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Florida State Sports Notebook: Pre-NCAAs Edition

Just a few thoughts on Seminole sports. As always read at your own risk.

Jaylynn Nash/ ACC

As you may know Florida State has been making significant news both on and off the pitch lately. I wanted to provide a few quick updates. In no particular order, let’s get started.

First, let’s take a look at Florida State’s profile going into the NCAA tournament using Massey’s ratings:

Ranking: 2

Schedule: 1

Offense: 1

Defense: 3

You may have heard that Florida State was able to secure the overall top seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. The Seminoles were able to earn that top seed due to the fact that they won the ACC tournament and UCLA stumbled losing at USC (2-0) while Alabama slipped up losing in the SEC tournament to South Carolina (1-0).

Every coach that I have ever spoken with has stressed the importance of getting a #1 seed to secure home games until the College Cup. However, no coach that I have ever spoken with has been concerned with which #1 seed they get. They all reason that all of the #2 and #3 seeds are all good teams so at that point matchups matter more than who the committee happens to think is ranked higher on the S-Curve. I generally agree with this line of thinking. However, this year may be the exception.

FSU is in the easiest region while Notre Dame is in the toughest. By easiest and toughest I mean easiest or toughest competition to reach the College Cup. I have Alabama being in the second toughest region while UCLA’s region is the third toughest. Florida State wouldn’t have been placed in a relatively easier quadrant without having secured the overall #1 seed.

It is never easy to get to the College Cup and it certainly won’t be easy for FSU this year. However, looking over the bracket, there is no question in my mind that the Florida State’s quarter is the easiest. The #2 seed is St. Louis. I haven’t seen them play yet so I am going out on a bit of a limb here. However, here is what I wrote in a response to a question from Tomahawk Nation member Maddy Rat:

St. Louis is a good team but they are hard to evaluate because of schedule.

They played exactly 3 games against teams in Massey’s top 50 - #9 Arkansas (1-0 W), #6 Notre Dame (2-0 L) and #48 Nebraska (5-1 W). The last of those games was against Nebraska and it was on Sept. 4th. FSU played 12 games against the top 50 and 5 games against the top 10.

They have 8 games on their schedule against sub 200 teams. FSU played exactly zero games against sub 200 teams. The worst team FSU played all year according to current rankings was #126 Florida (5-0 W).

It’s hard to imagine that such a team would be able to come to Tally and beat FSU but it’s soccer. Stranger things have happened.

I stand by that evaluation. The other #2 seeds are North Carolina, Duke and Penn State. The committee basically just stuck to the RPI to determine seeding. St. Louis would seem to be a less dangerous team than either of those three teams (even though FSU waxed Duke 5-1) so securing the overall #1 seed seems to have benefited FSU this year more than it normally would in other years.

Florida State will soon announce its 2023 recruiting class. That is not a misprint. This will be the first time since I have been covering this program that FSU will officially announce the recruiting class. Former coach Mark Krikorian was famously secretive about such matters (and many more) but Brian Pensky is apparently favoring promotion over secrecy so the class will be formally announced. The class will feature the following players (all rankings from Prep Soccer): #72 Jordynn Dudley (F, Milton, GA), #26 Peyton Nourse (M, Centennial, CO), #18 Maggie Taitano (M/D, Carlsbad, CA), #23 Amelia Van Zanten (D, Buffalo Grove, IL). Top Drawer Soccer ranks the class fourth nationally. For the class to ranked in the top five with only four players in it really highlights how highly regarded these players are nationally. In addition, Jordynn Dudley is also a serious hooper. It wouldn’t be a shock to see her play both sports at FSU.

The 2023 class was recruited initially by Krikorian but they have all visited Florida State since Pensky was named the coach and they have all reaffirmed their commitments to FSU. Pensky has not yet added to the class through the high school ranks but Florida State will be very active in the transfer portal. Pensky would like the roster to eventually reach 27 players (Krikorian preferred 24 players) so Florida State will have to be quite active in the portal to reach that number.

There have been questions about the status of Olivia Garcia because she didn’t play in the ACC tournament. She is not injured. The staff decided to change tactics for the tournament. Clara Robbins was essentially moved to be a second holding midfielder next to LeiLanni Nesbeth. Both Robbins and Nesbeth never left the field playing all 200 minutes in the two games. Therefore, there were fewer minutes than usual available in the midfield. The coaches used Maria Alagoa, Emma Bissell and Kaitlyn Zipay off the bench in the midfield and on the wing so there weren’t as many minutes left for Garcia. However, you can expect to see Garcia in the NCAA tournament.

As always, the comments are yours.