Dec. 20, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, FL –
The No. 12 Florida State soccer team continued to garner post-season awards Wednesday when SoccerBuzz named head coach Patrick Baker Southeast Region coach of the year and runner-up for national coach of the year honors. Emma Breland won Southeast Region freshman of the year and was named first team All-Southeast Region. Breland was also placed on the Southeast Region All-Freshman team. Three other Seminoles, Marte Vik Edvardsen, Rachael Watkin and Sarah Crawford, were named second team All-Southeast Region.
Baker, in his second year at the helm of the FSU soccer program, led the Seminoles to their first-ever NCAA bid and guided the team to an appearance in the Sweet 16. Under Baker’s leadership, Florida State achieved 20 program firsts in 2000 including being the first team to ever beat the last two national champions in one season (Florida and North Carolina), the program’s first-ever win over a top 5 opponent (North Carolina 3-2 OT), its first-ever national ranking and Florida State’s first-ever victory over six teams.
“This is great news and very deserving recognition,” said Florida State Athletic Director Dave Hart. “I am very proud of the leadership Patrick Baker has demonstrated in his very brief tenure at Florida State University. It is good to see that his peers, not only regionally but nationally recognize the outstanding job he has done.”
Southeast region freshman of the year Emma Breland has been among the ACC’s league leaders all season long and was the first Seminole to ever be named All-ACC first team. Breland owns the FSU record for points in a season and assists in a season and she ranks second on FSU’s list for most goals in a season and is now second in game-winning goals in a season (5) and a career. She also owns every freshman record in Florida State history. Breland has appeared on the Soccer America Team of the Week twice this season, she was named first team All-Southeast Region and she was also named to the All-Freshman team. Breland was also a finalist for SoccerBuzz national freshman of the year honors.
“Our whole freshman class helped this program get to a point where we were able to reach the Sweet 16,” said Baker. “We needed a large influx of youth and talent and last year’s recruiting class lived up to the expectations of their top 13 ranking. Emma was the gem of the group and she has brought a lot of recognition to our program. With the team recognition has come some individual recognition for the role she played in our unprecedented success this year. It is very exciting that she is considered one of the top seven freshmen in the country this year.”
Seniors Rachael Watkin and Sarah Crawford and junior Marte Vik Edvardsen were named All- Southeast Region second team. Watkin is the all-time leader in starts for FSU and she is second in all-time game appearances. She has started every match she has appeared in and she always played big in FSU’s biggest games. Two of her three goals came in a 4-1 win against No. 8 Texas A&M (the game-winner) and an equalizer just after halftime against No. 5 Clemson. Watkin also came through with an assist against the Aggies and she assisted on the equalizer in a 3-2 win over then-No. 2 North Carolina. She was named to the All-ACC tournament team after scoring a goal and the game-winning PK against Wake at the ACC’s.
Sarah Crawford became the first goalkeeper in Florida State history to start every minute of every game this season. Crawford is second in shutouts and first in minutes played in a single season and she is the first Florida State goalkeeper to ever record three consecutive shutouts. She allowed only 28 goals this season shattering the previous record of 35 set in 1996. Crawford garnered All-ACC tournament honors after only allowing one goal against Wake Forest and making a diving shoot-out save that allowed FSU to advance in the tournament for the first time in school history.
Marte Vik Edvardsen is one of only four Seminoles to start every game this season and she was a factor in almost every one of Florida State’s top 20 victories this season. She assisted on the first goal against Texas A&M just 3:42 into the match and also scored Florida State’s first-ever goal against the Tar Heels. Her penalty kick answered North Carolina’s first goal and kept the Seminoles alive in the biggest upset in the school’s history. Marte also scored two goals in the 3-1 win against Miami and that victory assured FSU of its best regular season record ever.
“I am very excited for the three players that were recognized by SoccerBuzz,” said Baker. “Marte may not of stood out so much this season because she was surrounded with more talent than last year but she is so important to our program. I am also very happy Rachael and Sarah were recognized for their roles in our success this season. It was a wonderful accomplishment for all of these players and it’s a reflection of what we were able to accomplish this season.”