August 23, 2005 - by
WEEKLY RELEASE: FSU Soccer Opens Krikorian Era In Los Angeles Friday

Aug. 23, 2005

Weekly Release in PDF Format



Everything fans need to keep up with Seminole Soccer is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week at  Every game in 2005 will be available on Game Tracker and eight home games will be available on live Internet Radio. Stats, photos, game recaps and feature stories are also available on the comprehensive site. Links to all of those events are just a click away at the Official Athletic Website for Florida State University.



Florida State opens the season on the road for the first time since facing the defending National Champion Florida Gators in Gainesville to start the 1999 season. Coincidentally, that was also the last season FSU opened up under a new coach. Overall, FSU is 1-3 when opening a season on the road. The only one of those four games that was played outside of the state of Florida was a 2-1 season-opening loss to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC. FSU is 5-4-1 all-time in season openers and this is the third straight season the Seminoles have faced USC on opening weekend. The last time the Seminoles and Trojans opened the season versus one another was 2003. USC won that game 2-1 but FSU ended up in the College Cup later that year.


New head coach Mark Krikorian has a gaudy 10-1 record all-time in collegiate season openers. He never lost a season opener while he was the head coach at Franklin Pierce (6-0) and he went 4-1 in season openers in his time at Hartford. Krikorian has also never lost in his debut as head coach. In his first collegiate game as a head coach Krikorian led Franklin Pierce to a 1-0 win over Quinnipiac. Then in 1996 in his first game as Hartford‘s head coach , Krikorian downed Sienna 6-1. Krikorian’s only loss in a season opener came on the road in 1997 versus Rutgers at UConn. The FSU head coach has only opened a season n the road four times and is 3-1 in those contests.



Florida State‘s trip to California is the first-ever for the team in the regular season. While the Seminoles have traveled west for spring games, the squad has never played a regular season game any further west than Oregon. This will be just the eighth game FSU has ever played versus a PAC-10 squad and five of the previous seven meetings have all come since 2002. FSU is 5-1-1 all-time against PAC-10 squads. Head coach Mark Krikorian has only faced two teams from the west coast in his D-I coaching career and he is 0-2 in those games. He lost to Cal and Santa Clara during his five-years at Hartford. Those two teams are from the same two conferences (PAC-10 and West Coast) that USC and Loyola Marymount are from. Florida State has not had much success versus the WCC. The Seminoles are 0-2 in meetings with teams from the WCC losing to Santa Clara and Portland in the same weekend in a tournament played at Wake Forest in 2001.



All-American Kelly Rowland enters the 2005 season having started every game of her two year career. Rowland has now started 46 straight games for FSU dating back to 2003. The record is 66 straight starts and that was set by current Seminole team manager Kristin Boyce. The Austin, TX native started every game from 2001-2003 before a career ending injury in her senior season. Rowland isn’t just chasing Boyce for the consecutive start record she is also closing in on the all-time goals scored by a defender mark that Boyce also holds. Rowland is just two goals shy of Boyce’s 11 goal career mark. Rowland is also just one assist short of setting a career record for defenders in that category as well. No defender in FSU soccer history has as many goals and assists as Rowland who holds the career record for points by a defender (29) in just two seasons of play.



When head coach Mark Krikorian came to Tallahassee he quickly instilled a philosophy that has served him well in the past. The first year coach believes bringing international players in is a great learning experience for all involved and also a great way to win games. This year’s FSU newcomers come from six different countries and have traveled almost 37,000 miles to make it to campus. Florida State has only had three European players ever play for the school and only seven internationals have ever worn the Garnet and Gold. This year FSU will equal the total number of international players to play for the team from the previous 10 seasons in one year alone as seven of the nine newcomers in 2005 are international students. FSU will get contributions from the program’s first-ever players from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Finland.



Florida State has always had a certain amount of success recruiting in specific areas of the country. For a long time south Florida has been fertile territory for future Seminoles. Pennsylvania gave us Kelly Rowland and Toby Ranck but Colorado is quickly emerging as a hotbed for FSU soccer. With the addition of Sarah Wagenfuhr, Florida State now has three Colorado players on the roster (Rachel McDowell and Melissa Samokishyn are the other two). Colorado is now the second-leading state of origin for FSU soccer players behind only Florida.



In 2004 FSU scored the fewest goals in team history. In 20 games last season, FSU scored just 29 goals. That was down from the school-record 60 goals FSU scored the previous year on the way to the College Cup. That was a decline of almost 52% in offensive production. To make matters even tougher of those 29 goals, players accounting for 20 of those goals are not on the Seminole roster in 2005 as FSU returns just nine goals from the 2004 season. When the Seminoles open the season Friday night, fans can expect to see a lot of new faces involved in the FSU attack as only two returning players are listed as forwards on the pre-season depth chart.



