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Florida State Women’s Soccer. Seminoles Will Have Talent, Energy And Enthusiasm Again In 2024.

Departures add A Little InTrigue and Uncertainty Heading Into 2024 Season.

Coach – Brian Pensky – 3rd Season
Conference – Atlantic Coast Conference
2022 Record – 22-0-1 overall, 9-0-1 in conference
2022 National Ranking – Number 1 United Soccer Coaches. Number 1 College Soccer News
Five Year Win Total
2023 – 22
2022 – 17
2021 – 22
2020 – 13
2019 – 18
2024 Outlook – Dynasty is a term that should be used sparingly and carefully when it comes to college sports but it is an appropriate description of an FSU program that has advanced to the College Cup for the past three years in a row and nine times out of the last twelve seasons, won the national championship in 2024, 2021, 2018, and 2014, and the ACC Tournament Championship the last four years in a row and nine times in the past eleven years.

There is a lot to like about the roster makeup at Florida State heading into the 2024 season. The Noles look to be well equipped for another banner season but some uncertainties exist due to the departure of five very talented and experienced starters and several supporting players who were key contributors. FSU is no stranger when it comes to having to replace talented players due to graduation but they have more than the average amount of reloading to do heading into the 2024 season.

Key departures include 2023 MAC Hermann Trophy winner and First Team All-American midfielder Onyi Echegini who scored 27 goals and had 11 assists during two outstanding seasons in Tallahassee, All-American goalkeeper Christina Roque, a stellar four year starter between the pipes with a 0.67 career goals against average and 36 shutouts, center back Lauren Flynn, a three-year starter and tenacious defender, midfielder Leilanni Nesbeth, a rock solid four-year starter and team leader who appeared in 89 games over five seasons, and forward Beata Olson, a three-year starter and solid finisher with 27 career goals and 13 assists.

On the plus side of the ledger, Brian Pensky has done a good job in regard to recruiting and player retention. Super sophomore All-American Jordynn Dudley (14g, 9a) and graduate student Jody Brown (7g, 5a), a three-year starter with 24 career goals and 25 assists, return to give FSU a dynamic and explosive duo up top that should be a good as any in the country. Junior Kameron Simmonds, a transfer from Tennessee who scored eight goals last year, and highly regarded freshman Taylor Suarez are among the newcomers with the ability to add additional punch and depth to the attack up top.

Senior midfielder Taylor Huff (7g, 13a), a 2023 Second Team All-American, is a talented and savvy box to box playmaker who will add another ingredient to the attack and set the pace in the center of the park along with sophomore Mimi Van Zanton (1g, 4a), a 2023 ACC All-Freshman selection who played in 17 games with 10 starts, junior Sophia Nguyen (0g, 3a) and sophomores Maggie Taitano (0g, 1a) and Peyton Nourse (3g, 0a). Senior transfer Carissa Boeckmann from Texas A and M is among the newcomers who should add depth and stability to the midfield.

Junior Heather Gilchrist, a two-year starter, and graduate student Ran Iwai (0, 8a), a two-year starter who has appeared in 76 games with 47 starts over four seasons, are among returning defenders. The healthy return of senior Claire Rain who was injured in the first game of the 2023 season is a big plus. Rain was a highly regarded two-year starter at Tennessee before transferring to FSU last year. Transfer Camlle Ache, a four-year starting defender at Portland, and junior transfer Nina Norshie from Barton Community College are among experienced newcomers who should be in the hunt for minutes in the back.

The biggest question mark exists between the pipes where the departure of goalkeeper Cristina Roque means that a new face will be in goal for the Seminoles for the first time in four years. Sophomore Adelyn Todd who did not see playing time last year and freshman Emma Kirlin are the lone goalkeepers currently listed on the 2024 roster.

The Seminoles were undefeated in 2023 for the first time in program history. A significant accomplishment particularly given their highly competitive schedule. FSU’s talent, determination, and depth took a toll on their opponents and gave them the edge they needed to take control in the second half of play as reflected in fact that the Noles outscored opponents 53 to 5 in the second stanza. A potent Seminole attack often scored back to back goals within a short time frame in the second half to put close contests on ice while a tenacious defense remained solid. Whether Florida State will have the roster strength to continue that in 2024 remains to be seen.

Pensky is a coach who knows how to use his personnel and, in 2024, he should have several different lineup options. The Seminoles will again be a contender on the national scene and in the ACC in 2024 but they will enter the season with more unanswered questions and significant gaps to fill than in the recent past. Jordynn Dudley and Jody Brown will provide firepower, Taylor Huff will be the catalyst in the midfield, and Heather Gilchrist and Ran Iwai will provide a solid foundation in the back.

Expectations remain high both externally among the Seminole faithful and internally among players who come to FSU with the goal of winning a national championship. Much will hinge on the ability of several players, particularly members of the sophomore class, to assume a greater role and fill the gaps that exist.

Solai Washington – Forward – Atlanta, Georgia – Chamblee High School – Scored 42 goals with nine assists her senior season at Chamblee High School. Named the Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year and Class 5A Player of the Year. Named the ECNL Southeast Conference Player of the Year. Also a successful track and field athlete.

Wrianna Hudson – Forward – Rochester, New York – Greece Athena High School – Named ECNL Player of the Year and All-American in 2020-2021 season. All-Region and All-Conference selection. All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year. Participated in track and field and flag football at Greece Athena High School.

Emma Kirlin – Goalkeeper – Greenville, South Carolina – Wade Hampton High School – Piedmont Conference Best XI. Southeastern Conference First Team. Mid-Atlantic Conference Second Team. Played club for Carolina Elite Soccer Academy. Team captain.

Peyton McGovern – Midfielder – Bristow, Virginia – Brentsville District High School – Named Virginia Player of the Year. ECNL All-American. ECNL Co-Player of the Year. Invited to US Youth National Team.

Nina Norshie – Defender – Accra, Ghana – St. John’s Grammer – A junior transfer from Barton Community College where she scored 65 goals and contributed 15 assists during two seasons. A First Team NJCAA All-American in 2022 and 2023. Member of the U17 and U20 Ghana National Team.

Taylor Suarez – Forward – Charlotte, North Carolina – Ardrey Kell High School – Scored 36 goals with 33 assists her senior season at Ardey Kell High School. A two-time North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year, two-time NCSCA State Player of the Year, two-time United Soccer Coaches High School State Player of the Year and NCSCA First Team selection. The 2023 Charlotte Observer Female Athlete of the Year. Had 73 career goals and 59 assists. Played for the Charlotte Soccer Academy. A U17 All-America selection. Played with the United States Women’s U17 National Team where she competed at the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in the group stage and the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship.

Carissa Boeckmann – Midfielder – San Antonio, Texas – Antonian Prep – A senior transfer from Texas A and M where she appeared in 61 games with 30 starts with six goals and ten assists over a three-year span.

Kameron Simmonds – Forward – Midlothian, Virginia – James River High School – A junior transfer from Tennessee where she started in 18 games in 2023 with eight goals and three assists. Played in 16 games in 2022 with four goals. Played for Jamaica in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Played in the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Played with the Jamaican U17 National Team.

Camille Ashe – Defender – Arlington, Virginia – Yorktown High School – A graduate student transfer from the University of Portland where she was a four-year starter appearing in 59 games with 55 starts.

Picture from Florida State University Athletics

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Posted in 2024 Team Reviews

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