TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State soccer team was selected third in the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Preseason poll as voted on by the league's 11 head coaches.
The Seminoles, who will enter the season looking to defend their league title for the first time in school history, earned 94 points and one first place vote. FSU has been slated to finish in the top four of the ACC in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Since 2000, Florida State has registered 10 top four finishes in the ACC and played in the conference championship game six times.
Duke, which returns all 11 starters from last season’s NCAA College Cup finalist, has been selected first, followed by 2011 NCAA College Cup participant Wake Forest in second.
Spots two through five were separated by just 10 points as the Demon Deacons amassed 99 total points to FSU’s 94. North Carolina (92 points) and Virginia (89) were selected to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
"This is the best the league has been in my eight seasons at Florida State,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “From top to the bottom, every game this year will be a challenge. It is an honor to be picked to finish third in what is the best soccer conference in the nation.”
Rounding out the rest of the 2012 ACC Preseason poll was Boston College (66 points) in sixth, Maryland (51) seventh, Virginia Tech (46) eighth, Miami (33) ninth, NC State (21) 10th and Clemson (16) 11th.
Eight starters and 13 letterwinners are back from last year's squad that finished with 18 wins while capturing the ACC Championship for the first time in school history and advancing to the College Cup.
With five College Cup appearances since 2003, Florida State is one of only three programs in the nation, and the only school in the ACC, to play in soccer’s version of the ‘Final Four’ five times in the last nine years. Since 2000, the Seminoles have made 12 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, played in 10 ‘Sweet 16’s’ and advanced to the quarterfinal round seven years in a row – the longest active streak in the nation.
FSU returns five of seven players who recorded double-digit points last year including all-time leading scorer Tiffany McCarty (42 points). In all, the Seminoles return over 72 percent of their scoring from last year.
Florida State's quest for the school's first national championship begins on the road for the third year in a row as the Seminoles open the 2012 season in Minneapolis, Minn., against the University of Minnesota on Friday, August 17.
Seminole fans can follow the Florida State Soccer team all season on twitter @FSU_Soccer and over the internet with updated stories, stats and video at Seminoles.com.
The 2012 ACC Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll, with first-place votes in parenthesis:
School, Points, 2011 Record (ACC)
1. Duke (10), 119, 22-4-1 (8-1-1)
2. Wake Forest, 99, 18-4-4 (5-2-3)
3. Florida State (1), 94, 18-7-1 (5-5-0)
4. North Carolina, 92, 13-5-2 (6-3-1)
5. Virginia, 89, 17-5-2 (7-2-1)
6. Boston College, 66, 12-6-3 (6-4-0)
7. Maryland, 51, 12-6-4 (4-4-2)
8. Virginia Tech, 46, 14-8-1 (4-5-1)
9. Miami, 33, 10-8-1 (3-6-1)
10. NC State, 21, 10-8-2 (1-7-2)
11. Clemson, 16, 6-12-0 (0-10-0)