex is free of charge. The first 200 fans to the Complex on Thursday will receive a Seminole tank top.
Live stats for both matches will be available via gametracker. Fans can always receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Soccer. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Soccer team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer.