The Press Newspaper
Express soccer enters tourney at No. 19 nationally
It is the first time the team has been ranked this season despite a program record 13-game winning streak, which included a 2-1 double overtime victory over current No. 15 Schoolcraft College along the way.
During their 13-game winning streak, the Express has outscored opponents 59-9. Additionally, they have allowed one goal or less in 12 of those matches (11 straight) and pitched five shutouts over that period.
Local sophomores include defender Tara Preble (Lake), forward/midfielders Taylor Avers (Woodmore) and Justin Grindle (Northwood), defender Marissa Ramirez (Northwood), midfielder/defender Samantha Starkey (Eastwood), and midfielder Kelly Zurvalec (Oak Harbor).
Local freshmen include midfielder Abby Groll (Clay), forward/midfielder Kendyl Christian (Clay), midfielder/goalkeeper Megan Soncrant (Clay), and forward Amber Burnette (Oak Harbor). Third-year head coach Mary Whisler is assisted by second-year coach Caitlyn Theaker and first-year coach Stacey Lucas. Janeen Ramirez is in her first season as the team’s athletic trainer.
The Express, who are currently 15-2 overall, entered this past weekend's Region XII tournament as the No. 2 seed behind Schoolcraft College. They opened up play in the four-team tournament against No. 3 seed Delta College on Saturday with the championship Sunday.
The winner advances to the 12-team NJCAA D-I National Championship tournament in Melbourne, Fla. Nov. 18-23.
With the addition of the women's soccer team being ranked, the Express athletic department currently has four teams ranked in the nation's top 20. The others are men's golf (No. 1 at the NJCAA D-II level), women's basketball (No. 9 at the NJCAA D-II level) and men's basketball (No. 8 at the NJCAA D-II level).
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Candidates selected have made a strong impact in the four C’s - community, classroom, character and competition. Howard has been a visible presence on the court heading into her final year as a ‘Nole. As an All-America contender this upcoming season, she is one of just 10 Seminoles ever to score 1,000 points and grab 700 rebounds in her career.
The versatile performer is also on track toward breaking the school record for career doubles-doubles, sitting just six away with 26 in her first three seasons. Howard is a three-time all-conference player who earned first-team accolades last season averaging 12.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
Howard was named the sole captain of the 2013-14 FSU women’s basketball team by head coach Sue Semrau, exemplifying how far her leadership principles have come. The Social Sciences major has proven to be a leader by example and has thrived in the maturation process that began in her freshman season in 2010-11 and has culminated to her current reign as team captain.
Like many of her teammates, Howard has been an extremely active member in the community. Just this year, she has participated in many charity functions including the Big Bend Heart Walk to promote heart disease awareness, as well as fundraising for a United Way event for City of Tallahassee employees.
On Florida State’s recent Foreign Tour trip this past summer sponsored by Nike, much humanitarian work was done including volunteering at an orphanage in Dakar, the capital of Senegal on the African mainland.
Howard and the Seminoles unofficially kick off their season this Sunday, Nov. 3, when they host an exhibition against Faulkner at the Donald L. Tucker Center at 2 p.m.
Florida State plays its first regular-season game at home on Friday, Nov. 8, against UNC Greensboro with tip time scheduled for 5 p.m. The game will also be live streamed on ESPN3.com.
Each of the 30 candidate classes will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one male candidate and one female candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four®.
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