August 9, 2000 - by
Seminoles Welcome Freshmen And Begin Preparing For 2000 Campaign

Aug. 9, 2000


Florida State enters the 2000 season with many reasons to believe they will
eclipse last year’s strong campaign, in which they recorded the second most
wins in team history. The Seminoles welcome back seven returning starters and
a large group of players that received valuable playing time as freshmen.
Season-ending injuries to Danielle Foard and Heather Dyche in 1999 opened the
door for many younger players to gain experience. Head coach Patrick Baker is
optimistic about the 2000 season. “We have a good nucleus of returning
players and one of the top recruiting classes in the country,” according to
Baker. Florida State signed the 13th best recruiting class in the country,
the No. 1 class in Florida and the 3rd best class in the Southeast Region
according to Soccer Buzz.


FSU proved in 1999 that they are not far from being a force on the national
stage. Judging from last season’s results, Florida State is just lacking the
experience needed to compete with the upper echelon of collegiate soccer
teams. “In 1999, we went 9-0-1 in every game we scored first but we were 0-10
when an opponent scored on us first,” said Baker.


Eight of the 10 losses in 1999 were to teams ranked in the Top 20 in national
polls and, of those eight loses, six were by only one goal and the other two
were to the eventual national champions, North Carolina. According to coach
Baker, the Noles were able to secure wins against teams they were expected to
beat and they played well against the teams ranked ahead of them. In 2000,
Florida State needs to win the games they should win and hopefully get some
victories in the “big” games.


Baker is counting on his senior class to help raise the standards of the
program and provide early leadership. Sarah Crawford, Foard, Rachel Watkin,
April Murphy, Sarah Deacon and Ashley Halter have between 19 and 60 career
starts each.


The Seminoles should also benefit this season from playing a tough schedule
in the spring and a more balanced schedule in the fall of 2000. Florida State
opened up the spring with a 0-0 tie versus the University of Miami, who beat
the Noles 3-0 last year, and a tough loss to Fortuna, a strong Danish club
team. The Seminoles next welcomed teams to their own tournament and recorded
their second shutout of the spring with a 6-0 win over the Georgia ODP team.
They then dropped the second game of the tournament to the Klein Challenge of
Texas 4-2.


The Noles traveled to Gainesville next to face the University of Florida, the
University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida. Florida
State continued to show improvement against a Gator team that finished the
1999 season as a consensus Top 10 pick. The Seminoles fell to Florida 3-0 but
improved from their previous meeting with UF in the fall. Florida State went
on to rack up their third and fourth shutouts of the spring by defeating UCF
2-0 and USF 3-0. Both wins provided a reason for optimism entering the 2000
season since FSU lost to Central Florida 2-1 in the 1999 preseason and edged
South Florida 1-0 during the fall of 1999.


Florida State went on to record their fifth and sixth shutouts of the spring
by defeating the University of Mississippi 1-0 and the University of
Alabama-Birmingham 3-0. Heading into a tough west coast trip against Santa
Clara and Cal-Berkeley, the Seminoles were 5-3-1 and had recorded six
shutouts. FSU fell to Santa Clara, fresh off an appearance in the 1999 Final
Four, and dropped their last game of the spring at Cal-Berkeley 3-1.


Commenting on the Seminoles spring schedule, coach Baker said, “We played in
some very competitive environments and continually made positive strides. Our
trip to California was an awesome experience for a relatively young team and
our overall team defense was especially pleasing to me. ”


Florida State should also benefit from greater scheduling balance this year
with home and away games mostly taking place on alternating weekends. Baker,
commenting on last year’s schedule said, “Last year we were all over the
place and sometimes that was reflected in our play.”


Florida State faces eight teams ranked in the NSCAA’s pre-season Top 25, five
of which are ranked in the Top 12. One positive for the Seminoles is that six
of those eight teams play in Tallahassee. This year’s schedule features a
visit from the defending national champion, and pre-season #1, North Carolina
Tarheels. Other Top 25 teams that will travel to the FSU Soccer Facility are
pre-season #6 Clemson, #10 Florida, #11 Texas A&M, #12 Wake Forest and #16
Virginia. The Noles will visit #22 Duke and #23 Maryland.


Looking towards the fall, coach Baker said, “The 2000 season will be
interesting because we are going to be blending a veteran group with an
exciting recruiting class. Our pre-season will be the most competitive it has
ever been and, except for goalkeeper, there will be a battle
at every position.



FORWARDS:
There is a lot of experience at the forward position this season. Maren Vik
Edvardsen, April Murphy and Cindy Schofield have appeared in 119 matches with
58 of those appearances coming in 1999. Vik Edvardsen and Murphy are poised
to re-write the Florida State record book this season. These two already
appear on the all-time leaders list seven times in five different categories.


