‘Noles look to bounce back vs. Florida

The Florida State soccer team (2-2-0) has not had the start to the season that they were hoping for but the Seminoles have a chance to bounce back against rival Florida on Friday. 

The first road trip of the season took the ’Noles out to California, where they lost to both No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 USC, marking the first time since 2017 that Florida State has lost two consecutive games.

“This was a huge learning experience,” senior goalkeeper Caroline Jeffers said. “We knew that they (USC) were going to come out looking for blood and try to beat us since we knocked them out last year (in the NCAA Tournament). I think we learned a lot about ourselves, knowing that we need to come out and compete every single game because everyone is going to bring their best against us.”

With that being said, not many teams try to take on two top-5 teams within a four-day span. Conveniently enough, both Florida State and Florida can say that they have. Both the Gators and the Seminoles lost their respective matches to USC and UCLA last week and are looking to bounce back against one another on Friday when the Gators (2-2-0) travel to Tallahassee. FSU and Florida will start at 7 p.m. and the game streams live on ACC Network Extra.

“I think it’s going to be great,” coach Mark Krikorian said. “In all sports the Florida-Florida State rivalry is a great rivalry. It is great for the folks here in Florida and it is great for both programs and we both hold great respect for each other. We are looking forward to getting back on the field and competing again after a long week of travel.” 

Despite trailing in the series overall (12-13), Florida State has won the last two meetings. Last year’s contest in Tallahassee saw the third largest home crowd in program history (3,370) and resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Seminoles after a goal by Kristen McFarland in the 88th minute.

Krikorian praised the young, talented team Gators – including the “great athletes” that Florida has up front. Junior Deanne Rose has scored three goals, half of the number netted by the Gators this season, and should prove to be a formidable threat for the Seminoles to handle. Krikorian expects a large crowd and an exciting soccer match. 

“It will be a packed house and the parking garage will be full,” he said. “The bleachers will be packed and we are looking forward to it. It is a great rivalry against great opposition and it is usually a great game of soccer to watch.”

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