Aug. 14, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second consecutive season and for the third time in four years, the Florida State women’s soccer team will begin the preseason ranked in the top 10. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccer Buzz announced their preseason national rankings on Tuesday, August 14 placing the Seminoles among the nation’s elite. The NSCAA ranked FSU at No. 6, while Soccer Buzz placed the Garnet and Gold at No. 8.
“For our program to be picked among the top teams in the nation is a huge honor,” explained head coach Mark Krikorian. “We lost some key student-athletes from last year’s team, but we are excited for the challenges of the upcoming season.”
Florida State will return six of 11 starters from last season including all four members of its backline which set single-season records in 2006 for shutouts (14), GAA (0.67) and fewest goals allowed (18). The Seminoles also enter the season with just four seniors on the team, the smallest senior class since 2003 and 2005 when the Seminoles listed two seniors on the roster. Ironically, in both those seasons FSU advanced to the College Cup.
“This program has done a great job of recruiting high quality players and Coach Krikorian and his staff is a big reason for that,” stated junior captain Sarah Wagenfuhr. “The players who have been here already are working hard to get better, better. We are really pushing and challenging each other and hopefully as a team we will continue to keep raising the bar of expectations at Florida State.”
With more than half of its returning starters back in 2007, Krikorian is welcoming a school record 14 newcomers this season including 11 freshman and three transfers. In three years at the helm of the Florida State soccer program, Krikorian has opened the door to a total of 34 newcomers.
“This season is going to be a big, promising year of us,” explained Wagenfuhr. “We have definitely grown a lot as a team. In a short amount of time, it’s amazing how well we have bonded and I think with the incoming players that we have the continuity on this team will only continue to grow. I always feel that the best way to be successful is as a team as opposed to just individuals.”
The ACC led all conferences with six teams ranked in both polls. North Carolina, the defending national champs, grabbed the top spot in both polls. Other conference teams ranked by both polls included Boston College, Virginia and Clemson. Duke was ranked No. 22 by Soccer Buzz, while Wake Forest grabbed the 22nd spot in the NSCAA top 25.
In the Southeast Regional rankings released by Soccer Buzz, the Seminoles ranked third behind North Carolina (No. 1) and Florida (No. 2).
For the second straight year, Florida State will open its season against a top 10 opponent as the Seminoles travel across the country to face the Portland Pilots on Saturday, September 1. In all, FSU will face seven opponents featured on the 2007 schedule including the Pilots (No. 4 in both polls) and intra-state rival Florida (No. 7 SB, No. 13 NSCAA).