Vik Edvardsen, a junior form Norway, is the most prolific goal scorer in
Florida State history after just two seasons. She ranks first in goals scored
(17), second in points (39) and second in game-winning goals (5). In 1999,
Vik Edvardsen also set numerous single season records. She tied the record
for the second most goals scored in one season (9), recorded the third most
points accumulated in a season (21) and scored the second most game winning
goals (4). Maren also broke the Florida State record for most points in one
game (8) against Furman.


Murphy, a senior from Tulsa, Okla., set single season records in 1999 for
assists (7) and game-winning assists (3). She currently ranks fourth in
Seminole history in shots (82), fifth in goals (13), fourth in assists (9),
fourth in game-winning assists (3) and third in points (35). Murphy also tied
the Florida State record for most first half assists (2) versus South
Alabama. Schofield enters the 2000 campaign looking to improve on a solid
rookie season. The sophomore from Lakeland, Fla. led all freshmen in goals
(3) and points (7) while appearing in 18 matches. Schofield had a breakout
game versus Stetson in 1999, recording an assist and the game-winning goal in
a game that was broadcast regionally on the Sunshine Network.


The forward position should be bolstered by the arrival of three newcomers
this season. Janet Burke, Fayetteville, Ga., was an NSCAA All-American in
1999 as a member of the Georgia State Champions, Starrs Mill High School. She
was also voted MVP of the state high school playoffs that season. Vero
Beach’s Summer Corum enters Florida State after a prolific career at Vero
Beach High. Corum led her district in scoring for three straight years and
scored 140 goals during her high school career. Corum was also a member of
Team Boca when they won the 1999 Florida club team championship. Lisa
McCammack is entering her junior year at Florida State University. McCammack
was named All-State three of her four years on the varsity squad and also
garnered NSCAA All-Midwest honors after her junior and senior seasons of High
School.


MIDFIELD:
The Seminoles enter the 2000 season with a young group of midfielders who
have a lot of experience. Despite losing three seniors in the midfield,
Florida State shouldn’t miss a step. Rachel Watkin, Janey Hallberg, Marte Vik
Edvardsen, Katie Talley, Meredith Jones and Sarah Deacon appeared in 108
games last season and this group has 190 career appearances for the
Seminoles. Vik Edvardsen, Watkin and Deacon made 59 starts in 1999 and should
provide valuable maturity in the middle of the field.


Vik Edvardsen, a junior and Watkin, a senior, were two of only four players
to start every game in 1999. Vik Edvardsen has already amassed 32 career
starts in her two seasons at Florida State and she set a single season record
for the fourth most shots (35) during the 1999 campaign. She ended the season
third on the team in points (11), third in goals (4) and tied for fourth in
assists (3). Watkin, co-captain of the 2000 squad, is expected to make the
move from sweeper to central midfield in hopes of providing the cohesive
ingredient the team needs. She is FSU’s most experienced player with 60
starts in her three years and should end her career with the most starts by a
Seminole in team history. Deacon, a senior, started 19 matches last season
and ranked fifth on the team in shots (21). She also contributed two goals
and five total points. All three players will be counted upon to provide
leadership based on their experience as returning starters. After missing the
entire 1999 season with a knee injury, Jennifer Garcia is also expected to
compete for playing time this season as a central midfielder. She came to
Florida State as a three-time All-State selection and won the MVP award of
the Senior All-Star Classic.


Talley, Kennesaw, Ga., appeared in 18 games and started four matches as a
freshman despite sitting out the start of the season with injuries. The
sophomore recorded a goal and an assist including a game-winning assist
against South Florida. Talley should see more playing time this season as she
will challenge for a starting spot at a wide midfield position. Jones, a
sophomore from West Chester, Penn., will work as a defensive midfielder this
season after appearing in 18 games, and starting six, in 1999. Jones finished
the season with one goal on four shots.


Hallberg, a sophomore from Longwood, Fla., gained valuable experience during
her freshman year. She appeared in 14 matches and started against the
defending national champion Florida Gators. Hallberg took 12 shots during her
freshman campaign and scored a goal against Jacksonville University. She will
compete for playing time with Deacon and Talley on the left wing. Freshman
Emma Breland will provide depth and could be called upon to add offense from
the central midfield position. She holds the Tennessee high school record
with 59 goals in just 19 games and was a finalist for All-American honors.
Breland was named All-Region Player of the Year and could make an impact for
the Seminoles this season.


