Aug. 16, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the second time this week, the Florida State women’s soccer team has been tabbed as one of the best in the nation. After SoccerBuzz named FSU the nation’s 13th-best team entering the 2001 season, the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) placed the Seminoles 16th in its first poll of 2001.
“Any time you can start off the season ranked in the top 25 of the coaches poll, you have to be excited,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “Its great for our players, their parents, our university and for the recruits who can look at us and see us where we have never been before. We are continuing to see our program garner a lot of firsts but it is just a preseason poll. We are excited about playing some games and justifying that ranking.”
Florida State soccer had never been ranked in a preseason poll coming into the 2001 season but is now in the top 20 of both major preseason polls after its run to the Sweet 16 in 2000. The Seminoles had their most successful season ever last year and the addition of the nation’s eighth-ranked recruiting class this year has kept the Seminoles amongst the nation’s elite in 2001. Florida State finished the 2000 season ranked 14th in the final NSCAA poll.
“It is really great to see how far we have come,” said Baker. “I don’t think we were in the top 16 in the Southeast Region entering the 2000 season and now we are in the top 16 in the country. It’s pretty amazing. We are a very grounded group because we know where we were a year ago and how quickly things can change. We also know we can fall as quickly as we rose. We have to stay focused on our goal, which is to be in the NCAA Tournament every year and continually make strides to improve our play in the postseason.”
FSU is continuing three-a-day practices this week in preparation for its preseason opener against the University of Georgia August 24. The Seminoles open up the regular season at home August 31 against George Mason University at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start and admission is free at the Seminole Soccer Complex.
8/16/01 PRACTICE REPORT
The Seminoles conducted their second conditioning session of the season this morning with the team running 120-yard sprints at the early session and then moving to the game field for the first practice of the day. Competition for the starting goalkeeper job continued to play itself out in this morning’s training session with all three keepers playing well.
“I think we started to see the players personalities come out a little more today,” said goalkeeper coach John Galas. “The keepers seemed a little tentative and nervous the first day but today they showed a bit more of their true character. I think one of the three will establish themselves as our No. 1 keeper by the end of the week.”
Sophomore Janet Burke continued to display the form that made her a Gatorade Player of the Year in Georgia as a high school senior before a somewhat inconsistent freshman campaign. She scored two goals in a 15:00 mini-scrimmage that concluded the morning session Thursday. Her second goal was a perfect bending upper-90 shot to the far post that beat freshman keeper Joy McKenzie.
“Janet continues to play well as evidenced by her two goals in a short period this morning,” said Baker. “I was a bit disappointed with they way we preformed during fitness this morning but the overall session this morning was positive and was something we can build on. Kristin Boyce excelled again today after a strong scrimmage last night. She did a lot of good technical work today. I also thought that Jez Ratliff came out of her shell a little bit today more today than yesterday. She was more active and sought the ball more today.”
The Seminoles return to the field at 5:00 p.m. tonight to continue three-a-day practices. The team will cut back to two-a-days at the start of next week in preparation for its game against the University of Georgia August 24 at 7:00 p.m.