June 21, 1999 - by
1998 Women’s Soccer Preview

August 7, 1998

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 1998 season will be a season of change for the Florida State soccer program. A change for the better as seven members of the inaugural team return for their senior year, leading a young program into a new era of Seminole soccer.

The most obvious change for the FSU soccer program will be the team’s playing venue. After three seasons playing at the Seminole Intramural Field, the Seminoles will move into their own field as Florida State completes the Seminole Soccer/Softball complex. This complex will include, offices, locker rooms, a press box and 1,500 seating capacity.

“It’s nice to finally have a place we can call home,” Head Coach Heather Kerby-Nelson said. “Last year we felt like our home was on the road.”

With eight new faces and six returning sophomores donning the majority of the team’s make-up, Kerby-Nelson will look to her veterans to pave the way for the Seminoles. Despite losing six players from the 1997 season, Florida State returns eight seniors, seven of whom were members of the inaugural team. The Seminole lineup includes many players with much experience. Melissa Juhl, a 1996 All-ACC and All-Region goalkeeper, returns along with Alex Osorio, who leads the team with 85 shots, 12 goals and 12 assists and is the points leader for the team. Also returning for their fourth year are Janna Walkup, who led the team in goals last year; Lauren Lynch, who has 73 career shots and 10 career goals, and top veteran defender Janine Lavoie, who has started 54 games throughout her career.

Eight outstanding newcomers will highlight the 1998 roster. The freshman newcomers include Marte and Maren Vik Edvardsen, a set of twins from Norway who were members of the Part-of-Country team, an equivalent to the Olympic Developmental Program Regional team in the United States, Jordan Sims, a member of the 1998 Florida State Cup Champion team and Christy Peacock, an All-County player from Georgia. Rounding out the newcomers is a group of sophomores, including local standout Kim Johnson, a transfer from Elon College, Sarah Deacon and Heather Dyche, both transfers from the University of Nebraska and Katy Spicer, who joined the team during the spring semester of her freshman year.

The Seminoles will once again face a challenging schedule as they take on the experienced ladened, nationally ranked members of the Atlantic Coast Conference as well as other top ranked teams across the country. The Seminoles will face four of their ACC opponents at home and look to improve on their ACC record. In the past four years, Kerby-Nelson has come to understand the strength of the ACC. Seven of the eight soccer programs rank among the top 20 in the nation with six elite schools in the Top 10 over the past four years with fifteen-time National Champion North Carolina leading the way.

“Winning the ACC is equivalent to winning the national championship,” Kerby-Nelson said.

The 1998 schedule adds four new teams to the Seminole slate. FSU will face Syracuse at the University of Georgia Tournament, Florida International at home, and Mercer and Central Florida on the road. Florida State doubles its ACC home games playing host to four of their seven Atlantic Coast Conference opponents at the Seminole Soccer Complex in 1998, including National Champion North Carolina and nationally ranked Clemson and Virginia. Other home opponents include nationally ranked Florida, and highly touted SEC opponent Auburn.

POSITION BREAKDOWN:

Forwards:

The Seminoles return a veteran line up at the front line.

Alexandra Osorio leads the Seminoles at the striker position. Osorio racked up 23 shots on goal, three goals and one game winning goal in the 1997 season and leads the team with a career 85 shots and 12 goals. Osorio started nine of the first 12 games in 1997 before breaking her arm in the first two minutes of the Stetson game. She re-entered the game but missed three games before returning to the lineup against South Florida, where she had the game winning assist.

Jill Ford also returns to the striker position after a stellar first year, scoring five goals off of a team-high 31 shots for the year. Ford led the team in scoring and had the game winning goal against South Florida. April Murphy also returns up front recording 26 shots and three goals on the year.

Joining the team at the forward position is Maren Vik Edvardsen, a freshman from Oslo, Norway. Her speed and ball handling experience earned her a spot with Norway’s Youth National Pool.

Midfielders:

The Seminole roster is chock full of midfielders, one of the most demanding positions in soccer. With six returning faces and five newcomers, the midfield squad is the deepest and strongest asset to this team.

Four-year veterans Jessica Driscoll and Lauren Lynch look to lead the Seminoles in the midfield. Driscoll played in 14 games in the 1997 season. Driscoll had six shots on goal, scoring on three of her shots including the game winning goal against Louisiana State. Lynch, who has 73 career shots on goal, started in 16 of her 20 game appearances last year recording 13 shots and four assists.

Juniors Angela Bonaffino and Leslie Del Rio return for their third season with the Seminoles. Boniffino played in 13 games last year with six starts and recorded 13 shots on goal, scoring on two including the game winning goal against Stetson. Del Rio played in nine games, had six shots on goal and scored against Louisiana State. Sally Shelgren also returns after taking 10 shots on the goal last year in her 16 game appearances.

Five newcomers round out the field, including sophomore transfer Sarah Deacon, who brings ball handling skills and execution from the University of Nebraska. Freshman Marte Vik Edvardsen brings both mental and physical toughness to the Seminoles after playing on the Part-of-Country team in Norway. Jordan Sims, from Bollettieri Sports Acadmey, adds depth to the midfield and sweeper position after playing for the Ohio Olympic Developmental Program State team and Countryside Lightning of Clearwater.

Defenders:

Heading up the defense will be a team of sophomores and three, four-year veterans. Janna Walkup continues as a marking back. Walkup started 19 of her 20 games last year after missing much of 1996 due to injury. She was a co-leader with Ford last year, scoring five goals off of 19 shots and recorded game winning goals against Wofford, South Alabama and Alabama-Birmingham. Four year veteran Janine Lavoie started in 15 of her 18 game appearances and recorded an assist and four year veteran Molly Nye played in 11 games.

The sophomore team begins with Ashley Halter, who played in 19 games and started in five. She had 10 shots on goal, scoring against Wofford, and had the game winner assist against Louisiana State. Rachael Watkin started in all 19 games she appeared in and had six shots on goal. Her one goal came against Elon College and she had the game winning assist against South Alabama. Stephanie Dietrich started in seven of her 11 game appearances and scored against nationally ranked Duke. Danielle Foard, who was named to the All-Freshman Southeast team, played in 19 games, starting in 12.

Rounding out the defense are two newcomers. Sophomore transfer Heather Dyche comes to the Seminoles from the University of Nebraska. She brings intensity and experience to the team. Kim Johnson, a local standout, comes to FSU after spending a year starting for Elon College. Johnson will play as a marking back and add depth to the defense. Also joining FSU is Christy Peacock, an all-around defensive player from the Georgia State Team who will add strength to the backline.

Goalkeepers:

The Seminoles are fortunate to return two goalkeepers with experience. Four year veteran Melissa Juhl and junior Jamie Gurtov will share time in the goal this season. Juhl started all 20 games, recorded four shutouts and had 62 saves off of 224 shots with a 2.58 goals against average. Gurtov brings added experience and adds assurance to the goaltending. Gurtov appeared in seven games, recorded two assisted shutouts with 14 saves on 35 shots, and recorded a 1.30 goals against average.

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