Dec. 15, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – Florida State head soccer coach Mark Krikorian was named Soccer America’s National Coach of the Year Thursday. The Seminoles’ first year coach took an FSU team, unranked in the preseason, and led them to the College Cup and a top five final ranking. This is the third national coach of the year honor for Krikorian who won NSCAA D-II National Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1995. It is the second national coach of the year honor bestowed on an FSU coach by Soccer America as former boss Patrick Baker won the same award in 2003.
In less than a year since taking over the FSU program, Krikorian led the Seminoles to the most successful season in school history. FSU established new records for overall wins, winning percentage, fewest losses, most ACC wins, the best ACC winning percentage and longest winning streak both in and out of the conference. Krikorian’s squad is the first in school history to reach 20 wins and they matched the highest finish ever in ACC play. He led Florida State to a school-record seven wins over NSCAA Top 25 teams and for the first time in program history FSU has spent a month ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams in every soccer poll.
Krikorian led the Seminoles to the College Cup after eliminating North Carolina in a quarterfinal match played in Chapel Hill. Florida State was just the third team in over 20 years to eliminate the Tar Heels from the NCAA Tournament on their home field. With this year’s success, Krikorian is just the sixth coach in the history of DI Women’s soccer to lead his team to the national semifinals in his first season at a school.
The former WUSA Coach of the Year guided Florida State into uncharted territory in 2005 with win streaks of seven and nine games. He is only the second coach in ACC history to lead his team to a seven game win streak inside the conference. He did one thing this season that no other ACC coach was able to do; Krikorian’s Seminoles were the only team in the ACC to finish two spots higher than they were predicted in the preseason coaches’ poll. Florida State was pegged to finish sixth and wound up in second place. The only other ACC teams to exceed expectations were Miami who was picked 11th and finished 10th and NC State who was tabbed 10th and finished ninth. Every other team in the conference either finished where they were predicted or lower. For his efforts Krikorian was named FSU’s first ACC Coach of the Year in women’s soccer.
Despite all the success FSU has had over the last five years, Krikorian’s team and players managed to still establish over 50 firsts and records this season. His players won more than 25 conference, regional and national honors so far including three All-ACC first team selections, which led the entire conference, and five all-region selections, which tied for the most from any school. Three of his players are finalists for national player of the year awards and three Seminoles also received regional academic awards marking a first for the FSU soccer program. He also produced just the second NSCAA All-American in school history when India Trotter was named second team last week.
Along with Krikorian’s honor, Seminole forward Sel Kuralay received one of 11 Women’s MVP awards handed out by the magazine. The Australian in the first Seminole ever named a Soccer America MVP.
Kuralay was one of the nation’s top newcomers and spent most of 2005 ranked in the top 20 in the nation in scoring. She is a finalist for Soccer Buzz’s National Player of the Year award and joins Viola Odebrecht as the first FSU players in school history to be nominated for that honor. The striker was an All-ACC first team selection and received numerous awards this season including ACC co-player of the week (9/12), ACC Player of the Week (10/29) Top Drawer Soccer National player of the week (9/12), to Soccer America’s Team of the Week (8/30) and SoccerFLA.com’s player of the week (8/30)
Kuralay had the most productive offensive season of any first-year Seminole in team history. Her 16 goals, nine assists, 41 points and six game-winners all rank in the top three for single season numbers at FSU and are each the most ever by an FSU player in her first season. Her 41 points were the second-most in one season. Kuralay recorded either the game-winning goal or assist in nine of Florida State’s school record 20 wins. The Australian Olympian recorded five multi-goal games on the year, which tied for the most ever in a single season and is already second on the career list as well. Kuralay became just the second player in FSU soccer history to lead FSU in every offensive category (points, goals, assists, game-winning goals, shots and shots on goal) and the first to do so since Emma Breland in 2000.
The sophomore ranked among the nation’s best as well finishing the season leading the ACC in game-winning goals and shots. She was second in the ACC in goals and shots per game, third in the conference in points, points per game and goals per game.