FSU Soccer Opens Practice On Thursday

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The quest for a third straight College Cup appearance begins Thursday, August 16 as the Florida State women’s soccer team opens practice at 9 am at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Twenty-eight student-athletes, including 14 newcomers, will take to the field on Thursday under the direction of third year head coach Mark Krikorian.

Florida State returns six of 11 starters and 14 of 24 letterwinners for the upcoming season. Included among the six returning starters are all four of FSU’s starting backline from a season ago. The quartet of Katrin Schmidt, Libby Gianeskis, Sarah Wagenfuhr and Becky Edwards guided the Seminoles to its finest defensive season in school history setting single-season records for shutouts (14), GAA (0.67) and the fewest goals allowed with 18.

The Seminoles list just four seniors on the roster in 2007 marking the smallest senior class since 2003 and 2005 when Florida State listed two seniors on its roster. Ironically, in both those seasons FSU advanced to the College Cup. This year’s senior class includes Gianeskis, forward/midfielder Holly Peltzer, defender Melissa Samokishyn and midfielder Kirsten van de Ven.

Florida State set a school record in 2007 welcoming 14 newcomers which include 11 freshmen and three transfers. It is the biggest group of new faces on a Seminole roster since 1999 when FSU added 11 players. The new batch of players also came highly regarded earning the school’s highest ranking in program history. The Seminoles were recognized by Soccer Buzz with the nation’s second best recruiting class in 2007, while grabbing the top spot in the Southeast Region. Both rankings are the highest garnered in the program’s 13-year history.

“Certainly the foundation of our team will be our backline and our team defending, which has been a cornerstone since I’ve arrived at Florida State,” said Krikorian. “The defense has the potential to be a really big strength for us as we replace many talented players from last year’s squad. Graduation hit us pretty hard with the loss of Ali Mims, India Trotter, Kelly Rowland and many others. We are going to be a very new, very different team. But I also think it’s going to be a very exciting team. Our expectations are very high on having an outstanding season.”

The Seminoles will get their first taste of live action when they travel to the east coast of Florida on Friday, August 24 to face Jacksonville University in an exhibition match at 1:00 pm. That quest for a third straight College Cup appearance begins in Portland, Ore., on September 1 as Florida State opens the 2007 regular season schedule on the road against the Portland Pilots.

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