March 26, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
The 11th-ranked Florida State soccer team wrapped up its annual postseason banquet and first-ever alumnae game last weekend. The team now begins to prepare for two home games this weekend versus the University of Tennessee and renowned club squad Team Boca.
The FSU soccer program hosted 18 former players Saturday, March 23 at the school’s first-ever soccer alumnae game. Recently graduated Seminoles joined former FSU stars like Angela Bonaffino, Jill Ford, Alexandria Osorio and Kelley Poole in an evening match at the Seminole Soccer Complex. The highlight of the evening was the alumnae game but festivities weren’t just limited to action on the field. The former players, many of whom never had the opportunity to play in one of the nation’s top facilities, were given a tour of the new complex and the evening ended with a barbecue on the stadium’s concourse.
“It was a great soccer weekend for our program,” said head coach Patrick Baker. “First and foremost, this was a weekend for our alumnae. It was great to see them come back in such high numbers. A number of them never had the opportunity to play in our facility until Saturday night and they got the chance to see the new home of FSU soccer. To play under the lights in this complex is very special and I am glad they were able to experience that.
“It was also great that they had a chance to see one another and share old stories and get caught-up. We wanted to make it a special weekend for them and I think we were able to do that.”
Many of the program’s former players made long treks to come back for the weekend. Some came from as far as Texas and Canada and the reunion wasn’t just limited to former players. Current Maryland and former FSU assistant Kerry Dziczkaniec was also on hand for the activities.
“Some of these women came great lengths to take part in this weekend’s events,” said Baker. “Angela (Bonaffino) came down from Canada. Jill Ford is working with Nike in Houston and she made the trip. Kerry D, our former assistant, was a major reason many of those girls came to FSU through her recruiting efforts and to see her take time out of her schedule to come to FSU speaks volumes about the type of person she is. That was a great sign about the caliber of young ladies who have played and coached at this university.
“Alumnae can be an integral part of a program and I felt like we needed to do a better job of keeping them involved with our program. They may have heard that we have gone to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, made our first-ever ACC Championship game appearance or that we beat North Carolina and Florida in the same season but they weren’t here to see those big moments in our history. We showed them some highlight videos and tried to re-capture some of those moments that really turned our program around. I think they felt a lot of pride in that they laid the foundation for what was to come.”
The weekend concluded with the team’s annual postseason banquet held at the Silver Slipper restaurant Sunday afternoon. Baker honored this year’s senior class and handed out team awards. Sophomore Amber Tollefson was named Most Valuable Player while All-ACC first-teamer Cindy Schofield garnered Offensive MVP and Kristin Boyce was named the team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player. First team freshman All-American Katie Beal was honored as Rookie of the Year and midfielder Jenny Garcia was named Most Improved Player.
Three seniors also won awards at the banquet. Maren Vik Edvardsen won the Coaches Award and Heather Dyche was the recipient of the Seminole Award for the player who has overcome the most adversity. The biggest honor of the night went to three-time Red Dog Award winner Christy Peacock. The award, which honors hard work, heart, effort and selflessness, was renamed after the senior when she won it for the last time Sunday afternoon. The award will now be known as the Christy Peacock Award.
“I thought it was our best banquet ever,” said Baker. “It allows us to thank the support staff who make our success possible and affords us the opportunity to recognize individual players that helped make our season a success. I thought this was a very challenging year as far as awards go but I think the team made the right choices when they voted on award winners.”
The Seminoles will continue their spring schedule this weekend when they host six-time Florida state club champions Team Boca Friday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m. Florida State then turns around and faces 2001 NCAA Tournament participant Tennessee Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Both games will be played at the Seminole Soccer Complex and admission is free. Tennessee and Team Boca will also play one another Saturday in a game slated for an 11:00 a.m. start.
Saturday night’s game with Tennessee will be Smoke-Free Soccer Night at the Seminole Soccer Complex. More than 500 middle school and high school students will be in attendance and there will be halftime activities planned to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco usage. The event kicks off the Seminole soccer programs involvement with the “Soccer Kicking Butts” campaign. The Seminoles join other groups such as the world’s soccer governing body FIFA and the WUSA women’s professional soccer league as part of the battle against youth tobacco use. For more information on Florida State soccer, please visit the official website of the Florida State Athletics Department at www.seminoles.com.