Sept. 26, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After wrapping up a three-game home stand with three wins and three shutouts, top-ranked Florida State heads to the Carolinas to face No. 13/9 North Carolina on Thursday, September 27 followed by an afternoon contest at NC State on Sunday, September 30.
The Seminoles, the only undefeated team in the nation, returns to Chapel Hill for Thursday's nationally ranked showdown against the Tar Heels. The match will air live on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m.
The two teams split last year's meeting as each school won on the opponent's turf including FSU's 1-0 double overtime victory in the opening round of the 2011 ACC Tournament. The win marked the first for FSU in Chapel Hill while the loss was the first-ever for UNC in the ACC Tournament (58-1-4).
Thursday's contest also marks the 13th consecutive meeting these two schools have faced each other while ranked in the top 10. The series has been closely contested as of late as 11 of the last 15 games including nine of the last 11 have been decided by one goal or less, while six of the last 11 have been decided in overtime. All three of FSU's victories in the series have come in double OT - two at home (2000 & 2009 by identical scores of 3-2) and one on the road (2011 ACC Quarterfinals 1-0).
Not only has the series been tight as of last, but the meeting has turned into a true rivalry between two of the top teams in the ACC. So much so that the two schools have faced each other 20 times since 2000 including seven times in the ACC Tournament and once in the NCAA Tournament. The 29 total games vs. UNC are the most against any other school in the ACC.
At 9-0-0, Florida State is off to its best start in school history eclipsing the previous record of seven straight wins to start the 2005 season which was the first year under head coach Mark Krikorian. FSU has posted six wins at home and three on the road, while yielding just three goals through the first nine matches good for a GAA of 0.33.
A win Thursday night at North Carolina would set the school record for the longest win streak at 10 eclipsing the previous mark of nine consecutive wins set in 2005. In fact, the 2005 season holds two of the all-time longest win streaks in school history as the Seminoles put together wins streaks of nine and seven en route to a trip to the College Cup.
Following Thursday's match the Seminoles will remain in North Carolina and focus their attention to the east where NC State awaits them in Raleigh on Sunday afternoon. The match between the Seminoles and Wolfpack will air live on ESPN3 at 1:00 p.m.
FSU has won 11 in a row in the series and is unbeaten in its last 13 games (11-0-2) against NC State. The Seminoles have outscored the Wolfpack 33-9 during their 11-game win streak. NC State's last win over the Seminoles came in 1998, a 2-1 victory in Raleigh. FSU has won five straight over the Wolfpack in Raleigh averaging 3.8 goals a contest during that span.
Unlike the 29 total games that FSU has played against North Carolina, the Seminoles have never faced the Wolfpack more than once in the 17 previous seasons of Seminole soccer.
FSU has scored two or more goals 12 times in the series, while limiting the Wolfpack to a goal or less 10 times. Last year, the Seminoles scored in each half thanks to goals by Ines Jaurena (GW) and Tiffany McCarty, while Taylor Vancil kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard making two saves in 90 minutes. McCarty leads all active players with eight career points (3G, 2A) vs. NC State.
The Florida State defense has been really good through the first nine matches allowing just three goals including one in the last eight games. The Seminoles rank in the top six nationally in shutout percentage (t-1st - 0.778), GAA (4th, 0.333) and save percentage (6th - 0.903).
Since giving up a first half goal to Cal State Fullerton back on September 7, the Seminoles have not allowed a goal in over 438 minutes - posting shutouts over Arkansas, No. 2 Duke, No. 14 Wake Forest and Jackson State. It marks the fourth longest consecutive shutout minutes streak in school history.
The four consecutive shutouts is tied for the second most in school history performed four other times with the latest coming twice during the 2008 season.
Live stats for Thursday's match will be available on Seminoles.com, while Sunday's match 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.