Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

One Win Away from Title Game, Seminoles Focusing on UConn; Huskies Ousted Seminoles in Sweet 16 Game Last Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

One Win Away from Title Game, Seminoles Focusing on UConn; Huskies Ousted Seminoles in Sweet 16 Game Last Year

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, The Times-Union

TALLAHASSEE -- In preparation for Florida State's first College Cup appearance, Patrick Baker has called on two of the most respected women's soccer coaches in the country for advice, North Carolina's Anson Dorrance and U.S. National U-19 coach Tracey Leone.

Baker will borrow a bit of Leone's tournament wisdom before his Seminoles meet Connecticut in today's first NCAA semifinal game at the SAS Soccer Complex in Cary, N.C., employing a simple sign: 2=1.

"Two teams, one advance," Baker explained. "So we're not worried about 64 teams, we're not worried about eight teams, we're not worried about four teams. It's us and another team and only one gets to go. I think that has taken a lot of the peripheral stuff out."

Though the Seminoles won't need any added motivation, they'll have some against the Huskies. UConn ousted FSU in last season's Sweet 16 round with a 1-0 victory in Storrs, Conn. Brittany Barakat, one of four returning UConn starters from a year ago, scored the game's decisive goal just 70 seconds into the contest.

That should be enough to keep the Seminoles focused on the task at hand, rather than thinking about a potential third rematch with Dorrance's Tar Heels with a national title on the line. FSU lost a pair of one-goal games to the top-seeded Tar Heels (25-0-0) this season. North Carolina meets UCLA in today's other semifinal game.

"At times you do think, 'Wow, we could be matched up with North Carolina for the third time this year,'" junior midfielder Camie Bybee said. "I think we're really just going to be focused on UConn because they knocked us out of the tournament last year. If we can just get our whole team to focus on just them, and also use it as a goal -- 'In 90 minutes we could be playing for the national championship' -- I think it could be turned into a postive and a motivation."

FSU, in its ninth season, has made its deepest postseason run with wins over Dartmouth (5-0), Auburn (2-1), West Virginia (3-2) and Florida (2-1). …

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