The Daily Nole

FSU Soccer: Five Fast Facts for 2018

Larry Novey/FSU athletics

We’re less than two weeks from Florida State soccer kicking off the 2018-19 athletic year for the Seminoles against Vanderbilt.

Last season, FSU finished 13-7-1, ultimately falling to eventual national champion Stanford in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State will bring back the vast majority of its roster from a team that was a bit of a disappointment.

As the season approaches, here are five things to know about the Seminoles in 2018:

1. FSU Will Be Breaking in a New Goalkeeper
Perhaps the biggest void that Florida State will have to fill in 2018 will be in the net. FSU will have to replace Cassie Miller, a 4-year starter in goal. Miller had 94 starts in her career for the Seminoles with 48 of them resulting in shutouts. None were more notable that a 1-0 victory over Virginia in 2014 as Florida State captured its first national championship. Returning goalkeepers on the roster are Caroline Jeffers and Brooke Bollinger.

2. FSU Graduates Just Two Assists
Miller could be a significant loss for FSU, but on offense, the Seminoles are graduating just two assists. Those came from Emma Koivisto and Ari Hudson, who each had one. The Seminoles return each of their 43 goals from last season and 37 of their 39 assists. With Miller, Koivisto and Hudson graduating, FSU no longer has a member of its 2014 national championship team on the roster.

3. FSU is the Only Team Returning Two First-Team All-ACC Performers
For 2018, Florida State will be the only team in the ACC returning two players who were named first-team all-conference last season. Duke had five first-team selections last season, but four of those players will graduate. Returning for FSU will be leading scorer Deyna Castellanos and defender Natalia Kuikka. Castellanos, an All-American, led the ACC with 19 goals last season. Gloriana Villalobos, a midfielder, was an All-ACC Freshman selection last season.

4. FSU Looks to Avoid Missing College Cup for Third Straight Year
After five straight College Cup appearances from 2011-15, Florida State has failed to get back in each of the last two years. FSU was defeated by Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2016 before being bounced by Stanford last year in the Sweet 16. The Seminoles haven’t failed to miss the College Cup in three straight years since 2008 through 2010.

5. FSU Faces Five Former National Champions in 2018
If to be the best, you have to beat the best, Florida State is striving for excellence in 2018. Among FSU’s 18 opponents is five former national champions. The Seminoles are set to host USC, UCLA, North Carolina, Florida and then visit Notre Dame. Each of those contests will take place before the month of October. Since the NCAA recognized women’s soccer as a sport in 1982, those schools have combined for 28 of the 36 national championships.

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

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