Aug. 16, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The 2012 Florida State soccer season gets underway Friday night in Minneapolis as the fourth-ranked Seminoles square-off against Minnesota at 8:00 p.m. EST in the season opener for both schools. FSU will then face No. 14 Marquette in Milwaukee on Sunday, August 19 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Florida State and Minnesota will square-off for the first time, while FSU is 2-1-0 all-time against Marquette.
FSU has won four straight season openers outscoring the opposition 14-0. The Seminoles are 6-1-0 on opening day under Mark Krikorian, including 3-1-0 on the opposition's home turf.
Florida State owns a mark of 4-3-0 against schools from the Big Ten Conference with its last meeting coming at home against Penn State in 2009 - a 2-1 victory for FSU.
Sunday's match pits two nationally ranked opponents as Florida State and Marquette are meeting for the third year in a row. The Seminoles have won two straight over the Golden Eagles tallying three goals in both victories, while Marquette won the first meeting in the series 1-0 in Clemson, S.C. back in FSU's inaugural season in 1995.
Last year, Tori Huster, Jessica Price and Janice Cayman each scored a goal in the win, while Cayman led all players with three points on a goal and an assist. The Golden Eagles held the advantage in shots (12-6) and corner kicks (2-1) in the loss.
Under head coach Mark Krikorian, FSU is 51-30-8 against ranked foes and 8-7-1 last year.
Live stats for both matches will be available via gametracker, while fans can always receive in-game updates on Twitter @FSU_Soccer. Also, do not forget to like the Seminole Soccer team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FSUSoccer.
Here is the 2012 Season Outlook for the Florida State Soccer team:
The Seminoles return eight starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad that captured the school's first ACC Championship and advanced to the College Cup for the fifth time in school history.
With five College Cup appearances since 2003, Florida State is one of only three programs in the nation, and the only school in the ACC, to play in soccer's version of the `Final Four' five times in the last nine years. Since 2000, the Seminoles have made 12 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, played in 10 `Sweet 16's' and advanced to the quarterfinal round seven years in a row - the longest active streak in the nation.
FSU returns five of seven players who recorded double-digit points last year including all-time leading scorer Tiffany McCarty (42 points), Jessica Price (17 points), Dagny Brynjarsdottir (13 points), Ines Jaurena (11 points) and Jamia Fields (10 points). Casey Short returns to the pitch after missing the entire 2011 campaign due to an injury.
The Seminoles welcome 12 newcomers to Tallahassee in 2012. Eleven of the 12 student-athletes come in as freshmen including two who enrolled at FSU back in the spring of 2012 (Michaela Hahn and Kahlia Hogg) and four international standouts (Hogg, Australia; Berglind Thorvaldsdottir, Iceland; Isabella Schmid, Germany; Nora Kervroëdan, France).
Mark Krikorian enters his eighth year as head coach of the Florida State soccer program amassing a record of 126-35-14. Krikorian has led the Seminoles to four College Cup appearances (2005-07 and 2011) and a berth in their first national title game in 2007. He claimed a share of the ACC regular season title in 2009 and guided the Seminoles to their first league championship in 2011. Among active Division I coaches, Krikorian has the fifth highest winning percentage (.764) and ranks 12th in wins.
Krikorian on the upcoming season: "In terms of talent from top to bottom, we are probably as talented as we have ever been. We obviously lost some very good players last year, but I think with the collection of players that we have back as well as the new kids coming in that we have a pretty talented group. The expectations are always the same; it is to be playing in the last weekend of the season and to give ourselves a chance to compete for a national championship. All the non-conference, conference and conference tournament games matter but at the end of the day it's about competing for a national title. The hope is that we can get back to the College Cup and give ourselves a chance to win."
Leadership & Experience
Senior forward Tiffany McCarty and junior defender Kassey Kallman were named team captains for the 2012 season. After missing the entire 2010 season due to injury, McCarty made a grand return in 2011 as she led the team in points, goals, shots and game-winning goals. The Laurel, Md., native is FSU's career leader in shots (220), goals (46) and points (111). Kallman has been a two-year starter for the Seminoles since arriving on campus in 2010. She will miss the first half of the season as she represents Florida State and the United States at the 2012 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Japan.
Of the 13 letterwinners returning for the Seminoles in 2012, each player has made at least one career start. Eight have started at least 35 games including Tiana Brockway (71), Ines Jaurena (71), Tiffany McCarty (71), Kassey Kallman (48), Casey Short (47), Kelsey Wys (45), Jessica Price (42) and Taylor Vancil (38).
