Aug. 23, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
After a week-and-a-half of playing against one another two or three times a day, the 13th-ranked Seminole soccer team will get a chance Friday to see some different faces when they face the University of Georgia in a preseason scrimmage at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The scrimmage is set for a 7:00 p.m. start as the Seminoles continue to prepare for a season-opener that is just over a week away.
“It will definitely be nice to see another team,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “A scrimmage against another squad allows us, for the first time, to rotate players in and out and work with different combinations. When we scrimmage, we play 11-on-11 and that doesn’t allow us to work with different substitutions. We also get to see if our starting 11 measures up against their top 11.”
There is a difference of opinion amongst the 2001 squad on whether or not it is important to win a preseason game or just play well. After FSU downed the Dogs last season, they opened the 2000 campaign by beating No. 6 Florida and later advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
“I think it is important to win and make a statement against Georgia,” said senior forward Maren Vik Edvardsen. “I think that helped us last season when we faced Florida after getting a win against Georgia on the road.”
Sophomore Kristin Boyce disagrees. The Austin, Texas native, who Baker says is probably the team’s best defender right now, feels the squad needs to work on playing together rather than focusing on the scoreboard.
“I think it is important for us to play together and have good possession throughout the game,” said Boyce. “Winning isn’t as important as playing well and getting a feel for how each other plays. Winning would be nice but it isn’t the most important thing in a preseason match.”
With games against one regionally ranked team and two top 10 teams in the next two weeks, Baker sees the preseason match a little differently than his players. He, like Boyce, won’t put too much stock in the final score and will concentrate more on the quality of the play and if his squad is playing well in the system they are using but there is an even more important reason for the scrimmage in his eyes.
“Looking back at last year, we had four games in 12 days to start the season and we never had a chance to really train and address the things we weren’t doing well,” said Baker. “Once we got that opportunity, we came out and were absolutely on against Texas A&M and played a great game against Clemson. What is exciting about Friday is being able to have a game and then have a week to use that experience to train our players. We think we know what we are doing right now but until we play somebody we won’t know for sure.”
The scrimmage with the Bulldogs marks the second time the two schools have played a preseason game. The Seminoles traveled to Athens last year where they downed UGA 2-1 as graduated-senior April Murphy scored two goals for FSU. The Bulldogs and Seminoles have met three times during the regular season with Georgia holding a 2-1 advantage.
“We wanted Georgia to continue to be on our regular season schedule because they are a very good team,” said Baker. “In 1998 they advanced to the Sweet 16 and last year they faced Florida in the SEC Championship. It will be a great challenge for us. They are an experienced team that added a great recruiting class due to Sue’s [Montagne Patberg] efforts. Our matches have always been close and I don’t expect this one to be any different.”
The Seminoles open up the regular season August 31 at 7:00 p.m. against George Mason in the Seminole Soccer Tournament. They then turn around and face Loyola (Md) just two days later at 2:00 p.m. The University of Miami will also be involved in the four-team tournament, which is free to the public.