Coach Mark Krikorian and the FSU soccer team begin their season at home this Friday as they play host to the No. 11 Portland Pilots, who are coming off a home exhibition loss to the University of Kentucky. The feeling of defeat is no stranger to the Seminoles as they are coming off a record-breaking season that ended in an overtime period which saw the ‘Noles fall 1-0 at the hands of UCLA in last year’s national championship game.
All of that is in the rearview mirror now as the Seminoles look forward to a season that has them ranked 2nd in the country and picked to win the ACC. It should be noted that this is the highest ranking that any ‘Noles soccer team has ever received in the NSCAA’s preseason poll. That said, expectations are high, as Krikorian’s team has a roster loaded with talent and discipline poised to make a deep playoff run into late November and early December. This is also a roster that sees nine of 11 starters from last year’s team return.
The ACC as a whole is extremely strong in soccer– last year’s elite eight featured six ACC teams (UCLA & Michigan were the exceptions). This representation certainly shows in the rankings, as eight teams from the ACC are ranked in this year’s top 25. If the ‘Noles plan to set themselves up for a deep run in 2014 they must go through a gauntlet that includes No. 11 Portland (Aug. 22), No. 8 Florida (Sept. 5), No. 19 Boston College (Sept. 21), No. 3 Virginia (Sept. 28), No. 5 Virginia Tech (Oct. 12), No. 4 North Carolina (Oct. 23), and a Halloween night match-up with No. 18 Duke in Tallahassee to wrap up the regular season. UCLA opens the season as the nation’s top team.
FSU’s primary concern this year is at the goalie position, as the team graduated Kelsey Wys, who collected various accolades while shattering school records throughout the entirety of her career. Wys became the team’s all-time leader in wins, saves, and shutouts during her time in net at Florida State. Krikorian has been optimistic about filling the position as he evaluates his options in true freshman Caroline Brockmeier and redshirt freshman Cassie Miller.
What Mark Krikorian has accomplished at FSU is unprecedented, as he prepares for his 10th season with the ‘Noles. Under Krikorian’s leadership, fans can rest easy knowing that he’ll have the team ready to sustain the success that fuels a magical run, like that of last year.
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Tags: Florida State Seminoles