Sept. 24, 2005
Tallahassee, FL - The seventh-ranked FSU soccer team enters Sunday's ACC game versus NC State in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in nine games, the Seminoles will enter a match following a loss. After streaking out to the best start in school history, FSU (7-1-0, 0-1-0) will get its first chance to show how it can respond to a loss when NC State (5-4-0, 1-0-0) comes to town. The game is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start and has been shifted from Sun Sports to FSN Florida.
"I think we will handle adversity well," said senior Teresa Rivera. "It will be interesting to see how this group responds since it was our first loss. I want to see how we come back. We have showed character coming from behind to win two games this season so that says something about this team. NC State will be another test of our character and we will learn more about ourselves Sunday."
Florida State has never lost to the Wolfpack in Tallahassee posting a 3-0-1 home record all-time in the series. NC State is also the only original ACC school that Florida State has a winning record against holding a 5-3-2 edge in the series. The Seminoles have not lost to the Wolfpack since 1998 and are 4-0-2 in the last six meetings. Despite the recent success, six of the last seven games between the teams have either been decided by one goal, gone to overtime or ended in a tie.
The Garnet and Gold may have had some positive results in the series with NC State lately but historically the team has struggled after playing UNC in a conference match. Only once in school history has FSU followed a loss to Carolina with a win in its next ACC contest; going 1-6 in those games. The one win did come against NC State in 2002. Overall, FSU is 0-8 lifetime in the regular season in the game immediately following a UNC match whether the opponent be in or out of the ACC. On the bright side, the Seminoles have only lost back-to-back ACC games twice in their last 23 conference outings.
"We are excited about another opportunity to get our first win in the ACC especially after Thursday night's game versus UNC," said Rivera. "It is very important for us to step back out on the field. NC State always fights hard and it is historically a very challenging game. Any ACC game is going to be close and highly contested.
"It is a bit tough to rebound after a loss even more so after that game against Carolina. After watching video Friday we can move on and start preparing for NC State. We can put that game behind us and start to work on the areas we need to improve if we want to be successful Sunday. I think we will respond." After allowing just one goal through the first six games of the season, the Seminole defense has given up six in the last two matches against top 10 teams in Florida and North Carolina. FSU recorded shutouts in five of its first six matches and hadn't surrendered a first half goal in any of those games. In the last two contests, UF and UNC combined to score five goals in the first 45 minutes.
"I think the goals we have given up in the last two games were a combination of both the level of our opponents and some lapses on our part," said keeper Ali Mims. "When you face Florida and Carolina in back-to-back games you are going to give up some goals. The goals are going to come we would have liked to have done a better job of limiting them especially Thursday night. We did a good job in the second half of both those games to limit the chances but give those two teams credit as well.
"I still feel we are confident as a group in the back. I think that we learned a lot more about ourselves in the Carolina game than we had all season. It was a true test. We know that we are good players and we will step out and go back to work versus NC State."
Thursday night's game versus Carolina marked the first time all season that the talented FSU newcomers were held without a goal. In the first seven games of 2005, either Sel Kuralay, Viola Odebrecht or Kirsten van de Ven had recorded at least one goal in each of those games. While Odebrecht and Katrin Schmidt did record assists in the UNC match, the first year Seminoles were held off the board by UNC and keeper Aly Winget.
"I certainly hope our newcomers can now see what it is like to play in the ACC," Mims. "As much as you tell them, they really have to be thrown into it to see what its like. Hopefully we have prepared them enough and they know how important these ACC games are to our team goals. I feel like they understand that and will play at a very high level both inside and outside of the conference."
Sunday's match was originally scheduled to be broadcast live on Sun Sports whose studios are headquartered in Houston, TX. Due to Hurricane Rita, the operations center for the network has been shut down. The game will still be shown live on FSN Florida but it will not be carried in the Tallahassee area.
Fans will be able to follow the game on a free Internet audio broadcast, which will be available exclusively at www.seminoles.com. Campo will bring you the call beginning at 1:00 p.m. Live stats will also be available via Game Tracker. For fans attending the game, there will be an autograph session held with the FSU players following the contest. Admission to the game is free and for more information on the 2005 Seminole soccer team, log on to the official athletic site for Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.