North Carolina will be out for revenge Thursday night when the Tar Heels host top-ranked Florida State in an ACC women's match televised live on Fox Soccer Channel (8 pm ET).
In 2005, the Tar Heels had assembled one of the best teams in their storied history, but the Seminoles upset them on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament.
"Considering what happened in the NCAA Tournament last year, I am sure this is a game they are looking forward to," says FSU senior Kelly Rowland. "If you asked me freshman year, I would have never thought that UNC may have a game vs. Florida State circled on their calendar."
Last year's game aside, Carolina has dominated the series with Florida State. The first nine times Carolina played Florida State, the Heels outscored it, 62-2. After a 3-1 loss played in the driving rain the first time the teams played in 1995, FSU wasn’t even within four goals in any of the next eight meetings. UNC leads the series 17-1-1, with the Noles' one outright victory coming in 2000.
Florida State comes into Thursday's game with a 6-0-0 record in 2006. Its best win came in its opener when it beat defending champion Portland, 2-1. Only once have the Seminoles scored as many as three goals in a game, though. Australian Selin Kuralay and U.S. international India Trotter, FSU's two top threats, have combined for only six goals on 55 shots.
Carolina is 8-1-0 with its only loss coming at Texas A&M in its opening game. Coach Anson Dorrance has the youngest team in the program's history. For the last three games, Dorrance started six freshman -- defenders Kristi Eveland and Ali Hawkins, midfielders Nikki Washington and Tobin Heath and forwards Sterling Smith and Whitney Engen -- and another freshman, U-20 star Casey Nogueira, has been a key contributor off the bench. UNC's only senior starter is U.S. national team forward Heather O'Reilly.
The nationally televised showdown marks the first time in 16 years that Carolina has hosted a team ranked higher than it in the national rankings,
- WEDNESDAY ROUNDUP-WOMEN
- No. 18 Texas A&M overwhelmed Sam Houston State, 9-0, before 2,145 fans at the Aggie Soccer Stadium. Ashlee Pistorius,
Natalie Currie and Melissa Garey each scored twice.
- Freshmen Emily Pallotta and Casey Brown scored in the first half to lift No. 25 Boston University to a 2-0 win over over Harvard. The win marked the Terriers' first victory over the Crimson in the series history.
- Laura Harper scored from 25 yards out only 23 seconds into the second half to give unbeaten Maine a 1-0 victory over Brown, which shared the No. 25 spot in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 with BU. The Black Bears (7-0-1) have now won six straight games, allowing just one goal in that span.