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The Florida State soccer crew has now handed the mid-point of the season. Due to this fact, it’s a good time to evaluate how the season has gone thus far and the place the crew could also be headed as we transfer on towards the submit season.

These are actual questions posed by actual individuals within the sense that they’re precise questions (they finish in a query mark) and I’m an actual particular person. I’ve written the entire questions.

Florida State is presently 7-0-2 (3-0 ACC). The Noles are seventh within the newest coaches ballot and tied with Duke and Pitt on the prime of the ACC with 9 factors. Did you count on for the season to be going this effectively?

Based mostly on simply the outcomes, I’m not shocked by FSU’s efficiency up to now within the season. Nonetheless, when the attention take a look at is factored into the equation I’m a bit shocked about how effectively the crew has really carried out on the sphere to date within the season.

What surprises you about how the season has performed out up to now?

There are some things. I’ll hit the highlights in no explicit order.

I do not know that the outcomes on the sphere would have been appreciably higher had former coach Mark Krikorian and gamers like Emily Madril and Yujie Zhao stayed and Kirsten Pavlisko would have prevented harm. That may be a shock.

I wish to be clear about what I imply as a result of I’ve seen some chatter on the market questioning whether or not this crew is healthier than final 12 months’s championship crew. Let’s put that to relaxation proper now. This 12 months’s crew has confirmed that (at the least thus far) they’re able to taking part in elite soccer. Nonetheless, final 12 months’s crew was completely an all-timer. They went unbeaten and untied at full energy (until you depend the nationwide championship sport as a tie). You do not lose gamers like Jaelin Howell, Gabby Carle, Emily Madril, Yujie Zhao and Kirsten Pavlisko and get higher. Howell and Carle wouldn’t have come again in any case but when the opposite three had been on this crew I’m assured that the Noles can be 9-0 proper now and be the unanimous #1 crew within the nation.

Nonetheless, the truth that anybody may even credibly evaluate this 12 months’s crew to final 12 months’s version says lots about how effectively this 12 months’s crew has performed. That is what I imply once I say that the outcomes on the sphere could not have been appreciably higher proper now. The file can be higher had these gamers stayed as a result of the early attracts would have doubtless been wins however the precise product on discipline could be very excessive proper now even with out these gamers and it in all probability would not be that a lot greater if these gamers had been nonetheless on the roster.

The crew has actually extraordinarily jelled collectively and performed effectively for the reason that Auburn sport. The Seminoles have seemingly figured issues out. Onyi Echegini has been a revelation on the left wing. We knew that Echegini was actually gifted from her taking part in her at Mississippi State nevertheless we may n’t make certain how effectively her expertise and expertise would translate in Tallahassee taking part in in a unique system with totally different teammates. Keep in mind additionally that Echegini signed with FSU with out ever visiting the campus or assembly any of her new teammates. Provided that actuality it’s a little bit of a shock that issues have gone so easily even with a participant as gifted as Echegini.

Echegini is in fact a brand new participant added to the roster however now we have additionally seen some returning gamers having to regulate to new positions. In principally each occasion the modifications have labored. Ran Iwai has by no means performed on the backline at this stage however she has taken to her transfer to left again like a duck to water. Her play from her has actually solidified the backline. LeiLanni Nesbeth has moved to holding midfield and her play de ella has been nice general. Nesbeth has solidified the backbone of the midfield and allowed FSU’s attackers to maneuver ahead with out worrying about any issues behind them.

The play of the freshmen has additionally been a little bit of a shock. Florida State does not normally need to rely a lot on contributions from freshmen. Nonetheless, with the entire turmoil that we witnessed in the course of the summer season the Noles had been within the unfamiliar place of getting to depend on true freshmen to play important minutes. Heather Gilchrist has stepped right into a beginning function at middle again and he or she has not appeared misplaced. The identical will be mentioned for Sophia Nguyen when she has needed to spell Heather Payne at proper again. Olivia Garcia has appeared harmful when she is available in on the wing. They’ve actually stepped up and their play has been a key to the crew’s general sturdy play.

