Sept. 17, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - It's a clash of two top 5 teams Wednesday night inside the Seminole Soccer Complex when No. 3 Florida State (6-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) hosts No. 5 North Carolina (7-1-0, 1-1-0) at 8:00 p.m. in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPNU.
The Seminoles are coming off a big road weekend to open ACC play which resulted in four points following a tie at No. 7 Wake Forest and a win at No. 15 Duke to remain unbeaten on the year. The Tar Heels come to Tallahassee after suffering their first loss of the season this past Sunday falling to Notre Dame, 1-0, in Chapel Hill.
Wednesday night's showdown will mark the 14th time in the last 16 meetings that these two teams have faced each other while ranked in the top 10 and the first top 5 meeting since the two met in the 2009 ACC Championship game in Cary, N.C. (#4 UNC d. #3 FSU, 3-0).
The Seminoles enter the contest having won two straight over the Tar Heels for the first time since the two schools began the series in 1995. Florida State has posted back-to-back 1-0 victories over North Carolina with both wins coming inside Fetzer Field.
The first of these back-to-back victories evened the season series in 2011 as FSU defeated UNC in double overtime in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. Jessica Price scored the golden goal to hand the Tar Heels their first-ever loss in ACC Tournament play.
The series has been closely contested as of late with 12 of the last 16 games including 10 of the last 12 matches decided by one goal or less, while six of the last 12 games have been decided in overtime.
The two schools have split the last seven matches posting a record of 3-3-1 during that span. Florida State's last win at home over North Carolina came in 2009 when Ella Stephan found the back of the net on a header off a corner with 12 seconds left in double overtime to give the Seminoles a 3-2 victory.
FSU's win over UNC in Chapel Hill in 2012 was the first time the Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels in regulation. The first three Seminole victories all came in double overtime - two at home (2000 & 2009 by identical scores of 3-2) and one on the road (2011 ACC Quarterfinals 1-0).
The two schools have faced each other 21 times since 2000 including seven times in the ACC Tournament and once in the NCAA Tournament. The 30 total games vs. UNC are the most against any other school in the ACC.
FSU will face its third straight ranked opponent on Wednesday night when the Seminoles host No. 5 North Carolina in Florida State's ACC home opener. Florida State is 3-0-1 against ranked foes in 2013 defeating No. 8 Florida in Gainesville, No. 17 UCF at home and No. 15 Duke in Durham, while tying No. 7 Wake Forest on the road. The Seminoles have outscored the four ranked opponents they have faced this year by a combined margin of 6-1. Under head coach Mark Krikorian, Florida State is 65-33-9 all-time against ranked opponents.
Live stats for Wednesday's match will be available via gametracker. As always, Seminole fans can follow the Noles on twitter @FSU_Soccer and remember to like the Seminoles on Facebook (www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer) and on Instagram (NoleSoccer). Admission to the Seminole Soccer Complex is free and with a large crowd expected Wednesday night, fans are encouraged to arrive early to secure a seat.