The Daily Nole

What to Watch For Wednesday: FSU Fall Sports Less Than a Month Away

Bill Pearce/FSU athletics

We’re less than a month away from the new Florida State athletic year as FSU soccer kicks things off on Aug. 22.

The year begins with five fall sports with football being the most notable. With it currently being a dead period for FSU sports, here’s a brief look ahead at the five programs getting underway this fall:

Men’s Cross Country

Last season: Seventh in ACC, 31st in NCAA Championships
Key athletes: Caleb Pottorff, Steven Cross, Tyson Murray
Overview: The schedule has not been set yet for Florida State’s cross country teams, but FSU returns most of its arsenal from last season. As a redshirt freshman, Caleb Pottorff placed 11th in the ACC Championships. Steven Cross will likely be the most valuable runner for the Seminoles this coming season. The biggest subtraction will be Toby Hardwick.

Women’s Cross Country

Last season: Fourth in ACC, 26th in NCAA Championships
Key athletes: Elizabeth Funderburk, Jodie Judd, Maudie Skyring
Overview: Militsa Mircheva will be hard to replace in 2019, but the Seminoles do return four top-50 finishers during last year’s ACC Championships. Elizabeth Funderburk is the name to know for the Seminoles. Last season, she notched top-15 appearances in the ACC and NCAA South Region Championships.


Last season: 5-7
Key players: Cam Akers, RB; Tamorrian Terry, WR; Marvin Wilson, DT; Jaiden Lars-Woodbey, S
First game: Aug. 31 vs. Boise State in Jacksonville
Toughest games: vs. Boise State (Aug. 31, Jacksonville), at Clemson (Oct. 12), at Florida (Nov. 30)
Overview: Fresh off their worst season in over four decades, head coach Willie Taggart made some notable staff changes this fall with the biggest being the addition of offensive coordinator Kendal Briles. The biggest question mark for FSU in 2019 will be the offensive line, but up and down the roster, there is no shortage of talent. Defensively, the Seminoles will try to bounce back from allowing the most points per game in program history.


Last season: 20-4-3, ACC champions; defeated North Carolina for national championship, 1-0
Key players: Deyna Castellanos, F; Yujie Zhao, M; Jaelin Howell, M
First match: Aug. 22 vs. TCU
Toughest matches: at UCLA (Aug. 29), at USC (Aug. 31), at North Carolina (Oct. 24)
Overview: After a disappointing conference slate last season, Florida State made a remarkable run through the ACC and NCAA Tournaments to win its second national championship in five years. FSU will likely begin the season ranked in the top 5. The Seminoles return their top two scorers in Deyna Castellanos and Yujie Zhao to go with two very capable goalkeepers in Brooke Bollinger and Caroline Jeffers.


Last season: 19-10, second in ACC; lost to Florida in first round of NCAA Tournament, 3-0
Key players: Payton Caffrey, OH; Taryn Knuth, MB; Deja Williams, MB
First match: Aug. 30 vs. Wisconsin in Chapel Hill (ACC/Big Ten Volleyball Challenge)
Toughest matches: vs. Wisconsin (Aug. 30, Chapel Hill), vs. Minnesota (Aug. 31, Chapel Hill), at Florida (Sept. 17)
Florida State will return ACC Player of the Year, Payton Caffrey and leading blocker Taryn Knuth, but the Seminoles will be relying on a lot of new faces in 2019. Christina Ambrose, Brianne Burkert and Kelsey Wicinsk will all be tough to replace. FSU will also have to navigate through a difficult non-conference schedule early.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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