Conserving all of that in thoughts, the place do the Seminoles sit within the nationwide dialog?

Clearly there may be loads of season left however proper now Florida State needs to be included on anybody’s shortlist of nationwide championship contenders.

FSU proper now could be seventh within the coaches ballot, 14th within the RPI and second within the Massey Scores. Massey’s rankings are soccer’s reply to KenPom. Massey charges FSU’s offense and protection as first within the nation however they’re second within the general rankings to UCLA primarily as a result of the Bruins are 9-0 and have performed the hardest schedule within the nation to date within the season.

The Noles are being held again within the rankings as a result of the schedule (up to now) has not been that robust. Massey has FSU’s schedule rated 14th proper now. FSU’s finest win in response to Massey is over #23 Clemson.

Principally, FSU is taking part in very spectacular soccer proper now however individuals wish to see if they’ll stick with it when the opponents get more durable.

Okay, that is an ideal segue to take our focus to the remainder of the season. How do you see the subsequent few video games taking part in out?

The Seminoles are about to hit the difficult a part of the season. Let’s talk about the subsequent few opponents.

Up first is Miami ((3-4-2, 0-3-0 ACC) on Saturday. The Canes are unranked within the coaches ballot, #47 RPI and #89 Massey. There’s not likely a lot to say about this sport. Miami does look to be transferring in the precise course as a program. They do have a powerful win over #5 Alabama. Nonetheless, the Canes simply haven’t got FSU’s expertise and it might be a shock if the Noles did not win this sport by a number of objectives.Will probably be good to see Megan Morgan once more although.

Massey offers FSU an 80% likelihood to win whereas Miami has a 9% likelihood to win. The opposite 11% is the possibility of a tie.

On October sixth the Gauntlet begins. Florida State will face Virginia, Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina, and Pitt in consecutive video games. The Massey ranking of these opponents so as is sixth, ninth, fourth, third and seventh. That is right. The Gauntlet consists of 5 prime 10 opponents in a row. Let’s talk about these groups in a bit extra element. Earlier than we get to that it should be famous that Heather Payne will certainly miss the Notre Dame and Duke video games and doubtless the Virginia sport because of nationwide crew commitments.

Virginia (9-1-1, 2-1-0 ACC) is first on October sixth in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavs (#2 coaches, #6 RPI. #6 Massey) have expertise everywhere in the discipline as typical. Nonetheless, UVA hasn’t been notably spectacular of late. I can not consider that I’m saying this in regards to the #2 crew within the nation (at the least in response to the coaches) however there’s something lacking with this crew. I do know they’re 9-1-1 so how a lot will be lacking. Nonetheless, you might want to look a bit deeper with this crew. In politics they’ve prime line numbers in polls after which they’ve crosstabs which let you look deeper into the outcomes. With the Cavaliers you actually need to have a look at the crosstabs. UVA has a complete of six pictures on objective of their final three video games mixed. They’re 2-1 in these video games (towards UNC, ND and Louisville) as a result of they’ve scored on 5 of these six pictures. I extremely doubt that UVA will have the ability to be this scientific towards FSU’s objective conserving. It’s astounding that the Cavs haven’t been capable of generate extra probabilities contemplating that they’ve a entrance line that includes Haley Hopkins, Rebecca Jarrett and Alexa Spaanstra. I believe that what is going on is that the Hoos haven’t been productive sufficient in midfield and subsequently the potent frontline has not been getting adequate service. This has led to the strikers having to offer an excessive amount of of the offense on their very own as a result of the construct up within the midfield has been missing. I wish to stress how gifted the Cavs are as a result of they do have the gamers to repair this subject. Nonetheless, if they do not determine it out it will likely be robust to deal with FSU as a result of the Noles will probably be very onerous to defeat if Jenna Nighswonger, Clara Robbins and Co. are dominating the midfield.

