"Any time you play teams from the major soccer conferences, they are always accustomed to competitive games," said head coach Patrick Baker. "That is one of the reasons we schedule teams from the Big 12, SEC, Pac-10 and BIG EAST. Hopefully those games will help prepare us for the ACC competition. It is a good test for us and we have the opportunity to continue to progress in the right direction."
Missouri comes into Friday night's match on the heels of a big win in their season opener. The Tigers defeated preseason No. 23 Illinois 2-1 in double overtime at the Nike Tiger Invitational but couldn't sustain the momentum versus Indiana as they lost two days later in another 2-1 double OT game. The win over Illinois was impressive enough to move Mizzou to No. 7 in the Central Region rankings.
"We are very excited about the opportunity to play Missouri," said Baker. "We were out there in 2000 at their tournament after a 3-0 start to our season. They brought us back down to earth after a 2-1 loss but we learned a great deal about ourselves that weekend. We probably had a false sense of security going in. We benefited from playing against Missouri and Ohio State at the Tiger Invitational."
"The same holds true, win lose or draw, this weekend. We are continuing to learn about our team and our individuals. The greatest thing about the games versus Oregon and Oregon State is that it provided us feedback on what to address in training this week. Hopefully we can step out Friday night and be better than we were this past weekend."
One of the areas Baker focused on with the Seminoles this week was finishing. Florida State showed opening weekend that they could create chances offensively but struggled putting the ball in the net. The Tribe was extremely dangerous attacking versus both Oregon and Oregon State as they recorded 47 shots, 21 shots and goal and took 20 corners in the two games. Forwards Jez Ratliff and Cindy Schofield, who formed the most prolific goal scoring forward combo in team history in 2001, looked to pick off right where they left off as Ratliff scored a goal and assisted on Sunday's game-winner while Schofield was dangerous all weekend.
The other area of primary focus coming into the season was the FSU defense and after one weekend the unit passed with flying colors. Without freshman All-American center back Katie Beal (mono) and co-No. 1 goalkeeper Ali Mims (fractured tibia), the Tribe's defense showed remarkably well in the two contests. They allowed just one goal in 200 minutes of action and recorded the first opening day shutout in the history of the program.
The Seminole Invitational Tournament kicks off at 4:30 p.m. today as No. 23 Miami and LSU open play at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The match will be followed by FSU and Missouri at 7:00 p.m. The tournament concludes on Sunday as Miami takes on Missouri at 11:30 a.m. and the Seminoles play LSU at 2:00 p.m. All regular season matches are free at the Seminole Soccer Complex and live stats are provided for every home game only at seminoles.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
4:30pm, LSU vs. Miami
7:00pm, Missouri vs. Florida State
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
11:30am, Missouri vs. Miami
2:00pm, LSU vs. Florida State