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Women's Soccer Practice Kicks Off Eastern Florida's Fall Season
Aug. 1, 2013 - Eastern Florida State College kicked off its five-sport fall season on Thursday as women's soccer held its first practices.
The 2012 NJCAA Division I national championship runner-up soccer team under head coach and Athletic Director Jeff Carr met for circuit training in the Melbourne Campus gym at 6:30 a.m. for the first of the day's three gatherings. The team also worked out at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and will continue on that schedule for two weeks.
Men's soccer and women's tennis, the college's two new sports, hold their first practices on Monday along with volleyball while men's golf holds its first practice on Aug. 20. Eastern Florida has nine intercollegiate sports, the most of any of the 23 institutions competing in the Florida College System Activities Association.
Carr's theme for the 2013 season is "Unfinished Business," a nod to his team's 3-0 loss to Paradise Valley (AZ) Community College in the national title game. Eastern Florida hosts the national tournament on campus through 2016 and Carr's goal is for the Titans to be represented and to win.
To that end, he asked his returnees to remember the feeling of losing the championship game and for his newcomers to face up to the challenge of being a highly-ranked, highly-visible program.
Titans midfielder and co-captain Sue Kumaning cools down after the 10 a.m. outdoor practice under the hot Florida sun.
The Titans finished the 2012 season with a 15-2 record and spent four weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation by the NJCAA and three weeks ranked second.
But due to graduation losses of career scoring leader and All-American Lois Edvardsson, prolific scorer and distributor and All-American Courtney Hueston and standout goalkeeper Julia Kantor, Carr has roles to fill on his roster.
He will look to his 13 returnees and a deep, talented class of newcomers to step up and meet the challenges and expectations inherent to high national visibility.
Competing for the starting goalkeeper position are freshman Amy Clason-Messina from Bend, OR, and sophomore and returnee Katelyn Kern from Deltona, FL.
Expected to provide offense up front are freshman Nikki Mitchell from Toronto, sophomore transfer Kimmie Tierney from Jacksonville, FL, and sophomore transfer Jenci Villaverde from Palm Bay, FL.
"This team has the potential to be the quickest in our four-year history," Carr said.
Team co-captains are sophomores and key returnees Jess Fassnidge, a defender and 2012 national tournament team selectee from Worcestershire, England, and Sue Kumaning, a midfielder and 2012 national tournament team selectee from London.
Women's soccer opens its regular season in Perkinston, MS, playing Mississippi Gulf Coast and Pearl River (MS) Community College on Aug. 23 and 24 respectively. The women open their home season on the new Melbourne Campus field at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 against St. Louis Community College.
Eastern Florida competes in the FCSAA with Broward College and Polk State College, the only other women's soccer programs in the state. Each team plays the other three times. The team with the best record advances to the NJCAA district playoffs, one step away from the national tournament.