Massey offers FSU a 47% likelihood to win and offers UVA a 38% likelihood to win.

Subsequent is Notre Dame (8-2-0, 1-2-0 ACC). The sport will probably be on October ninth in South Bend, Ind. The Irish (#16 coaches, #4 RPI. #9 Massey) are a really strong crew. They took care of enterprise within the non-conference and have a win over Virginia on their resume. Additionally they have losses to Clemson and Pitt. They’ve high quality gamers like Korbin Albert, Olivia Wingate and Kiki Van Zanten however general the expertise stage in South Bend is not nearly as good as what FSU can provide. Assuming FSU performs to the usual that now we have seen in the previous few video games it’s robust to see a loss for the Noles right here.

Massey offers FSU a 53% likelihood to win and offers ND a 32% likelihood to win.

Duke (8-2-0, 3-1-0 ACC) is subsequent up. The sport will probably be on October thirteenth in Tallahassee. The Blue Devils (#4 coaches, #3 RPI. #4 Massey) are a harmful crew. After all all of it begins with striker Michelle Cooper up prime. Cooper is lots to deal with along with her pace and her athleticism. She does not want a number of house to strike. The Noles might want to know the place she is always. Nonetheless, Duke is a Jekyll and Hyde crew. They received completely dominated by UNC in Durham 3-0 in a sport the place the Heels held them to 2 pictures. They adopted up that efficiency with a torpid 1-0 win over Syracuse. I used to be about to jot down them off as overrated at that time. Then they got here out and completely took NC State to the woodshed in a 6-0 no mercy thumping. Now I am undecided what to make of the Devils. It actually will depend on which crew you resolve to indicate up. Finally, I believe that FSU is a foul matchup for Duke. I do not assume that the Blue Satan protection will have the ability to get up towards the loaded Seminole entrance line. Additionally, the sport is in Tallahassee and that issues.

Massey offers FSU a 59% likelihood to win and offers Duke a 27% likelihood to win.

North Carolina (9-2-0, 2-1-0 ACC) will journey to Tallahassee on October twentieth. The Tar Heels (#2 coaches, #2 RPI. #3 Massey) are in fact loaded. And by that I imply loaded with expertise and gamers. UNC has 37 gamers on the roster. For context, FSU has 21. When you have watched any school soccer the final 10 or so years you recognize what the Heels will do on this sport. FSU will see the excessive press. That would be the key to the sport. If the Noles can keep away from (or at the least reduce) errors within the again they need to be advantageous on this sport. FSU will then have the ability to reap the benefits of the house within the again that will probably be open as a result of excessive urgent. The Tar Heels have one other subject. The objective conserving has been suspected. In opposition to Virginia (a sport of the 12 months candidate) UNC jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first half. Carolina was completely dominating the Hoos within the first half. UVA did not even try a shot and principally could not get the ball out of their half of the sphere. Then every part modified within the second half. UVA scored three objectives within the half for the win. Nonetheless, the primary and third objectives had been because of very questionable objective conserving from UNC keeper Emmie Allen. If that does not get cleaned up the Heels could have a really tough keep within the Sunshine State.

Massey offers FSU a 54% likelihood to win and offers UNC a 31% likelihood to win.

The Noles will journey to Pitt (10-1-0, 3-0 ACC) on October twenty third. The Panthers (#14 coaches, #7 RPI. #7 Massey) look a lot improved however I’ll save my observations about them till later as the sport is sort of a month away.

Nonetheless, proper now Massey offers FSU a 52% likelihood to win and offers Pitt a 34% likelihood to win.

General, the Seminoles are taking part in about in addition to will be anticipated. Any dropoff from the Krikorian period has been minimal (at the least thus far). Assuming FSU can proceed to play at this stage and keep away from accidents the Noles are prime contenders for one more School Cup run.

As at all times, the feedback are yours.

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