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Tallahassee, FL – The start to year two under Florida State Head Coach Mark Krikorian was very similar to his first season. There were a lot of veterans, a lot of new faces and a two-a-day that featured fitness in the morning and a full squad scrimmage to close out the day. The only difference is last year’s squad was practicing as an unranked group fresh off a first round elimination in the NCAA Tournament. This year’s team is opening up the season ranked fourth in the nation and coming off a College Cup appearance. Below are all the highlights and some feedback from day one of practice.
- The morning session began at 9:00 a.m. lasted just about 1:15 and featured mostly fitness. The team then spent about 30 minutes on technical work.
- The squad broke into groups of two and competed to see who could be the first group to reach goals set out by new assistant coach Pauliina Miettinen.
- India Trotter and Mami Yamaguchi won almost every contest over the protests of fellow senior Kelly Rowland.
- The team took the field for the second session of the day at 5:00 p.m. for a scrimmage. The 11-v-11 game lasted about 55 minutes.
- The teams tied 1-1 with Annie Stalzer scoring for Eric Bell‘s yellow team and India Trotter leveling the game in the second half for Pauliina’s white side.
- One of the most pleasant sights took place in just the first moments of the scrimmage as two injured Seminoles returned to the field. Kirsten van de Ven and Melissa Samokishyn both started in the scrimmage after suffering season-ending injuries in FSU’s NCAA Tournament run in 2005.
- Both squads had a goal disallowed due to off sides. Highlights are below.
- The first half of the game lasted 35 minutes with the white squad attacking the goal adjacent to the football practice fields.
- Becky Edwards had a strong game and it started early. The coveted freshman played a great ball over the top of the defense to fellow Pennsylvanian Toby Ranck down the left flank.
- Just moments later Edwards made a great read on the ball and broke up a white team attack.
- Senior All-America candidate Kelly Rowland charged out from her center back position, stole a pass from the white team and started a dangerous counter attack by making a run deep into the white team’s 1/3 of the pitch.
- Collette Swensen put a brief end to the Becky Edwards show when she stepped up and blocked a hard shot from the freshman about 25 yards out from goal.
- Swensen then came right back and played a great ball out wide between two yellow team defenders springing an attack for her side.
- Spanish National team player Iraia Iturregi and junior Libby Gianeskis both displayed some excellent defending for the white team. Iturregi by retreating all the way back and not allowing a service in from the corner and Gianeskis in a 1-v-1 situation with Holly Peltzer.
- Rowland once again sparked a dangerous attack as she played a great ball deep into the corner where Ranck ran on to the pass. The senior was stymied by German defender Maike Sauren.
- Kirsten van de Ven, recovering from a torn ACL, made her presence felt. The Dutch national played a great first time ball across the mouth of the goal trying to find Ranck at the backpost. Sauren was once again there to break up the play as she just got a head on the ball to clear it out of danger.
- Trotter and Yamaguchi began to heat up playing together up top for the white team. Yamaguchi fed Trotter the ball in the center of the pitch. The US National Teamer worked herself free about 22 yards out and fired a low drive to the backpost that was saved by Ali Mims.
- Another highly touted freshman made some noise for FSU. Onnie Trusty was a physical presence for the white team. She shut down Iturregi with a strong challenge just as the Spanish star was about to pull the trigger on a shot from the top of the 18.
- Stalzer, who had a strong scrimmage, put the yellow team in front near the end of the half. Trusty had a ball glance off her knee at the top of the box. Stalzer was right there to pick up the loose ball. The freshman then blasted a shot off the post and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
- Peltzer and Stalzer worked together well upfront for the yellow squad. Just minutes into the second half Peltzer sent Stalzer in alone with freshman goalkeeper Becky Thompson. Thompson forced Stalzer out wide where she had no angle to bury the shot.
- Peltzer continued her dangerous play as she tracked down a ball near the corner flag on the stadium side of the field. The junior played a brilliant first time ball to the backpost but unfortunately nobody could latch on to the service.
- Freshman Victoria Damren thought she had assisted on the game tying goal when she lofted a perfect pass on to the head of Yamaguchi at the backpost. The sophomore buried the header but Kelly Rowland spoiled the celebration claiming Yamaguchi was offsides.
- Trotter brought the white team back just moments after the first goal was disallowed. The All-American dribbled her way through the yellow team’s defense and buried her shot inside the near post making it a 1-1 game.
- Peltzer continued her strong second half as she beat Thompson for the game-winner but once again an offsides call wiped a goal off the board.
- The last chance came off a great play by the freshman who started and ended the game with a stellar effort. Edwards dug a ball out while down on the ground in the midfield. The Pennsylvanian played a spectacular ball to Stalzer down the flank who sent in a brilliant service to the back post but once again nobody was able to reward her service.
QUOTES ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRESEASON
“It was good. They (the players) came in and worked hard. It was pretty warm today. We shortened things up because of the heat. The effort is good. The attitude is good. It is a good first day. It is a good starting point”
FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian
“It feels like the mixture of new and old is good but that is a question probably better answered in a week or so. I like our group. The new kids have come in and brought some energy to the team. The veterans have come back in good shape and good spirits. There are some pretty good possibilities for us.”
FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian
“The returning players knew what to expect today. We have been through this before. It was exciting for us to get out there and get our first look at the new players. It was nice to see who came in fit and who didn’t. Overall I think everyone did pretty well. I am pretty happy with what I have seen so far.”
“It is nice to be back training with FSU. It is good to see everybody. It is always exciting at the beginning of the year because you have new players and a new team. It is fun to see how we will develop as a group each season. I am just excited about the season.
“We had fitness this morning and I think it went pretty well. I think the coaches could tell who came in prepared and ready to play. It was tough but we made it through. Considering I missed my senior year of high school with an injury, it was just nice to get out there and play.”
“It feels just wonderful to be playing again after the injury last year. Even two weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought I would be out here playing today. The fitness test was hard. I thought I would do horrible but it turned out good. It was a great first day for the whole team.
Kirsten van de Ven
“It was a good first day. The fitness was a little intimidating but in the end it was all right. The scrimmage was fun, really competitive. It has been great so far. I love it here. It has been a great start.
Check Seminoles.com throughout the preseason for news, quotes and photos from FSU’s preparations for the 2006 campaign.