Nov. 7, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Four of the nation's top 5 teams will be in action this weekend in Cary, N.C. and no it's not the College Cup, which returns to WakeMed Park in Cary in just over a month. We are talking about the semifinals of the ACC Women's Soccer Tournament.
The league's top four seeds survived their respective first round home matches this past Sunday to set up an exciting weekend of soccer in Cary. Top-seeded and undefeated Virginia (20-0) opens play on Friday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m. against in-state rival and fourth-seeded Virginia Tech (15-3-2). The second semifinal features second-seeded Florida State (16-1-3) and third-seeded North Carolina (17-3) at 8:00 p.m. Both matches will air live on ESPN3.
With a 2-0 victory over Duke in the quarterfinals of the 2013 ACC Women's Soccer Championship, Florida State advanced out of the first round of the league tournament for the seventh time in the last nine years and for the third year in a row.
As the No. 2 seed, Florida State improved to 4-2-2 all-time following its victory over the Blue Devils. The Seminoles have advanced to the league championship game twice as the second-seed in 2003 and 2006 and both times falling to the Tar Heels in Cary, N.C. (2003 - L, 2-3; 2006 - L, 1-2 ot).
Florida State and North Carolina are meeting in the ACC Tournament for the 12th time in league tournament history Friday night. The Tar Heels have won 10 of those 11 previous meetings with the Seminoles winning the last meeting two years ago in Chapel Hill. In 2011, FSU defeated UNC 1-0 in double overtime on a golden goal by Jessica Price to hand the Tar Heels their first-ever loss in the ACC Tournament.
Earlier this year, a left-footed blast by Jamia Fields in the 83rd minute proved to be the difference as Florida State defeated North Carolina 1-0 in Tallahassee. It marked the Seminoles' third consecutive win over the Tar Heels and fifth all-time with four of those victories coming since 2009.
Florida State is one of just three schools to register three straight wins over North Carolina joining the likes of Santa Clara (1999, 2001, 2002) and Maryland (2010-12). FSU is looking to become the first school ever to win four consecutive games over North Carolina when the two schools meet in the ACC's second semifinal Friday night.
The series between the two schools have been closely contested as of late with 13 of the last 17 games including 11 of the last 13 matches decided by one goal or less, while six of the last 13 have been decided in overtime.
FSU's win over UNC in Chapel Hill in 2012 was the first time the Seminoles defeated the Tar Heels in regulation. The Noles have now recorded back-to-back regulation wins over the Tar Heels. FSU's first three victories over UNC 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).
Friday night's match marks the 15th time in the last 17 meetings that these two teams have faced each other while ranked in the top 10. FSU has been the higher ranked team five times, including both times in 2013, collecting two wins (2012 in Chapel Hill & 2013 in Tallahassee).
FSU owns an all-time record of 13-15-6 in the ACC Tournament and 9-10-6 in games played in the state of North Carolina. The field at Cary has been kind to the Noles during the league tournament as FSU is 7-6-4 in nine total trips. Seven of FSU's 10 semifinal appearances have come in Cary, along with the Noles first league title in 2011.
The ACC Championship game will be played on Sunday, November 10 at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ESPNU.
Live stats for the match will be available through theACC.com 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).