Aug. 19, 2005
Knoxville, TN – The 2005 Seminole soccer team will get its biggest test of the preseason tonight when they take on the 11th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols in the final preseason game of the fall. This is the second game in a week for FSU as new head coach Mark Krikorian and his staff continues to evaluate their personnel leading up to the season opener next Friday.
“We are trying to tighten things a little bit but we are still experimenting,” said Krikorian. “Everything is still too new and we have too many questions. I don’t have a set line-up in my head for when we open the season next week at USC. There are all sorts of possibilities still. We have a lot of competition on the team and a lot of players are still competing for playing time. We need to evaluate them and their performances before we head to L.A. It is very important to look at these players under these pressure situations.”
“I think Tennessee will be a great test for us,” said Seminole captain Kelly Rowland. “They are traditionally a very good team and it will be a good measuring stick for us to see what we need to do before our first game versus USC.”
Tennessee is preseason No. 11 in the NSCAA poll and they are coming off a second consecutive SEC regular season title. The Lady Vols were 17-5-2 in 2004 and they advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season. This is the second straight season the teams have met in a preseason scrimmage.
“I really don’t know a lot about Tennessee except they have played at a very high level for quite a few years,” said Krikorian. “I understand that they are well coached, organized and have very talented players. I don’t know enough to comment on them as a team but we obviously know some of their top players. They have been one of the top teams in the SEC for years and are worthy of our respect. I am looking forward to it.”
“I think there are a lot of benefits to playing a great college team like Tennessee,” said senior Teresa Rivera. “Obviously they will be more physical. I think we will get a better gauge of where we are playing a top 15 team.”
Monday the Seminoles downed the Pennsylvania Strikers 6-1. Newcomer Sel Kuralay and sophomore Holly Peltzer each scored two goals in the victory. The Tribe has only had two days to train off of Monday’s game before taking the field tonight at 7:00 p.m.
“I think we will be looking for our game to be cleaner than it was Monday versus the Pennsylvania Strikers,” said senior Alli Ferreri. “We need to work on keeping possession and continuing to develop our communication. After the scrimmage we spent more time getting to know one another to work better as a team, hopefully that will show tonight.”
This is the only road trip for FSU in the preseason and it is especially important since Florida State opens the regular season with a trip to California. The last time the Seminoles opened a season on the road was 1999 so no player on the 2005 team has ever experienced a road opener.
“Getting on the road is great for us,” said Krikorian. “Since we open the season on the road this allows our players to get an understanding of what a road trip is like with our staff. It is also great for the staff so we know who is responsible for what when we travel and just making sure we are fully prepared for our trip to USC. It is also good to play a top college team. That will do us some good. Last time out was good for our team and that is a positive but this is going to help continue our progression.”
Krikorian’s squad will continue practicing next week as they prepare to officially get 2005 underway in Los Angeles versus USC. Complete results from tonight’s scrimmage will be available at Seminoles.com following the match.