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FSU soccer prepares for top-20 matchups

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The No. 5 Florida State soccer team (10-2-0, 4-0-0) will be tested this week as the Seminoles take on two top-20 teams.

FSU begins the week against No. 20 Virginia Tech (9-2-1, 1-2-1) in Blacksburg, Va., on Thursday at 7:30 pm. FSU wraps up competition for the week at home against No. 1 Virginia (10-0-2, 2-0-2) at 1 p.m.

“It is another great week for us and another really good challenge,” said coach Mark Krikorian. “Traveling up to Blacksburg and then coming back to play Virginia at home is going to be two really good opponents in the right time of year. This is the time of year where we are starting to get ourselves prepared for what is coming beyond the ACC regular season.”

The Seminoles are led offensively by Deyna Castellanos and freshman Jenna Nighswonger. Castellanos leads the team in goals (seven) and assists (eight). Nighswonger is second on the team in both categories with five goals and three assists.

Florida State has been on an impressive run in the last five weeks, winning their last eight games. In those eight games, the Seminoles have outscored their opponents 25-8, including four shutout wins. FSU is also off to a 4-0 start in ACC play for the fourth time – the last time was in 2014 when the Seminoles brought home their first national title.

FSU and Virginia Tech have met 19 times in the series and the Seminoles are 17-0-2 against the Hokies, including shutouts in 13 of the 19 games.

Against Virginia, the Seminoles trail in the series 19-8-6. Florida State has won the last two meetings and has not lost to the Cavaliers in the last four match-ups. UVA is led offensively by Diana Ordonez (12 goals, two assists). In goal Laurel Ivor has a 0.27 GAA.

Florida State is 3-6-1 all-time when facing the No. 1 team in the country. The one draw was against Virginia in 2015. The ‘Noles went on to win the game 7-6 in penalty kicks to win the ACC Tournament.

“We have played a really competitive non-conference schedule and that has probably helped us prepare for many of the conference teams that we have a chance to play against,” said Krikorian. “We have played some pretty good teams and have won in difficult fashion. It has not been easy for us and we have had to grind out a few of the games but that is all part of figuring it out and finding a way to win.”

Thursday’s game will be on the regional sports network, while Sunday’s showdown with Virginia will be televised nationally on the ACC Network.

Admission to all home Florida State soccer matches is free of charge.

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