A program-record eight student-athletes were named to the ACC All-Academic Team in 2011 with 21 players named to the team over the last three years. Tori Huster led the 2011 squad becoming the first Seminole soccer player to earn ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Eleven Seminoles went on to earn ACC Academic Honor Roll accolades during the 2011-12 school year maintaining a 3.0 overall GPA as well as a 3.0 GPA each semester. Redshirt senior Jessica Price became the first Seminole to be named a five-time selection to the ACC Academic Honor Roll.
Krikorian on the overall experience of this year's team: "The veteran leadership that we have on this year's team is a very positive aspect for us. Certainly having Jess (Price), Tiff (McCarty) and Shorty (Casey Short) here for an additional year is big for us; obviously we missed them while they were out, but to have them back is a great benefit to our team. The maturity off the field and on the field is quite good. Even beyond the three redshirt seniors, I think we have a core of kids who have shown great commitment to the team. I just look at our group and think that we have a mature team. We spend a lot of time on leadership, leadership development and I think the investment that we have put into it is paying its dividends now."
Jessica Price heads into her senior season ranked second all-time at Florida State in game-winning goals (11) and assists (25). The Libertyville, Ill., native has led the Seminoles in assists two of the last three seasons tallying nine last year and 10 in 2009. She also ranks among the career leaders at FSU in points (6th - 71) and goals (10th - 23).
Jamia Fields finished her freshman campaign in 2011 ranked seventh on the team with 10 points tallying two goals and six assists. She was one of three Seminoles that finished the season tied for second with six assists, while her four assists against ACC foes tied for the third-most in a single-season in school history.
Last year, the Seminoles finished the season with 172 points on 55 goals and 62 assists. It marked the fifth-highest scoring campaign in the Mark Krikorian era and the sixth-most points in program history. The four most productive offensive seasons have come under the watchful eye of Krikorian (2007 - 233 points; 2009 - 204 points; 2008 - 194 points; 2005 - 188 points). Since 2007, the Seminoles are averaging over 62 goals and 61 assists a season.
Eighteen different Seminoles contributed with at least one point in 2011, while 11 Seminoles scored at least one goal. Seven Seminoles finished the season with double-digit points with five returning for the 2012 season.
Krikorian on the attack: "We will have a variety of ways of attacking this year. The athletic quality that we have will present challenges to some teams but I think that the technical aspect of the team and the emphasis on keeping the ball and position play will also present some challenges to opponents. The hope is that we are not a one-dimensional group that we can score with different players in different ways in different situations and if that is the case then we will be dangerous."
Casey Short returns to the pitch in 2012 after missing the entire 2011 season due to an injury. The redshirt senior was a second team All-ACC honoree in 2010 and has appeared in 58 matches over her three-year career with 47 starts. The Naperville, Ill., native has recorded 28 career points on seven goals and 14 assists. Ten of her 14 career assists have come against ACC foes which ties her for first in the FSU career record books for assists in ACC play.
Kristin Grubka, Hikaru Murakami and Mart Bakowska-Mathews also played valuable minutes in the midfield for the Seminoles last year. The trio has appeared in a combined 66 matches tallying a total of 12 points on three goals and six assists. Look for a handful of newcomers including Nicole Fischer, Michaela Hahn and Dria Hampton as well as internationals Nora Kervroëdan, Isabella Schmid and Berglind Thorvaldsdottir to see action in the midfield.
Krikorian on the midfield: "From a coaching perspective, the midfield is the biggest question mark for our program because we did lose some talented players from last year including Tori Huster, Janice Cayman, Ella Stephan and Katie Riley. When you take them out of the mix, it is a significant loss, but I do think we have replaced them with some very good players. As I sit here during the preseason, I still don't have a handle on how the midfield will look come opening day. I'm not sure what kind of shape we are going to play in, which players are going to be in which positions, but what I do know is that we have some very talented players that will vie for playing time. If we as a coaching staff can figure it out and get the puzzle right, then we should be pretty good."
Florida State will be without the services of Kassey Kallman for the first seven games as the Woodbury, Minn., native will travel with the U.S. U-20 team to Japan for the FIFA Youth World Cup which runs August 19 - September 8. Kallman started all five games, playing every minute of each match, for the U-20 team at the 2012 CONCACAF Tournament in Panama as the team won gold to clinch a World Cup berth.
