June 29, 2004
Tallahassee, FL - Florida State soccer head coach Patrick Baker announced the signing of Colorado's Melissa Samokishyn to the incoming freshman class. The defender is the fifth high schooler to sign with Florida State for the 2004 season. Samokishyn has been a Regional IV pool player and is a member of the 2004 Colorado Class 5A high school state champions. She is the third player from Colorado to commit to FSU in the last two years.
"Melissa is a wonderful athlete who plays with some toughness and some fight," said Baker. "She is really going to be a nice addition to our backline. I think she is definitely a player that will come in and compete for a starting position right away. She is great on the tackle, she can get forward and she is good in possession. As a defender she can defend exceptionally well on both sides and is a threat to get forward. She is exactly what we were looking for especially when you are trying to replace someone as talented as Kristin Boyce."
Samokishyn has been successful at all levels of youth soccer. With the Olympic Development Program (ODP), she has not only been a member of the Colorado state team, the 5'3" defender has been to regional camps and been a Region IV pool player. The Chatfield Senior High School captain is a back-to-back all-state selection by both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. A 2004 first team All-Jefferson County selection, Samokishyn's Chatfield squad won the state title in 2004 and played for the championship in 2001 and 2002. Playing in the midfield for the Chargers, Samokishyn recorded 22 points as a senior on seven goals and eight assists.
As a member of the Colorado Rush Nike Team, Samokishyn's squad won the 2003 Surf Cup, 2003 Disney Showcase and 2003 state championship. Her Rush team was also a regional finalist in 2004. She has a 3.5 GPA at Chatfield High and will join fellow Rush teammate Armani Rice in Tallahassee this fall.
"When I saw Melissa play for the first time with the Rush, I knew we needed someone like her on our team," said Baker. "She is an extremely strong defender and has that bit of bite to her game that you need in the ACC. She has speed, quickness and can play out of the back. Her commitment to FSU was a huge reason that Armani (Rice) considered us in the first place. Melissa is one of the best 1 v. 1 defenders I have seen in the 2004 class and we look forward to her improving our back line."
The signing of Samokishyn completes Baker's incoming freshman class. The five-player class features two players from Colorado (Samokishyn and Rice) and three from the state of Florida. Samokishyn and Rice join sophomore Rachel McDowell as the first three players ever to play for Baker from the state of Colorado.
"For us, this is a class that is similar to our 2002 class which included Leah (Gallegos), Alli (Ferreri), T (Teresa Rivera), Sarah (Rosseau) and Jess (Bell)," said Baker. "It is a class that fills our needs. This particular class isn't full of regional and national team players at the same time when you only lose two players you don't have the scholarships to work with but we fell very fortunate to replace two graduating seniors with five very talented freshmen. >From that standpoint we are very excited.
"There is a level of athleticism and speed in this class that will really help this program. This group coming in not only makes us better but we are now a deeper team as well. They give us (the coaching staff) more options than we have ever had."
The Seminoles open up the 2004 season at home versus nationally ranked Arizona State Friday August 27. The match is one of 13 home games for FSU in 2004. The Tribe will also host 2003 NCAA Tournament team Tennessee in a scrimmage Friday August 20 at 7:00 p.m. For more information on the Seminole soccer team, please log on to seminoles.com, the official website for the FSU Athletic Department.