Aug. 15, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 13th-ranked Seminole soccer team began their quest for a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth when they held the first of four three-a-day practices Wednesday. Head coach Patrick Baker’s squad spent the morning in conditioning drills before moving to the stadium field where five-on-five drills highlighted the second session of the day. After breaking for team pictures, the 2001 squad gathered for the upper classmen versus lower classmen scrimmage.
“The first day out here was pretty good,” said Baker. “The level of play was what I expected for the first day and there were actually a lot of quality sequences. It looked like we were trying to play the game of soccer a little bit. I thought it was a little harder to evaluate individuals in the morning session but there were quite a few players who stood out in the scrimmage.”
In the morning conditioning session, Baker singled out senior Maren Vik Edvardsen for her level of fitness entering the 2001 campaign. Senior co-captains Christy Peacock and Heather Dyche posted the best Cooper times of their FSU careers and according to Baker, the two captains made a statement to the younger players on the importance of fitness.
“Maren has always been very fit and continued her tradition of coming into the season as fit as anyone on the field,” said Baker. “She was one of, if not the best player on the field all day today. That was very encouraging. I also thought the statement our senior captains made in the Cooper was excellent.”
In five-on-five drills, junior forward Cindy Schofield led the way offensively with four goals and was closely followed by freshman Jez Ratliff and junior Ashlee Fontes who had two goals apiece. Sophomores Janet Burke and Summer Corum also stood out during the second session. All three freshmen goalkeepers made big saves which was important considering one will be called upon to replace All-Southeast Region goalkeeper Sarah Crawford.
“Our goalkeepers made some impressive saves throughout the day,” said Baker. “That was very encouraging since one of them will start in goal this year.”
The keepers continued to play well in the scrimmage Wednesday evening. Kerry York, Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year, made a huge save on a long dipping ball shot by sophomore Kristin Boyce. York was able to push what seemed to be a sure goal over the crossbar and keep the scrimmage knotted at 0-0.
“It was exciting to get out here and I already feel like I am learning so much,” said York. “Goalkeeping coach John Galas is a great teacher and is covering so much with us already. The team is really competitive and I am having a great time. All three goalkeepers want to be the starter and it is competitive between all three of us on the field but we are very close off the field so I think it is a good situation.”
Ali Mims, from Ponte Vedra Beach just outside of Jacksonville, remained neck-and-neck with York and Joy McKenzie and her save on a point blank shot by Schofield was one of the highlights of the scrimmage. Houston’s McKenzie made a great diving save on a shot headed to the near post by Maren Vik Edvardsen but the rebound was slipped in by Schofield to stake the upperclassmen to a 1-0 lead.
“I thought all three keepers preformed very well today,” said Galas. “They were extremely competitive in the matches and showed me what they are capable of. I think we will have a dogfight to see who starts come August 31.”
Schofield’s goal came after a scoreless first period and seemed to boost the juniors and seniors as they took control of the match in the second period of play. Meredith Jones and Fontes were solid in the back for the upper classmen and limited the freshman and sophomores to few chances after an even first period.
“The veteran’s made a nice statement in the beginning of the second half,” said Baker. “The first half was pretty even and both teams had great chances to score. I thought the veterans created two quality chances in the second period and put the game away. On the other side though, freshman Katie Beal and Boyce played very well together as did Corum and Amber Tollefson.”
Florida State will continue three-a-day workouts until Saturday when they will scale back to two-a-days leading up to its August 24 scrimmage against the University of Georgia at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The Seminoles opened their historic 2000 campaign with a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs in Athens last season.
“We need to accomplish certain things before we hit the Georgia game and that was the same approach we took last year,” said Baker. “The game against Georgia last season was a great barometer of where we were as a team and allowed us to make the necessary changes heading into the opener versus Florida. Even though we beat them last year, I’m not convinced we played well enough to deserve the win. I would like us to play well against them this year and if we keep progressing each day, I think we will be fine.”
Florida State opens its 2001 schedule at home August 31 at 7:00 p.m. against George Mason. The Patriots were ranked 6th in the Mid-Atlantic Region in SoccerBuzz’s preseason poll. For pictures from today’s practice and scrimmage please visit www.seminoles.com.