FSU soccer is the reigning women’s soccer champions and will have a solid shot of repeating, although legendary coach Mark Krikorian decided to leave the program a few months ago.
FSU Athletic Director Michael Alford wasted no time in finding a quality coach to lead the program in former Tennessee coach Brian Pensky.
The former SEC, ACC, and National Coach of the Year hired new staff with the departure of Krikorian’s assistants and will inherit most of the nucleus from last year’s team that finished 21-1-2 and defeated BYU in the national title game on penalty kicks.
The ladies are tabbed preseason No. 1 by the United Soccer Coaches Poll released Tuesday:
However, they will have to overcome the losses of Jaelin Howell, Gabby Carle, Emily Madril and Yujie Zhao. Kirsten Pavlisko will also miss the season with hip surgery. However, FSU soccer returns the likes of Cristina Roque, Mia Justus, Jenna Nighswonger, Beata Olsson, Lauren Flynn, LeiLanni Nesbeth, Heather Payne, and Clara Robbins.
Pensky also added Mississippi State star Onyi Echegini from the transfer portal for added depth.
Coach Pensky doesn’t want to change too much from last year’s team. He’s a firm believer in if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The ladies have already begun preparations for their season as they open up in a little over two weeks as they travel to South Carolina on August 18th.
I’m curious to see how the ladies react in their first game in nearly two decades without Mark Krikorian on the sidelines. The Gamecocks finished the 2021 season 15-7-1 and 6-3-1 in the SEC. They fell against Pensky’s Tennessee team 1-0 in early October. The game will begin at 7 p.m. before the Noles host No. 9 Texas A&M the next night in an early top 10 matchup. It’ll be the first time fans can see the new surface and scoreboard installed earlier this year. Hopefully, the ladies can go wire-to-wire and win back-to-back national titles!