Oct. 1, 2001
Senior Maren Vik Edvardsen is her own harshest critic. Despite the fact that she holds FSU’s all-time record for goals (22) and points (53), is third all-time in game-winning goals (4) and is in the top five in almost every offensive category for single season records, she isn’t satisfied with her legacy. She has seen her offensive production drop during her junior and senior seasons and she hopes to change that in 2001.
“Being FSU’s all-time leading goal scorer and not being able to score now is frustrating,” said Maren. “I am really hard on myself. It bothers me that I can play well but I can’t get the ball in the net. I can’t help it but there is a big part of me that is mad at myself for not scoring even when we win. I never get mad at others. I always put it on myself and it is difficult to feel like I was playing better soccer as a freshman than I am now.”
Vik Edvardsen got off to an unbelievable start to her career at FSU. In her first two seasons she scored 17 goals, recorded five assists and ended up with 39 points. Most importantly she started 28 of 40 games. In 2000, Maren did not make a single start.
“It was very hard not starting last season,” she said. “I came here for one reason besides school and that was to play. I have always been really serious about soccer and it has always been a focus of my life. When other people wanted to go out and have fun or relax, I wanted to train. I have always been a hard worker but my confidence got really low last year.”
Maren had her least productive season statistically in 2000 despite the team’s unprecedented success. She scored the fewest goals of her career (5) and tallied just 14 points compared to 21 the previous season. She appeared in 23 of 24 matches but not starting really affected the Oslo, Norway native.
“I was so down last year that I didn’t even want to practice or work,” she remembers. “Last year wasn’t enjoyable for me. There were a few months when I just didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to be around my friends or anything. I have been thinking a lot about last year and I know I am much better than what I was showing on the field. Going through everything I have gone through has made me doubt my abilities.
“My expectations are a big part of why my confidence is so low sometimes. My sister is a very different person and if she had gone through what I went through it wouldn’t have bothered her. She is much stronger than me and more confident. She would just work that much harder. She always feels like she is the best and if anyone criticizes her it goes in one ear and out the other. With me my confidence drops.”
Maren’s twin sister Marte is a mainstay in the Florida State starting line-up. Of Marte’s 64 appearances, 56 have been starts. She has been described by head coach Patrick Baker as the team’s best player but coming into 2000 Maren had posted more points every season than her sister has posted her entire career.
“We play different positions and it is my role to score not Marte’s,” said Maren. “I never saw it as a competition. I love Marte and she deserves to be starting. We have played together all our lives and sometimes it’s hard to see that she starts and I don’t. She always supports me though. I don’t hold anything against her or her success.”
Despite the feeling that she isn’t as strong a person as her sister, Maren focused on making her senior season special and regaining a starting role in 2001. Confronting the fact that she didn’t feel like she was living up to her own high expectations was her first step but she then had to go about finding the strength to turn things around.
“I had to learn to be strong and do whatever needed to be done to get an opportunity to start again,” she said. “My family and friends supported me and they always told me I am a very good technical player. I have gone through a lot and I just didn’t want to start games on the bench for another year.
“This is my fourth year and I told myself I had to whatever I could to change things. I got in better shape and I worked hard. I decided to play the game for myself. I wanted to make sure I finished my career at FSU with a positive experience.”
It started for Maren in the spring when she felt she began to return to form a little bit. She rededicated herself to getting fit and coming into 2001 in the best shape of her career. She then returned home to Norway for the summer where she planned on working all summer on her fitness.
“I felt I did really well this past spring and I worked harder than I ever had outside of practice,” she recalls. “I put in a lot of extra time. I came early and stayed late. I felt so much better on the field at that time so when I went home I was feeling better about the way I was playing.
“This summer I went back to Norway and didn’t plan to even play soccer. I was going to work out and get into great shape. I wasn’t really thinking about actually playing on a club team but I was asked to play and decided to do it. It did help me but whatever I did this summer it doesn’t take away from the fact that I want to prove myself at Florida State and I think I have started to do that a little.”
Maren began to prove herself again in 2001 by regaining her starting spot on Florida State’s front line. She has started all seven of FSU’s games so far this year and is just two starts away from establishing the second most starts in a season during her four-year career. If there is one thing that supersedes Maren’s high expectations though, it’s her willingness to never give up on anything.
“I think I found some strength that I didn’t know I had throughout this whole process,” said Maren. “I never want to give up. When I first came here things were so bad because we weren’t winning and I was so frustrated. I could have gone home but I don’t ever want to give up so in some ways I know I am strong. I am proud that I regained a starting spot and I am trying to do the best that I can.”
Maren’s struggles with her own expectations have been hard for her but it hasn’t diminished the way she views her time at Florida State. She loves America, she loves the way soccer is played here and she is thankful for everything Florida State has provided her.
“I really love soccer in America,” said Maren. “We have so many perks here from coaches to trainers to all of the support staff. In Norway we have to do everything ourselves and buy everything ourselves. People here do almost everything for us. I really appreciate that. It has been a very nice part of my experience at FSU.”
Winning is another recent perk of playing at Florida State, which is a big change from Maren’s first two seasons when FSU posted a total of 16 wins. Last season, the Seminoles recorded 14 victories and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and she has noticed the change since coach Baker took over the program.
“My first season we didn’t play well together and we lost almost every game,” said Maren. “So much has changed. We play together now and coach Baker brought in a lot of good players. We are together now as a team and that is due to coach Baker. I am stronger now and I have learned so much from him.”
Maren’s strength and determination has not only paid off in a starting role but she is producing for FSU in 2001. Although she hasn’t scored a goal yet, Vik Edvardsen has five assists through just seven games. The single season record for assists at Florida State is seven and Maren is just two shy of tying that record with at least 13 games left to play. Maren is finding ways to help the Seminoles even if she isn’t finding the back of the net.
“This year I decided that I was going to give everything I had,” said Maren. “I just want to do well and I know I have to stay strong.”