September 3, 2005 - by

Seminole Soccer Off To Best Ever Start After 2-0 Win Over Mercer

Sept. 3, 2005




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Tallahassee, FL – The 17th-ranked Seminole soccer team came into 2005 with a lot of question marks but through four games there is no question that this team has done something no other FSU squad has accomplished. With its 2-0 win over Mercer Saturday night, FSU soccer opened up a season with four straight wins for the first time in the 11-year history of the program. Kirsten van de Ven scored in her second straight game as did India Trotter leading FSU offensively. The Seminole defense and Ali Mims (4-0-0) recorded their third shutout in four games becoming the first FSU team to accomplish that feat as well.

The Seminoles once again held an opponent to just four shots for the second game in a row as they out shot Mercer 33-4. In its last two games, FSU has out shot JU and Mercer 64-8. The Seminoles allowed just two corner kicks Saturday night and took 12 themselves.

“This was a solid performance for us,” said FSU Head Coach Mark Krikorian. “We created a lot of chances and were a little bit unlucky to not have scored a few more. Give credit to Mercer for being organized and disciplined. This is a great start for us. If we could start 4-0 every season I would feel pretty good. We came to our home field and established ourselves as being a good team on our pitch after doing pretty good on the road. It is certainly the right way to start if you can.”

“This is really exciting,” said senior Teresa Rivera referring to the team’s 4-0 start. “We worked very hard in the preseason and it is paying off so that is satisfying.”

The Seminoles now have 15 goals on the season through the first four games. Last season FSU scored 29 goals in 20 games. The team is averaging almost 23 shots per game threatening the school record, which sits at just over 17 per contest.

“We are a very offensive minded team,” said Trotter. “I think everyone is hungry to score goals and help this team win games. Because we are so offensive minded and have so many personality players in the attack that is showing up in the amount of goals we’ve scored.”

“It seems like we have a little more rhythm in the way we are playing as the season progresses,” said Krikorian. “We are attacking in a lot of different ways. For me that is the sign of a good offensive team. The other part that is encouraging is we aren’t giving a lot of counter attack opportunities to opponents. For the most part we are right on schedule to becoming a good team.”

The FSU defense once again showed it wouldn’t be upstaged by the offense as they posted their third shutout in four games. The team’s shutout streak is now over 200:00 minutes as starting keeper Mims dropped her GAA to 0.24.

“It feels really good to get another shutout,” said Rivera. “We are always proud of ourselves as a defense when we walk off the field and there is a zero on the other side of the scoreboard. There is still a lot of work to do on organization but this is a level-headed group. We will take pride in what we did tonight and then move on tomorrow.”

Erica Walsh is responsible for the defending on our team and I think she is doing a great job as our collective defending is very good right now,” said Krikorian. “There is some nice communication going on and we feel good about the way we are limiting our opponents’ opportunities on goal.”

After scoring seven goals Thursday night versus Jacksonville, it looked like FSU would get on the board early. Sel Kuralay was dribbling away from the goal on the far side and laid the ball off to a streaking Viola Odebrecht. The German National team player went endline and sent a dangerous cross to the backpost. Trotter was right there but her finish was just wide.

Twenty minutes later the Seminoles broke on top. Odebrecht and Mami Yamaguchi combined allowing a low line drive cross to be sent into the near post. Dutch National team forward van de Ven was waiting right there to drive home her second goal of the season and the eventual game-winner.

“It started with a nice run from Mami,” said van de Ven. “I really didn’t have to do much. This is such a wonderful team and they make it easy for the front runners.

“I am feeling a lot better about my play personally. I am starting to become more involved in the game and with the team. I am so thrilled to be a part of this group.”

Trotter, who came close to her fourth goal of the season earlier in the game, got the second goal for FSU in the 35th minute. The junior charged on to a loose ball at the top of the box. The Ft. Lauderdale, FL native one-timed a hard shot low and just inside the left post.

“Once again a get to score a goal that Sel (Kuralay) really created,” said Trotter. “She is such a dangerous player and not only scores but creates opportunities for others.”

Trotter came into the match with three career goals in 46 games. In four games in 2005, the All-American candidate already has four. She has set a new season-high and already bested her career total.

“It is actually kind of funny that I already have more goals this year than I did in my first two seasons,” said Trotter. “I think it is just because the players around me are creating more opportunities for me to score. I am playing a little higher and just doing what I can to help us win.”

The Seminoles will head back on the road for a three game stretch starting Wednesday, September 7 at UCF. The Golden Knights defeated FSU last season and upset the University of Florida in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. The game is set for a 5:30 p.m. start and Game Tracker will be available exclusively at www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website of Florida State University.

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