Aug. 15, 2005
Tallahassee, FL – Mark Krikorian’s first-ever Seminole soccer team opened its preseason schedule Monday morning with a 6-1 win over the Pennsylvania Strikers. Sophomore Holly Peltzer scored two goals, forward Sel Kuralay had two goals and two assists and Melissa Samokishyn recorded two assists as well. The Seminoles allowed an early goal and then answered with six goals and by shutting down one of Pennsylvania’s top club teams for the final 85 minutes.
“It was kind of what I expected,” said head coach Mark Krikorian. “There are some areas we need to clean up that we haven’t spent a lot of time on as of yet. We have a decent foundation to build on and it seems that everyday our group is getting a little bit better and that’s the goal.”
The Seminoles fell behind in just the fifth minute when the Strikers put one past starting keeper Ali Mims. Florida State went on to answer with three goals in each half and the defense did its part as well shutting down the attack the rest of the day.
“We were a little disorganized to start the game,” said Krikorian. “It is certainly going to happen when you add so many new players to a team. That is why we have scrimmages. Hopefully we will work some of those kinks out. We will be a little more organized the next time we step out so we aren’t back on our heels right as we start the game.”
The Strikers took advantage of Florida State’s lack of familiarity with one another at the start. After scoring at the 4:22 mark, the club side kept the Seminole offense at bay through the first 10 minutes of the game. Not surprising since four of FSU’s starters were newcomers and as many as seven of the first 11 started fewer than half of Florida State’s games in 2004.
“I thought it was a good start,” said junior captain Kelly Rowland. “The first 10 minutes were a little rocky but we have to realize this group has only been together for five days. For a first game it was a good starting point. We are still feeling each other out and trying to get each other’s tendencies down. Overall, it was a good performance.”
“What happened in the first 10 minutes shouldn’t have happened,” said newcomer Sarah Wagenfuhr. “We should have gotten off to a better start. We came out a little flat and I don’t know if we were prepared for them to attack as much as they did early on. After we realized they were going to press us, we knew we needed to raise our level in the back. We responded and kept them out of the net the rest of the way. We picked it up and did well the rest of the way.”
It didn’t take long for Florida State to equalize. Just over seven minutes after the Strikers broke on top, the Seminoles responded with the squad’s first goal of the 2005 season. Kuralay got the Seminoles on the board when she put in a rebound of a shot that came screaming off the near post.
The Australian was back in action in the 28th minute as she gave the Seminoles the lead for good. The sophomore was the beneficiary of a great cross from Samokishyn. The Colorado native got endline on the right side and sent a ball to the backpost where Kuralay buried the header.
“It was a good first time out,” said Kuralay. “I felt like we got the cobwebs out and for a lot of us we are still adjusting to the Florida heat.
“I know a lot is being asked of the forwards this year and I like to come into any game confident. Even though I haven’t played in college before, I have played at all levels and I came out here confident that I could help. Hopefully I will be able to continue to score some goals for the girls during the season.”
Less than four minutes later the Seminole offense was back on the board as Kuralay once again had a hand in a goal. This time it was on an assist. After collecting a pass from Mami Yamaguchi in the box on the nearside of the field, Kuralay sent a great ball in to the six yard box where junior Rachel McDowell pounded it off the keeper and into the net.
“It is always nice to score goals,” said Krikorian. “Our kids took their chances pretty well. We have some players here that are capable of scoring goals. I think some of those players showed today.”
In the 40th minute FSU almost got their fourth goal of the match. This time it was freshman Wagenfuhr that played in a great ball, which was cleared out to Peltzer. The sophomore had a good strike sending the rebound back in and on frame but a great save prevented the goal.
Just six minutes out of the locker room, Florida State extended its lead to 4-1. Teresa Rivera’s corner was headed to Peltzer by Kuralay. The sophomore took advantage of the pass and put in her first goal of the preseason.
Peltzer almost had her second goal about seven minutes later. Yamaguchi slide a great ball to Peltzer who was running free in the box but her shot was just wide. The sophomore did find the back of the net a few minutes later though. The play started with Samokishyn making a run down the far sideline where she made it to the corner flag where and was double teamed. The Colorado native split the defenders and made a run into the box where she found Yamaguchi. Her shot rebounded off the keeper and Peltzer was on the spot to put away the rebound.
“I got out there today and after starting to get comfortable I began to take people on,” said Samokishyn. “It started coming easier as the day went on and it felt really good to help the team. I don’t even know what I was thinking on that play. I just saw a hole and I went for it. I got through that time and was able to get a pass off. Mami (Yamaguchi) and Holly (Peltzer) did a nice job helping to reward the run.”
“Today was really rewarding,” said Peltzer. “I came in off the bench and was ready to go as soon as I got my chance. Coach called on me and my teammates were just awesome. They made it easy for me to finish them off. Good crosses are a forwards best friend and easy to put in.”
Florida State finished the scoring off in the 86th minute. Wagenfuhr played another great ball to the backpost and Sage Sizemore was in perfect position to bury the header for FSU’s sixth goal of the game.
After the early goal, the Strikers were rarely able to penetrate the Seminole back line. Most of their chances came from outside of the 18 with their best opportunity of the second half coming on a deflected shot that Mims was forced to make a diving save on. Mims played over 80 minutes as she continues to comeback from two seasons of recovery after breaking her fibula in 2002.
“There are no words to describe how great it felt to be back out here,” said Mims. “I am just excited to be back in the net. It was also great to see how this team responded to playing another squad. We showed very well today and I was just proud to be a part of it.
“It was frustrating to give up an early goal and essentially the first goal of the season. We were a little unorganized at the start. The Strikers came out swinging but we settled in. We got our communication together again in the back and we started to look like the Florida State defense I remember.”
Florida State will return to the practice fields this week before traveling to Tennessee for the squad’s final scrimmage. The Seminoles will face off with the Volunteers Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and also faced the Pennsylvania Strikers in a scrimmage defeating the club side 4-0.
NOTES: Kelly Rowland will be participating in a live on-line chat Tuesday at noon. Fans can submit questions ahead of time by clicking here or log on to chat with Kelly live. The chat will take place at the newly revamped Seminoles.com.