Tallahassee, FL - After beating Miami 2-0 in its ACC opener, No. 10 Florida State (7-2-0) will host its first two ACC home matches of the 2010 season with a Thursday, Sept. 30 match against No. 19 Wake Forest (8-3-0) at 7:00 p.m. and a Sunday match against No. 16 Duke (6-2-3) on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1:00 p.m. Both games will be held at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
“It’s going to be a challenging couple of games,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We have Wake Forest, who is a very good team that just beat Duke. We will prepare for them first and then we will have a quick turnaround in getting ready for Duke who is idle this week and will have a full week of preparation for us. We know we have two good teams coming here to Tallahassee -- two good games, and we are looking forward to it.”
While conference play has just begun, the ACC season opening win over Miami was a great start for the Seminoles as they hope to continue their success this week.
“I think starting off by going down there and getting a win at Miami is a good start for us,” said Krikorian. “Every conference game is a tough game, particularly on the road, so I think our kids went down there, followed the game plan pretty well, and executed as we needed. We scored two quality goals against a good opponent, and walked away with a positive result.”
One of the biggest assets the Seminoles have going for them has been excellent team defense. The Seminoles have allowed only six goals in their first nine games of the season. Led by redshirt freshman goal keeper Kelsey Wys, the team has racked up six shutout victories over Washington State, Gonzaga, Stetson, Mercer, Arkansas and Miami in just the first nine games.
“Kelsey has done as we hoped she would,” said Krikorian. “She has come in and been consistent in her play. The backline and the entire team defending have been quite good. We are eliminating team’s opportunities at our goal and I think it’s been a collective effort between the goalkeeper and all the other players.”
While Wys is playing exceptional for a redshirt freshman, she is quick to give her teammates credit for her success.
“I think we have one of the best backlines in the country,” said Wys. “Every single person playing back there has so much to offer to the team. If we stay organized by communicating it becomes that much easier and I think that that is why I have had so many shutouts is because my defense makes it so easy on me.”
There are several players who have helped Wys adjust smoothly to her new starting role in the net, and she gave each of them plenty of praise for their collective efforts.
“Our freshman Kassey Kallman has stepped up and done an excellent job of playing her role on the team,” said Wys. “Kassey gets forward; she gets back, is solid on defense and does just everything you could ask for from her. Toni Pressley has also done a great job of always bodying up on people and just giving us her strengths with her left foot and everything else she comes with. Tiana Brockway is terrific with her communicating with the back line and Ines Jaurena has done a great job. Everyone collectively has done a great job and has made my job easier.”
Wake and Duke game should provide two exciting, but extremely difficult challenges for the Seminoles as both teams are currently undefeated in road games this season. As Wys pointed out, communication will be key for the team as they will need to be well prepared, and on the same page for these next two conference games.
“Wake Forest is a good team this year and also Duke is playing good as well, so they should be two tough games for us,” said senior Janice Cayman. “We are just going to practice hard and make ourselves ready for what should be two very difficult games.”
Thursday night is “Kicks for Troops” where fans are encouraged to donate a new or used soccer ball for our troops currently serving our country. The first 250 students will receive FREE Gunner Shades!