Friday night's 2-2 tie with Missouri (1-1-1) kept three important streaks alive and puts FSU in position to set a new record Sunday afternoon. If the Seminoles are able to defeat or tie LSU, they will open a season undefeated through four games for the first time in school history. Friday night's result extended Florida State's home unbeaten streak to 12 games, upped its home unbeaten streak versus non-conference teams to 20 games and head coach Patrick Baker remained perfect in OT as the Seminoles' head coach with a 4-0-6 record.
The LSU Tigers dropped a close game to No. 23 Miami (3-0-0) to open the Seminole Invitational. The Tigers played even with the Hurricanes for 83 minutes before the Canes got the eventual game-winning goal. Sunday's game will be the third meeting between FSU and LSU with the Tribe leading the series 1-0-1.
"We've always wanted to get LSU on the schedule with coach (George) Fotopoulos being from the state of Florida and having so many Florida ties," said Baker. "He coached Cindy Schofield and a great deal of credit for her development goes to him. I know it will be exciting for both of them to face one another.
"I think LSU is probably posed to have on of their best seasons ever. They have some kids who Fotopoulos has recruited and trained so there is some continuity there. They will give us all we can handle. We will be tested and we are excited about the challenges. If we can play the way we have so far this season and finish some of our chances I think we can be successful against a good LSU side."
The Seminoles will look to Jez Ratliff to keep the offense going when they take the field Sunday. After being held scoreless through 110 minutes to open the season, FSU has now scored four goals in two games and Ratliff has accounted for half of them plus a game-winning assist versus Oregon. The sophomore, who was an All-ACC Rookie team member as a freshman, is off to the best start of her career after winning the starting job opposite All-ACC first teamer Schofield. Ratliff has five points on the year and leads the squad in almost every offensive category.
"I didn't feel I played that well against Missouri," said Ratliff. "I got the goal because I was lucky. I happened to be in the right place when the ball bounced right to me. I'll take it though and it feels good anytime I can help our team."
With FSU facing Georgia in the preseason and Florida and LSU during the regular season, the Tribe will face three SEC teams and three out of conference squads who all play in the southeast region. With Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn all appearing in the national polls at one point this season, the southeast region is beginning to make its mark on the national stage in collegiate women's soccer.
"I think soccer in the southeast is so improved," said Baker. "You look at Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and across the board the quality of competition in the southern states is higher than ever. It is a great situation to play teams from the SEC just like we did against Georgia in the preseason and as we do against Florida every year."
Florida State is in the midst of playing five games in a 10-day stretch. After they face LSU, the Garnet and Gold will hit the road to play three games in five days in Coral Gables, FL. The Seminoles will play in-state rival Miami Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. and then take part in the UM Soccer Tournament next weekend. For complete information on the Seminole soccer team, please visit the official website of FSU athletics at www.seminoles.com.
NOTES: Florida State head soccer coach Patrick Baker will speak at Monday's FSU Booster's Luncheon. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the Booster Luncheons in 2002, which include a new format beginning Monday, September 10. Coach Bobby Bowden will continue to be the featured speaker at each luncheon on the Monday following an FSU football game, however, we will now host luncheons featuring our FSU head coaches on the Monday of open weeks and continuing through April.
Baker and cross country coach Bob Braman will be the featured speakers this Monday since the football team has an open week. Doors to the University Center Club will open at 11:30 with the luncheon starting at 12:00. The cost is $10 and can be paid at the door. Parking is available in the visitor parking lot outside the University Center Club.
With the exception of this Monday, Coach Bowden will be featured each Monday until October 21st when new volleyball coach Todd Kress will be the speaker. Coach Bowden will again be on each Monday until December 9 when new men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton will be the speaker.
Mark your calendar now to attend a luncheon every Monday except when the University Center Club is closed for a holiday. A full schedule will be released at a later date.