The Seminoles open up as the top team in the nation for the second straight year in The National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Though this team does not have much in common with the Florida State team that took a trip to the College Cup last year.
The lady ‘Noles have 11 newcomers that will join 13 returning players that won the ACC championship last season and made a trip to the College Cup for the fifth straight season under head coach Mark Krikorian. FSU will have to replace five starters on the field from last season, but Senior captain Kristen Crowley and sophomore captain Megan Connolly are excited for the season and challenges it holds. Connolly’s 28 points and four game-winning goals earned her the ACC Freshmen of the year title and a place as a NSCAA First Team ALL-American.
“The freshmen coming in are really talented” Senior Defender/Midfielder Kristen Crowley said “They add a lot to our game,”
The Seminoles will play an extremely tough schedule, opening the season on the road with No. 8 Texas A&M who the ‘Noles beat twice last season (3-1 on Sep, 4th and 5-0 on Nov, 27th)
Following the Texas A&M matchup, the Seminoles will play Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State to end the first month of the season both of which will be on the road.
Following their first three road match-ups, Florida State square off with in-state rival the No. 7 Florida Gators for their home opener. The Gators topped the ‘Noles last season 1-0 in Gainesville. The Seminoles have six preseason top 25 opponents on the schedule, five of which found a place in the top 10.
“We are going to make some mistakes” Head Coach Mark Krikorian said when asked about tough schedule early in the season, “We just have to know how to correct those mistakes and learn from them so they do not hurt us at the end of the season.”
Though Florida State has a young team, the veteran leadership combined with the young talent will keep the expectations high. Most teams this young don’t have the expectations that Florida State has, nonetheless come into the year ranked No. 1 in the country.
Along with veteran leader and proven scorers on the offensive side of the ball, Florida State will also have redshirt junior goalkeeper Cassie Miller who started all 25 matches in 2015. Miller had eight shutouts in 2015 and has 27 in her career at FSU, second-most in Florida State history.
Florida State kicks off their season on August 19th against Texas A&M at 8:30 P.M. The Seminoles home opener will be on September 2nd against the Florida Gators at 7:00 P.M.