March 20, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Florida State soccer team continued their 2011 spring exhibition schedule this Sunday as they traveled to Columbus, Ga. to play the Atlanta Beat of the Women’s Professional Soccer League. Despite a tremendous effort, the Seminoles fell 1-0 to the Beat in a hard fought 90-minute game played at Columbus State University’s Walden Soccer Complex.
“It’s great for our players to play against so many accomplished players who have achieved quite a lot in their careers and are now playing as professionals,” said FSU head coach Mark Krikorian. “Its a very good measure for us, for each of these players individually, and for us as a group.”
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the day was the official return of junior All-American Tiffany McCarty along with fellow junior All-American Jessica Price who was playing in her second game back. Both players missed the entire 2010 season due to injury, but look to return at full health for the 2011 campaign.
“It’s very nice to get Tiff McCarty and Jessica Price back on the field together and for them to begin to return to their old form,” said Krikorian. “Hopefully we can get them back to full fitness and full health by the end of the spring and ready for the start of the season.”
Overall Florida State was outshot on the day by a (12 to 6) margin, but did register more saves (6 to 4) and corner opportunities (7 to 2) than the Beat. The only goal of the game scored in the second half, and was the first goal the Seminole defense has allowed all spring in three matches.
“It’s always nice when you have a goalkeeper and a back four that all have experience,” said Krikorian. “The back four and Kelsey played 26 games together last year, so they are all very familiar with one another. Defending should certainly be one of the strengths for our team as we go forward. I was quite pleased with their play today. I thought our team defending was solid, and they attacked the ball pretty well.”
In 2010, the Garnet and Gold played two professional opponents at home during the spring season, falling to the defending league champions, Sky Blue 3-0 before defeating the Atlanta Beat 2-1 at the Seminole Soccer Complex. While the team wasn’t able to pull off the upset of a professional team for a second straight year, there were still plenty of positives to be taken away from the day.
“We have been spending a lot of time on combination play and I thought that was quite good today,” said Krikorian. “There was a lot of opportunities that were ideal for those situations to happen, and our players read the game pretty well and made the right decisions.”
The match also featured the return of former Seminole soccer standout India Trotter who is a member of the Atlanta Beat. Trotter was the first player in school history to be named either a first or second team All-American by the NSCAA. She led the Seminoles to three appearances in the NCAA College Cup in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Trotter ranks second in both games appeared and started at Florida State.
The Seminoles have had a productive spring so far with a 3-0 shutout victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks and then followed that performance with a scoreless 0-0 tie against Georgia Bulldogs during a Feb. 26 double-header played in Athens, Ga.
Florida State will next travel to play rival Florida Gators during a Sunday, April 3rd match in Melbourne, Florida. Three members of the Seminole team will get a chance to play in front of their hometown crowd as Kristen Grubka are all natives of the Melbourne area. The Seminoles will then play six days later against the LSU Tigers on Saturday, April 9th in Orange Beach, Alabama.