Fielding National Championship-Caliber Student-Athletes

By: Melissa Powell

Women's athletics at Florida State University have a storied history.

While administrators, coaches and other athletic department staff are vital to maintaining FSU's long-standing tradition of athletic excellence, a large part of the responsibility for upholding FSU's reputation falls on the student-athletes who are recruited each year.

For women's soccer Head Coach Mark Krikorian, finding players who perform well on the field is just one piece of putting together a championship-caliber team.

"We want the whole person to be exceptional," said Krikorian, now in his 16th year at the helm of the program. "The biggest challenge is finding the balance between demands on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We want our players to be exceptional in all three areas and need to respect the time commitment for each."

Since 2000, the FSU women's soccer program has made 20 straight NCAA tournaments. Under the tutelage of Head Coach Krikorian, the team has advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 13 of the last 14 seasons and won national titles in 2014 and 2018.

"I believe our players are selfless and willing to sacrifice for the greater good," Krikorian shared. "I have a quote on my whiteboard that says, 'Can you find joy in the success of your teammates?' My hope is our players recognize they have chosen to play a team sport and that we will either succeed or fail as a team."

The women's soccer team recently claimed the No. 1 overall seed in the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship on the heels of a perfect 11-0 season. The team opened tournament play on Saturday, May 1, progressing their way to the final championship match-up against Santa Clara University. The Seminoles’ unprecedented season ultimately came to close falling to pentaly kicks in a nail-biter finisher.