Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State Women's Soccer team has announced its 2011 spring schedule. The Seminoles will face five opponents during the spring, including four SEC schools (Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana State) as well as the Atlanta Beat from the Women's Professional Soccer league.
“We have five different matches currently scheduled, and we will probably add one more,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “For us the spring is all about individual development, so while the playing of the games themselves is important, and a good chance for the players to measure themselves, it’s more of an opportunity for us to evaluate how their development is coming along.”
The spring season will officially kick off on Saturday, February 26, as the Garnet and Gold travels to Athens, Ga., to play two games against the Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks. The matches will be played back-to-back on Saturday with the first coming against Georgia at 1:30 p.m., followed with the second match against South Carolina at 3:00 p.m. While a normal game is 90 minutes long, each game this Saturday will be 60 minutes in length.
“To be honest we would probably never approach a fall game like we do in the spring games,” added Krikorian. “We will go in and choreograph beforehand who will play what minutes, and in the fall we certainly wouldn’t do that. We do find it to be a very useful time in player development. I think it’s an essential time to give the players an opportunity to really work on some of the areas that they think, and we think they need to focus on.”
Following the doubleheader in Athens, Florida State will travel next month to Columbus, Georgia to play the Atlanta Beat of the WPS on March 20th. Not only will the Seminoles get the rare chance to test themselves against many of the nation’s best professional players, the match will have an interesting twist as former FSU All American India Trotter currently plays for the Beat. In addition, former FSU standout Mami Yamaguchi suited up for the Atlanta Beat in their inaugural season in 2010.
Florida State will travel to play rival Florida during an April 3rd match in Melbourne, Florida. Three members of the Seminole team will get a chance to play in front of their hometown crowd as Toni Pressley, Ella Stephan and newcomer Kristen Grubka are natives of the Melbourne area. The Seminoles will then likely play their final match of the spring six days later against the LSU Tigers on April 9th in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Florida State is coming off a strong 2010 season as they finished 16-6-1 overall and 7-2-1 in the ACC. The Seminoles finished tied for second in the ACC during the regular season and finished the year strong by advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the sixth year in a row. The Seminoles will return six players who were named All-ACC in 2010 (juniors Casey Short, Tori Huster, Toni Pressley, sophomore Ines Jaurena, and freshman Kelsey Wys, Kassey Kallman) as well as introduce three newly enrolled freshman in Connor Zwetsch (Tampa, Florida/Plant HS), Jamia Fields (Alta Loma, CA/Los Osos HS) and Kristen Grubka (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne HS). The Seminoles also expect the eventual returns of All-American juniors Tiffany McCarty and Jessica Price after redshirting in 2010 due to injury, but the date of their returns is still uncertain.
“I think this time of year is important to the younger players, the players who didn’t have as much of an opportunity to play in the fall,” said Krikorian. “Those players will get a lot more of an opportunity now. We know going in that the quality of play and the style of the play will not be as sharp as it was in the fall, but we are not training the team to compete for those types of games. We are training individuals to go out and work on some of the weaknesses or deficiencies that they have so they can improve on them for next fall.”