Sept. 1, 2005
Tallahassee, FL — After the most successful season-opening road trip in program history, the 17th-ranked FSU soccer team will open the home portion of its schedule tonight at 7:00 p.m. versus Jacksonville. After upsetting then18th-ranked USC, the Seminoles moved into the top 20 in three polls this week. They will look to carry that momentum into tonight’s game with JU (0-1).
“We are looking forward to opening up the home portion of our schedule,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “We have Jacksonville coming in and we will compete, fight and give ourselves every opportunity to win. We need to make sure we are prepared and bring our “A” game. We have to at least match their intensity if not exceed it.”
“Coming out of California with two wins when nobody expected us to do as well as we did is a big confidence booster,” said Hermann Trophy candidate Kelly Rowland. “We had belief in ourselves and it was a good showing. Now we have to build on that. We practiced hard this week in hopes of making improvements. Tonight we will get a chance to test ourselves once again.”
This will be Krikorian’s first regular season home game as he will look to continue FSU’s recent success at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Since 2000, Florida State has won 75% of its games played at home. For nine new Seminoles it will be their first experience playing under the lights at the complex.
“I haven’t really let the new players know what it is like to play under the lights here at the Seminole Soccer Complex,” said junior India Trotter. “That is something you just have to experience for yourself. My freshman year nobody told me what to expect and I had such an awesome feeling experiencing it. Once they get out there and see the crowd and hear the fight song I think it will speak for itself.”
“We have the best facility in the country, our grounds crew has done a magnificent job on the field, which looks great and we are proud to be here,” said Krikorian. “We look forward to representing the university tonight.”
After two impressive showings in California the Seminoles had just two days to turn around and prepare for the Dolphins. The team scored six goals on its west coast swing and allowed just one in almost 200:00 of play. After watching video of the wins versus USC and LMU, the staff and players are still encouraged by what they saw but know there is still work to be done.
“I think my thoughts are the same as when we left California,” said Krikorian. “It was a successful trip in both the results we got and in team building. We were fortunate to come back with two wins. I think USC and LMU are going to beat a lot of teams before this season is over. We will look back at those being two quality wins for us.”
“There is always room for improvement,” said Rowland. “After watching film we saw some things we need to work on. Our goal will be the same this weekend and that is to play solid team defense versus two very capable teams.”
Playing on a Thursday night is not typical for FSU but with the expansion of the ACC, Thursday games will be the norm. On top of adjusting to a Thursday night game schedule, the Seminole players also have to deal with their first week of class. Many of the players went straight from the plane Monday morning to their first class of the year.
“This is typical of a mid-week game,” said Krikorian. “The kids are back in school and a little distracted. They are distracted in a positive way as far as going to class. I think that we have a mature group and when they get to the field and its game time they will be ready to play.”
“The first week of school is always stressful and that makes it a hectic week when you have a Thursday night home game as well,” said Trotter. “We are all getting used to everything and today is the fourth day of classes so we should be settled in as the week winds down.”
Florida State’s game with JU tonight will kick off a huge athletic weekend at FSU. The Seminole soccer team will host JU tonight and then Mercer Saturday. The school’s volleyball team will be opening their season at home Friday and Saturday and Labor Day weekend will end with the biggest event of the fall when FSU football hosts Miami Monday night.
“I am excited about the whole Labor Day weekend schedule of events here at FSU,” said Krikorian. “I am a big football fan and have long admired the success of the Florida State program. I look forward to watching the game Monday but we have some business to take care of first. All of our focus is on Jacksonville for tonight. After that, our staff and team will shift our focus to Mercer for Saturday. Hopefully Monday we will all enjoy a Florida State football victory over Miami.”
There is no admission charge for regular season home games at the Seminole Soccer Complex. If you can’t attend games at the complex itself, it is easier than ever to follow FSU soccer from afar. Fans can watch every game, home and away, unfold exclusively on Game Tracker at seminoles.com. Also, eight home games will be broadcast free of charge over Internet radio. Campo’s call of the entire home schedule, with the exception of Wake Forest, will include all the game action and player interviews after the each game. Lastly, fans will have three chances to watch the Seminoles live on TV. Sun Sports will carry FSU’s games versus Florida (9/16), NC State (9/25) and Miami (10/16). Log on to Seminoles.com, the official athletic site for FSU sports, for more details.