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Seminole no-shows called 'disrespectful'
by Paul Kennedy, November 5th, 2010 3:56AM

TAGS:  college women


[FLORIDA STATE WOMEN] In a move akin to an English Premier League club fielding a team of reserves in the FA Cup, Florida State left nine starters -- seven of them All-ACC selections -- in Tallahassee and fell to Wake Forest, 3-1, on Wednesday in the ACC quarterfinals in Cary, N.C. The move by Seminole coach Mark Krikorian seemingly intended to rest his stars for the NCAA Women's Tournament was met by a quick rebuke from ACC commissioner John Swofford, who called the decision "disrespectful."

Florida State is ranked 11th in the country in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 and finished the ACC season with a 7-2-1 record, tied for second place, only two points behind North Carolina.

It was a tremendous performance, given the loss of its two stars, junior’s Jessica Price and Tiffany McCarty, both medical red-shirts, over the summer.

But Krikorian started a freshman -- Madison Winter -- who had never started a game previously, and kept all 11 starters in the game for the entire 90 minutes. Only two of them -- Ella Stephan and Breezy Hupp -- had started in the Seminoles' previous game.

Wednesday's game followed a trip to Maryland last Thursday and Boston College Sunday.

"It was a coach's decision," Krikorian said after the Wake game. "We have 25 outstanding players at Florida State, and we thought that this was the best opportunity for us to be successful. We consider all the factors whenever we make every decision. Our players' health and welfare are the most important things for us. We have a plentiful roster and a lot of talent, and the players we had today did a great job."

Swofford didn't buy Krikorian's explanation.

“I’m highly disappointed in the decision Florida State made in not bringing its starters to the ACC Women’s Soccer Championship," Swofford said in a statement. "Our league has a long and rich national tradition in women’s soccer and the integrity of our championships should never be compromised. FSU’s action is disrespectful to our teams, players, coaches and the fans that support the ACC. It undermines the purity of the competition that a conference championship deserves. The value of sportsmanship and leadership runs deep in this league and both were lacking when Florida State made the decision to not participate in good faith at the ACC Championship. Conference action on this matter will be forthcoming.”

  1. George Gorecki
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.
    I'm with the coach on this one. He can utilize his roster any way he sees fit. Given that the college season crams so many games into such a short time frame, can you blame a coach for managing his roster so that his players are adequately prepared? So what is the ACC commissioner going to do? Implement a rule where the conference decides the starting 11 for tournament participants?
  1. Auggie Chance
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 11:27 a.m.
    I personally have seen a team go from first to... well, struggling because of a gruelling season. They lost their two leading scorers both due to ACL tears in the Big Ten tournament. Second game of the NCAA tournament they lost because they had to go into penalties because they couldn't score!! Now, I know this is bad luck, but I see why coaches rest their players in these dumb end of the year tournaments.
  1. Kent James
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 11:39 a.m.
    I agree with the earlier commenters that such a decision is understandable, given the demands of the season (and one would also think, the academic demands on students in college as the end of the semester is coming up fast), but I'm glad Wake Forest beat their reserves. It's only disrespectful if FSU expected a different result.
  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 11:59 a.m.
    Is there any difference in a player having a hamstring injury and being exhausted because of too many games in a short time fram? Swofford should look at what he controls and make changes so this doesn't happen. Maybe he can do his job, instead of the coach's, to ensure there is plenty of rest between tournaments at the end of the year, rather than complain about something he can't and shouldn't control.
  1. Jim Dickinson
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 11:59 a.m.
    If Mr. Swofford wants to be a coach or a commentator he should quit the Commissioner's post. If he can't focus on bigger issues he should quit anyway.
  1. Dayton Owens
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
    I agree with the coach. I want my players ready for the NCAA not the ACC tournament. Why would I want to play my starters for 3-4 games if I made it to finals to be worn out for the tournament that really counts. That would be 3-4 games more on tired players. This is not disrespect but smart. You watch FSU make a long run in the NCAA because of this and there will be alot more coaches playing reserves in these tournaments. Again it points out that they are saying the regualr season doesn't matter only the conference tournament. Stupid - and so is Stafford for trying to interfer with a coaches decision.
  1. Robert Scalise
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 12:56 p.m.
    Let the coach, coach. His non-starters got some playing experience that may pay dividends in coming years. If you are already in the NCAA tournament and you have Florida State's record, the conference championship means squat.
  1. Tom Jedrzejewicz
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.
    Hypocrisy of the highest order from the ACC commish. They schedule FSU 3 games in 7 days totaling 5000+ miles of travel and requiring missing at least 3 days of classes. Then they give FSU grief when players are left home. Good for Krikorian.
  1. Todd Clark
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 1:23 p.m.
    I agree with the above...the NCAA should already be considering a longer soccer season for the welfare and academic integrity of the student-athlete. The reality of a team playing close to thirty matches in little over four months is not remotely in the best interest of health, academics or competition. The decision by FSU is the type of thing that results. Of course a fan wants to see the "best" players just like a Man U fan doesn't want to see some 18 year old from the reserves in a Cup match against a Conference team. In both cases the bigger fish is the ultimate title chase so the stars need to be cared for in some fashion. An administrator has alot more ability to change the factors that lead to a decision like this than a coach does, in my opinion.
  1. michael a. taddonio
    commented on: November 5, 2010 at 9:49 p.m.
    The coach is 100% correct on this. With the scheduling as it is, the players get tired and injuries are risked. It is important to the reserve players get playing time for experience and to show what they can do. The 11 starters are only part of the team. The reserve players are the rest of it. The ACC commissioner needs to mind his own business and just be an administrator. Let the coaches do the coaching. Perhaps the scheduling could be better, so that the situation may not happen again. The college is short, but the games are jammed into a short time period, which makes it tough for teams. Traveling factors into this.
  1. Rob Ames
    commented on: November 6, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
    When I first read this I was like, that's crap. However once you look at all the variables, it makes all the sense in the world. Good luck to FSU in the NCAA's and I am not an FSU fan. Good for the coach to look out for his players, which is his first role to start with. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

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