Palo Alto, CA - The Florida State women’s soccer team (16-5-1) takes on their biggest challenge of the season as they travel across the country to play the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal (21-0-2) in the fourth round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Nov. 26th at 10:00pm. With a win over Stanford, Florida State could advance to their fifth College Cup of all-time, and put them one game away from playing for a national title.
“It’s nice to be out in California, head coach Mark Krikorian said. “It was nice to get the players out on the field for some training today and start getting ready for Friday night. We know that Stanford is a very competent team, a very well coached team and will be a very good challenge for us playing them on their home field, but it’s a challenge we look forward to.”
This Friday’s match will mark the first time ever that FSU and Stanford have faced each other. Both teams are possession oriented, and that is something that Florida State will have to prepare for, but Coach also realizes that Stanford is a team of many talents.
“I think that certainly having the ball will be part of the key, but they have an awful lot of explosive, attacking players, and they are not limited to just to their front players,” remarked Krikorian. “Their midfield players and their back players are also very good at attacking. I think the collective defending of our group will be vital to any success we will have. I also have to make sure that when we have our moments to attack that we are precise with our attacking and our movements, and that the quality in the penalty box is good. If we are good on both sides of the ball then we give ourselves a better chance.”
To make it this far into the postseason might come as a surprise to many, as the Seminoles have played all season without their top two goal scorers from last season, but by playing with a team first mentality this group of Seminoles has been able to disprove any doubters.
“Jessica (Price) and Tiff (McCarty) are very good players of course, they are key goal scorers in this program, but it doesn’t take two players make this program and it doesn’t take two players to win a game,” said senior Rachel Lim. “It takes all 25 players, not just the starters, but it takes the bench, the coaches, the staff; It takes everyone.”
“I think once everyone got past the fact we wouldn’t be playing with Jess and Tiff after the first few weeks we were just fine,” added Lim. “We knew we would have to deal with what we have on the field and recognize we have talent within ourselves, and that a lot of people need to step up in leadership roles, and not just goal scoring roles, but whatever role it was everyone just needed to kick it up a couple more notches.”
While Stanford hasn’t lost a game all season, the Seminoles know that if they can keep to their game plan they can be successful.
“They are going to be a tough team, they are number one for a reason, and we are ready for that,” said senior Rachel Lim. “Our bodies feel fine and we will be ready for them.”
“I think for every team still playing it’s the biggest game of the year, but I think we have prepared our group to be ready for this moment though the schedule we have put together and through the training during the season, but they are a good team and we are going to have to be sharp to get a result.”