Graduation didn’t just hit the Seminole offense hard. The Tribe’s backline also suffered as two of the four starters from 2004 aren’t back in 2005. Katie Beal and Marion Cagle started all 20 games FSU played last season in the back four. This year Kelly Rowland and Teresa Rivera will welcome in two new starters to the group. The new foursome will have some lofty expectations to meet. Florida State has set school records for the fewest goals allowed in three straight seasons. After allowing a program-low 21 goals last year, the team has reduced its goals allowed in four of the last five seasons. Making it four years in a row will be especially tough due to the loss of All-ACC first team goalkeeper Joy McKenzie. The senior posted an amazing 1.09 GAA last year and she has the two lowest single season GAA’s in school history dating back to 2003. FSU has allowed 33 goals or less for five straight seasons after never allowing fewer than 35 in the program’s first five years of existence.



Head coach Mark Krikorian came to Florida State after spending the last four seasons as a head coach in the WUSA and as the US U-19 National Team head coach. He credits those experiences as being big influences on the type of coach he is today. Prior to those two jobs, Krikorian coached at the collegiate level for 11 years. He won two D-II National Championships and led Hartford to the NCAA Tournament for four straight years including one Elite Eight berth and two Sweet 16 appearances. While he has only been a head coach at the D-I level for five seasons, Krikorian has been a head coach for over 15 years. Not only is his experience vast but his three assistants are veterans as well. All three of Krikorian’s assistants have head coaching experience in the college game. Erica Walsh was the head coach at Dartmouth for three seasons and volunteer assistant Lisa Cole was the head coach at Rhode Island for two seasons. Mick Statham was a head coach at Mount St. Mary’s College in New York. It is rare to even have one assistant on staff with previous head coaching credentials from a college or university but three is almost unheard of and it speaks volumes about the way FSU’s assistant coaches feel about working with Mark Krikorian.



Florida State has plenty of hurdles before them as they enter the 2005 season. First off, FSU could be starting as many as eight newcomers. Second, the entire team is in the process of learning a new system under head coach Mark Krikorian. Third, FSU lost 69% of its goal production from last season. If all that wasn’t enough, just look at the Seminoles schedule. The Seminoles’ 2005 schedule features 11 teams that made it to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. That means almost two-thirds of FSU’s games this season will be played versus NCAA Tournament competition. Nine of the 11 teams in the ACC made the NCAA Tournament last year and the Seminoles still have to play Florida, UCF and Ole Miss. Not to mention a USC squad that brings in the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. When you look at this season’s Seminoles, there will be a lot of obstacles but the schedule may be the biggest one.



The 2005 Seminole soccer team is the youngest and most inexperienced group since the inception of the program in 1995. Fifteen of the 24 players on the roster are either freshmen, sophomores or newcomers. Almost 63% of the team has a year or less of collegiate soccer experience. On top of that, FSU returns only two seniors this year. Teresa Rivera and Alli Ferreri make up the entire senior class. This is the second time in three years that FSU has entered the season with only two seniors on the team. The last time it happened was 2003 when Amber Tollefson and Kristin Boyce led FSU to the College Cup.



When Florida State opens the 2005 season versus Southern Cal in LA, there will be some familiar faces. Not only are the teams familiar with one another after playing each of the last two seasons but a former Seminole great could be on the field for the Trojans. Leah Gallegos transferred to USC this past year and could face her teammates in the first game of her Trojan career. The Los Angeles native moved back home to be closer to her family and will finish school at USC. After suffering a torn ACL last year, it is questionable whether or not Gallegos will be on the pitch for that first match. Either way, she will be reunited with her FSU teammates on or off the field this weekend.



Any astute follower of Seminole soccer will notice a few quirks on the 2005 schedule. For one, North Carolina is playing in Tallahassee again and the Seminoles are back in Coral Gables for a second straight season. JU is back at the FSU Soccer Complex in consecutive seasons and Wake Forest is in Tallahassee again. Why all the repeat trips? The reason is the expanded ACC. Teams will travel with partners now so some teams had to make trips to an opponent’s stadium two years in a row to make the travel work. This is the first time FSU has faced Wake Forest and North Carolina at home in back-to-back seasons. It is not the first time however that FSU has played UNC twice in the same season at one stadium. In 1999 FSU played the Tar Heels twice in Chapel Hill. One was a regular season match and the other was in the ACC Tournament. This will be the first time FSU has ever traveled to Coral Gables to play the Canes in back-to-back seasons.

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