Aug. 13, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 2002 Florida State soccer team reported to campus Tuesday for its first official day of preseason. Although the squad didn’t take the field, their day was full of medical exams, meetings and photo shoots. The Seminoles will get out on the pitch for the first time Wednesday morning as three-a-days are set to begin.
“It is great to finally have the freshmen here and to also see the upperclassmen back on campus,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “We are now able to see this recruiting class in person rather than on paper which is the only way we could see them over the past few months since signing day. The kids started to mesh together off the field today and tomorrow they will start that process on the field. I am just so excited about starting this season.
“We’ll go four days of three-a-days now which puts the kids in a different environment and gives the coaching staff some feedback on where we are right now. This week we will be testing them psychologically, physically, tactically and technically and see who is able to accomplish certain things. These first four days give us an immense amount of feedback.”
The Seminoles come into 2002 after establishing 76 records and program firsts last season including the best record in team history and the program’s first-ever ACC Championship game appearance. Florida State finished the 2001 campaign ranked No. 11 in the Collegesoccer.com media poll and, for the first time in program history, the team wrapped-up the year in the Top 20 of every college soccer poll. The Seminoles return eight starters from a team that had the most-successful ACC season in school history and this year FSU received its highest preseason ACC ranking when the conference’s coaches tabbed the Tribe fourth in the eight team conference.
“I have been so excited and looking forward to this day for a very long time,” said team captain and honorable mention All-American Amber Tollefson. “I am usually so nervous coming in to preseason but that hasn’t been the case this year. I am so excited to see everyone and we finally got to be together as a team today. We are going to have a solid team and we except this season to be just awesome. We are all so thrilled about the possibilities this season holds for us as a team.”
I have been so excited and looking forward to this day for a very long time. We are going to have a solid team and we except this season to be just awesome. We are all so thrilled about the possibilities this season holds for us as a team.
The Seminoles begin their fitness training Wednesday at 7:00 a.m. with one of the most grueling sessions of the week. They will meet for fitness at the same time every day through Saturday on top of training sessions on the field twice a day. The squad then moves back to two-a-days next week leading up to their August 23 preseason game versus Georgia in Athens.
“All the freshman are coming up and asking me about preseason and telling me how hard they think it is going to be,” said Tollefson. “It is going to be demanding but if you come in fit, you are already a step ahead of the game. If you aren’t as fit as you hoped, you are going to be after this week. We all pull one another through the fitness and push everyone to give everything they have every day. We will all be on the same page by next week.”
Eleven new Seminoles began their college career Tuesday as FSU’s third-consecutive Top 25 recruiting class made it’s way through the meetings and exams while settling in to their new surroundings. The class features the school’s first two recruits from California and its fourth Gatorade Player of the Year. Defender Teresa Rivera, on top of her Gatorade honors, was recently named a first team All-American by Student Sports Magazine.
“Things are going really well so far but like most freshman I’m a little nervous about preseason,” said Rivera. “Everyone has been so great to me and I am really looking forward to an amazing season. We have had a lot of meetings today but I am looking forward to getting out on the field. We are all excited about stepping out for the first time tomorrow.”
For more information on the 2002 Seminole soccer team, please visit the official athletics website for the Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.