Aug. 21, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 13th-ranked Seminole soccer team continued two-a-days Tuesday in preparation for their upcoming preseason opener with the University of Georgia this Friday. After a full week of practice, the coaches and returning players are starting to get an idea of just how one of the nation’s top recruiting classes will fit into their plans for 2001. All three goalkeepers on this year’s roster are freshmen and as many as three other newcomers could open the season in the starting line-up.
“The freshman are training extremely hard and it seems like they are experienced enough to start if we need them to,” said sophomore Summer Corum. “We just need to continue to work on our communication as a team. It is a lot to ask for us to completely be in sync with the newcomers after just one week of practice but it is possible if we continue to train hard. ”
The goalkeeping battle between Joy McKenzie, Ali Mims and Kerry York has been one of the most highly contested position battles through the first week of training. All three freshmen have stood out during the first week and goalkeeping coach John Galas is anxiously awaiting Friday’s scrimmage to see his young keepers in a game situation.
“I am very pleased with the level of competition we’ve seen so far and I think all three keepers bring a different element to the game,” said Galas. “After we see them in the preseason game against Georgia, we’ll have a better idea of their technical abilities and then we will start to work on some of their strengths and weaknesses. Overall, I am extremely pleased with their intensity and desire to compete for that starting job. It’s been a lot of fun.”
York, Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year entered the preseason as FSU’s No. 1 keeper and has lived up to her impressive credentials during an intense first week of practice. Mims and McKenzie have been somewhat of a surprise. Each has played extremely well and made naming a No. 1 goalie a tough decision for the Seminole staff.
“It is very competitive right now,” said Galas. “It’s amazing. Just when you think that maybe one of them is starting to establish themselves as the clear-cut number one, somebody else will rise to the occasion and make it a battle again. It will be a tough decision for us as a staff but a lot of other teams would love to be in the situation we are in with three competent keepers.”
Mims, the Jacksonville Times-Union Player of the Year, knew that York would be coming into camp as the favorite to win the job but she has played extremely well according to the coaching staff. The Ponte Vedra Beach native is planning on making the coaches decision as tough as possible.
“I knew there was going to be a battle coming in because I knew they had recruited Kerry (York) and she is one of the country’s top keepers,” said Mims. “I just wanted to come in and do the best I could and hopefully make this into a battle. This is a challenge for me and is probably the first time in my playing career that I’ve had to battle for playing time. I am enjoying it and I hope I make it a battle every minute we are out here.”
Mims was the starting keeper for a Nease High School team that advanced to the state Final Four in 2001 and she started every match her junior and senior seasons. She led Nease to a 23-2-1 record as a senior co-captain and posted an impressive 0.64 goals against average.
“I am having the time of my life out here,” said Mims. “I’m not sure what everybody else is saying but I am having a blast. This is a great opportunity to play with a ton of new people at a very high level. I’m trying to just absorb as much as I can.”