Two other freshman could make an immediate impact for the Noles in 2000.
Maclay High School’s Sara Dunlap decided to stay close to home and signed
with Florida State University this past spring. Dunlap was the All Big-Bend
Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and the leading scorer for Maclay during
their state championship season. Amber Tollefson was a Golden Boot winner at
Boca Raton’s Spanish River High during her freshman season. Tollefson led her
team in scoring that year on the way to the state title. She won the state
title with Spanish River again during the 1998 season. Tollefson is a
four-time member of the All-State squad and a four-year starter at Spanish
River.


DEFENSE:
After suffering two major injuries within the first eight games of the
season, Florida State had to fight an uphill battle in 1999 to develop
consistency on defense. The Seminole defense should benefit due to the return
of two veterans from injury and the extra playing time younger players got
due to the those injuries. Coach Patrick Baker feels the defense will be an
area of concentration from the first day of the pre-season for Florida State
in 2000. “I want our team to shut people out and we have started to develop
that mentality,” said Baker. After spending his first season at Florida State
employing a zonal three back, Baker has experimented with a zonal four back
set but has yet to settle on a scheme for the fall.


The defense will get a big lift with the return of Danielle “Dee” Foard who
appeared in 44 matches before suffering a season-ending injury in 1999.
Foard, a senior from Falls Church, Va., started eight games in 1999 before
the injury versus Wake Forest. If she can successfully return to form, Foard
will provide a big boost to the Seminoles defense. Coach Baker assesses
Foard’s play by stating that she is hard on the tackle and chases down
attackers very well and adds that she is a needed addition to the Seminole
defense. Another senior who will challenge for a starting spot with Foard is
Ashley Halter. Halter, who has appeared in 54 games during her three seasons,
led all Seminole defenders in goals scored (3) and points (8) in 1999. After
starting for the majority of the season at right outside back in 1999, Halter
continues to become a stronger one-on-one defender and her understanding of
Baker’s system has steadily increased. Baker, commenting on Halter, said “She
is very good in the air and scored three goals for us last year when she
went forward.”


Two juniors will also be counted on to contribute a great deal and compete
for starting jobs in the back. Heather Dyche, like Foard, is coming off a
season-ending injury she suffered in the first match of 1999 versus Florida.
If Dyche is fully recovered, coach Baker could use her as the starting center
back entering the 2000 season. “She is very good technically and tactically –
consistency will be the key,” according to Baker. Dyche is a four-time
All-State player out of New Mexico who appeared in 11 games for the Noles in
1998 and scored a game-winning goal versus Mercer that season. Christy
Peacock saw limited action in 1999, appearing in seven games, but according
to coach Baker she will see more playing time during the 2000 season.
“Peacock has developed the most of any FSU player in the last year. She
received some playing time in the fall, but earned a starting spot as an
outside left back this spring and did very well,” according to Baker.
Sophomore Ashlee Fontes appeared in 12 matches as a freshman and started as
the team’s central midfielder last spring. Her fitness and impact in the
defense during the pre-season will determine if she earns a starting spot
this fall.


The Seminoles added four freshmen defenders from a recruiting class ranked
No. 13 in the country. This group will be called on immediately to provide
depth in the Seminole’s defense. Tiffini DeGaetani enters FSU as a four-time
All-State selection in New York and captain of the reigning New York state
championship team. Tori George, from Fairfax, Va., is a two-time All-District
selection and a four-year starter on the varsity squad. Kristin Boyce, from
Austin, Texas, is a four-year All-District selection and was also a four-year
starter on her varsity squad. Marisha Crowe was the captain of the 1999
Tennessee state champions and a four-year All-State honoree. This freshman
from Memphis also started for four years on her varsity squad at Germantown
High School.


GOALKEEPERS:
Senior Sarah Crawford enters the 2000 campaign as one of the most important
players on this year’s squad. The co-captain, from Lilburn, GA, started in
half the games for Florida State in 1999 and is already third on FSU,s
all-time list for minutes played (900), saves (65) and shutouts (2). Crawford
is the lone goalkeeper on this year’s squad who has seen any playing time for
Florida State and will be key in organizing a defense that should be vastly
improved from 1999. Crawford started ten matches in 1999 behind a defense
that was hit hard by injuries yet she managed to record a respectable 4-5-1
record in the nation’s best soccer conference. Her 77% save percentage and
1.90 goals against average led the team last season. Crawford brings a lot of
experience with her as she enters her senior season. On top of the experience
she gained last season, Crawford gained valuable playing time at Georgia
State before transferring to FSU. Crawford was a member of the 1998 TAAC
Champions and named to the All-TAAC tournament team that season. In two
seasons at Georgia State, she started 38 games, recorded 194 saves and 14.5
shutouts. According to coach Baker, Sarah is a very talented goalkeeper who
enjoyed a great deal of success this past spring and she will be counted on
to provide leadership at the start of the 2000 season.

Related Articles