The Daily Nole

FSU Soccer: Five Things to Know Entering 2017

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Over the past decade or so, Florida State has established itself as a perennial power on the women’s soccer front. The 2016 campaign saw Florida State win the ACC, but was disappointing by FSU’s standards as the Seminoles were eliminated by Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

As the 2017 campaign kicks off next Friday against UNC-Greensboro, here are five things to know about FSU soccer:

1. FSU returns 94 percent of its goals from 2016
Returning for Florida State are plenty of players who are accustomed to finding the back of the net. FSU returns 30 of its 32 goals from last season, which includes its top two goal scorers in junior midfielder Megan Connolly and sophomore forward Deyna Castellanos, who each scored seven. Kirsten Crowley and Elin Jensen are the only two players to score goals for the Seminoles last season who do not return.

2. FSU returns 84 percent of its assists from 2016
Florida State not only returns a large portion of the players who scored the goals last season, but a big percentage of those who set them up as well. The Seminoles finished with 38 assists as a team last season and 32 of those assists return. The top FSU players for that category were Kaycie Tillman and Natalia Kuikka, who each return after recording five assists. Crowley, who had four assists, will be the biggest loss when it comes to assists.

3. FSU plays eight NCAA Tournament teams from 2016
Of the 17 opponents that Florida State is set to play during the regular season, eight made the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Perhaps the most notable of those was College Cup participant North Carolina. The Seminoles will host the Tar Heels on Sept. 17.

4. FSU hasn’t lost at home in 32 matches
Last season’s Senior Day victory over Louisville gave Florida State a 32-match unbeaten streak at Seminole Soccer Complex. The last home loss came to Florida in 2014. Of the 17 scheduled matches this season, nine of them will be at home. Notable contests include matches against North Carolina, Notre Dame and North Carolina State.

5. FSU has made 17 straight NCAA Tournament appearances
Florida State was unable to extend its streak of consecutive College Cup appearances to six last season, but the Seminoles did make the NCAA Tournament and have done so every year since 2000. That includes in each of the previous 12 seasons under head coach Mark Krikorian. FSU’s only national championship came in 2014, but with so many major contributors returning, the sky is the limit for 2017.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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