The Seminole defensive effort was a little uncharacteristic last year as opponents recorded 28 goals - the most allowed under head coach Mark Krikorian and the most since giving up 28 goals in 2003. Despite the goals allowed, FSU still posted 12 shutouts to extend the school's streak of reaching double-digit shutouts to seven years in a row.
Krikorian on the defense: "We had a good collection of back players last year, but I don't think our positioning was precise enough in many different situations. We addressed some of those issues in the spring. Sometimes when you're attacking as much as we are attacking, you leave yourself susceptible to counter attacks. There is no secret, that is certainly a methodology teams will use against us, but hopefully we have worked enough on the way that we defend so we will minimize the opportunities by our opponents. We gave up far too many goals last year, some were very good goals, others we gifted and we need to do a better job of taking away those gifted goals."
Wys started 23 matches last year and put together a record of 16-6-1 in leading the Seminoles to an ACC Championship and a berth in the College Cup. The Coral Springs, Fla., native was named the ACC Tournament MVP after finishing the championship with a 0.59 GAA and 10 saves. She made three more saves in four penalty kick opportunities during the final's shootout against Wake Forest to lead FSU to its first league title. Wys in the FSU career leader with eight shutouts in ACC play, while her career shutouts (20) and wins (32) rank tied for first and third, respectively, in school history.
Vancil appeared in seven matches while making three starts in her first year at Florida State in 2011. The Youngsville, N.C., native went 2-1-0 with 15 saves and two shutouts in over 400 minutes of action. She allowed goals in just two of her seven appearances, while recording a career-high six saves on the road at Virginia.
Krikorian on the goalkeepers: "I'm sure that there are a lot of teams out there that would like to trade our two (goalkeepers) for their two or our two for their three. We feel as though that we have two of the best goalkeepers in the country. They both came back this fall fit and ready to go. They bring out the best in one another and I think (assistant coach) Mike (Bristol) is doing a great job with them as well."
Michaela Hahn and Kahlia Hogg got an early start to their collegiate career arriving on campus in January enrolling at Florida State for the spring semester. Both took part in off-season conditioning while collecting valuable minutes on the pitch during the Seminole spring season.
Dria Hampton is the lone transfer in this year's class coming from the University of Oklahoma. As a Sooner, Hampton started every game over the last three years - a span of 62 consecutive starts. She tallied 39 career points on 12 goals and 15 assists as she scored at least three goals all three years at Oklahoma. Hampton will provide a great deal of leadership and experience in the midfield for the Seminoles in 2012 as she led OU to the 2010 NCAA Tournament and served as team captain in 2010 and 2011.
Krikorian on the newcomers: "This year's class is a large collection of players much larger than we have had in the past. I think all the players will have different roles, some will come in and start, some will come in and give us minutes off the bench and some will take a little longer and have to develop over the course of time. But my first impressions are that they are a hardworking group that wants to get better and are very open to the comments that we as a staff are providing to them."
The Garnet and Gold will open the 2012 season on the road as FSU travels to face Minnesota followed two days later with a match against the Marquette Golden Eagles. This marks the third straight year Florida State has opened its season away from the friendly confines of the Seminole Soccer Complex as last year FSU defeated Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. Florida State is 4-4-0 when beginning the season on the road.
The Seminoles will be tested early as three of their first four opponents participated in postseason play including Marquette, UCF and Florida. Six of FSU's nine road contests in 2012 will come against schools that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year.
FSU will once again compete in a 10-game ACC schedule with five home and five away matches leading up to the ACC Tournament first round matches which will be held on the campus of the higher seeded team on Sunday, October 28. Florida State will open conference play at home against two schools that joined the Seminoles at the 2011 College Cup in Kennesaw, Ga. FSU will square-off against national runner-up Duke on Thursday, September 13 followed by Wake Forest on Sunday, September 16.
Krikorian on the schedule: "Starting the year on the road at Minnesota and at Marquette are two very difficult games early in the season. Those games will take us out of our comfort zone. I think that by the time we are done with preseason all the kids here will be very comfortable with our field, being in Florida and getting used to the weather. But by taking them into hostile environments will in the long term serve us well. Then you look at the ACC schedule and the proof is out there when NCAA Tournament time rolls around. The fact that the ACC had nine teams in the tournament and all nine teams won a first round match, then you have four in the Elite Eight and three in the College Cup. It's a credit to the quality of the institutions, the coaches, the players and their commitment to excellence. We continue to see good players out there that are really interested and excited to play in the ACC. There is a reason for it because you know every time you step on the field that the opponent is going to be a good opponent. I think the ACC schedule will be a great challenge for us."