Who: No. 2 Florida State (3-0-0, 0-0-0 ACC) at North Florida (1-2-2, 0-0-0 ASUN)
When/Where: Thursday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., Hodges Stadium
Free kicks: FSU is coming off a dominating win over South Florida (USF), 5-1, on Sunday. It’s the Seminoles‘ largest win since they defeated then-No. 12 Duke, 5-1 on Oct. 13, 2022. FSU out-shot USF, 26-2, with 13 shots on goal.
Freshman forward Jordynn Dudley had an exciting introduction to the FSU faithful, scoring two goals, and nearly netting a third in Sunday’s game. She recorded five shots over 50 minutes of play. Senior midfielder Onyi Echegini scored her second goal of the season and senior midfielder Leah Pais scored on a penalty kick.
UNF (Thursday) and Florida (Sunday) are FSU’s final non-conference games before it jumps into ACC play at No. 11 Clemson on Sept. 15. The Ospreys haven’t won since Aug. 17, going 0-2-2 over their last four. Its last game was against Mercer on Sunday, tying 0-0.
What FSU needs to win: Let the newcomers and transfers continue to take the wheel. Dudley and Tennesee transfer Taylor Huff has exploded in their first few games in the Garnet and Gold. Continuing to let the new players play an active role, especially in these nonconference games, could benefit FSU greatly come conference play.
Put the game away early. A tight game on the road and two days before facing Florida, even if it’s only two hours away, can be daunting. Getting on top of UNF early and keeping the pedal down, will allow FSU to play the game at its pace and not get gassed out before Sunday’s game.
ACC leaders in non-conference play: No. 4 North Carolina is riding close to FSU in the national rankings, sitting at 4-0-2 on the year wins notable wins over No. 24 USC (4-0) and No. 8 Arkansas (3-1). No. 10 Duke has dropped two of its last three, falling to No. 24 USC (3-1) and No. 3 Stanford (4-0).
No. 11 Clemson sits at 5-0-1, notably defeating Utah and tying South Carolina. No. 12 Virginia is riding high at 5-0-1, riding a three-game win streak with wins over George Mason, West Virginia and VCU. No. 15 Notre Dame is 3-0-1 on the year, defeating Michigan State (2-1). No. 21 Pittsburgh has hit the ground running at 6-0, recently defeating Bowling Green (5-1).
Jack Williams covers Florida State athletics for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @jackgwilliams.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida State soccer aiming for 4-0 start against North Florida