Oct. 27, 2010
Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 8 Florida State (12-3-1) currently leads the ACC standings with a 6-1-1 conference record, but for the Seminoles’ to win the ACC regular season crown they will have to overcome one more difficult week of soccer as they travel to play the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins (13-2-1) at College Park on Thursday at 7:00pm then finishing with a trip to Boston to play No. 11 Boston College (11-4-1) on Sunday at 1:00pm.
“Up next for us are two very good opponents,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “Both Maryland and Boston College were able to beat Carolina this season and as we all know that is not an easy feat. We are going to play Maryland coming off their victory against UNC so we know they will be ready. Maryland is a hard working, talented, scrappy team and they have some players that can put the ball in the back of the net. We know we have a lot of work in store for us on this road trip because after we have the pleasure of going to play Maryland we then go up to Boston and play against another top ten team in Boston College. We know this is going to be a very challenging weekend as was last weekend and the weekend before that. That is just life in the ACC.”
After losing two key players before the season began in junior’s Jessica Price and Tiffany McCarty, it might come as a surprise that the Seminoles sit on top of the ACC standings this late in the season, but people inside the program knew that this team could still compete in the ACC.
“You know it’s interesting,” said Krikorian, “We knew going into the year that we may not have quite the pieces we have had in the past, but we also knew we are still pretty darn talented. We stressed that if each of the players took a little more responsibility in the team then we could have the kind of season we have been able to put together.”
“I think it’s a real credit to the senior leadership and I believe they showed that pretty clearly in the game against Virginia Tech,” said Krikioran. “Cayman knocked in a couple of goals, Lim contributed to at least one of the goals, if not both of them, and certainly DaCosta pulls us together and makes us go from a technical standpoint. I think all three of those kids showed their class and their true colors on Sunday and with Wys in the goal and the backline playing as they have, this team has shown they are a unified, hard working group of kids that have given us an opportunity to be successful.”
Junior Tori Huster shared her coach’s sentiments, “We are trying to keep the same mentality that we have had all season which is to be patient and let the game come to us with the style that we are trying to play. Our goal is to keep the ball and it seems to be working, so hopefully we will keep the ball some more against Maryland and then against BC.”
“I think we have done an awesome job staying organized in the back and staying vocal as well,” said goalkeeper Kelsey Wys. “The other day I loved it when Toni Pressley said to me Kelsey I am going to protect you today and I just loved how her attitude transferred over into the game. I think it was awesome just to know that is how her mentality is going into each game.”
Overall this match will mark the 19th all-time meeting between Florida State and Maryland as the series dates back to the Seminoles’ first season of soccer in 1995. Florida leads the series 11-6-1 and has beaten Maryland five straight times, but the largest margin of victory in those five games was by just two goals.
“All of our games against them are real competitive,” said junior defender Toni Pressley. “They are a great team and we just need to bring our A game and as long as we are focused I don’t think we should have a problem.” While they are completely focused on their next opponent, the team knows if they take care of business these next two games that they can control their own destiny.
“I think we have that in the back of our minds, sitting on top of the ACC right now and going into Maryland we just need to focus on that game first and get the three points and then turn our attention to Boston College and hopefully get three points out of that too.”
Following the road trip against Maryland and Boston College, Florida State will begin its post season starting with the ACC tournament. The team knows that every game from here on out is going to be a tremendous challenge.
“When you look and see five teams ranked in the top ten in the country playing in the ACC, you know that everyday out is going to be a battle,” said Krikorian. “We have all the respect in the world for these opponents and we were fortunate enough to have some good results this past weekend and end up on top of the group. It’s been a heck of a regular season, but quite honestly that is just the beginning for us. We are feeling good that we have qualified for the ACC tournament at this point and we hope and think that we have done enough to get into the NCAA tournament, but we just need to finish strong.”