Women’s Soccer – The Panthers are coming off a 2012 season in which they finished with an overall record of 7-6-3, going 2-4-1 in Sunshine State Conference play.
“Preseason this year is very short, so we’re very limited,” head coach Fidgi Haig said. “We’ll try as much as possible to improve our fitness with all the activities we do. We know that while we are doing this, we have to make sure we watch for injuries.”
According to Haig, 38 players will make up the active roster in 2013, the most in school history.“With the amount of players we have this year, we have to figure out who’s going to be playing where and who’s going to make an impact,” he said.
“We had six freshmen starting last year,” Haig said. “They earned a lot of experience and we’re expecting them to be much better. A number of our incoming freshmen are solid and are probably going to be starting as well. We’re looking forward to making an impact right from the beginning.”
Men’s Soccer – The Panthers are following an impressive 2012 season in which they finished with an overall record of 10-4-3 and 3-3-2 in the Sunshine State Conference. They also placed four players on the All-SSC Team.“We’re trying to spend as much time as we can together on and off the field to build relationships on the team,” head coach Robin Chan said. “At the same time, obviously, we don’t have a lot of time before the season starts, so we need to get an understanding of the strength of the squad and which pieces fit where.
“We have a good returning group of players that have some experience and understand how to win,” Chan said. “We know it’s going to be a challenging season. There are a lot of teams in this conference that can go on into regional play every year, but there are only three slots. It’s the same every year, we come into the season very focused on the conference games we play and put ourselves in a position to win.”
Cross Country – The 2012 season marked the best season in school history for the men’s team, which took third in the NCAA Division II South Region Championship, and for the first time ever, qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship. They also placed second in two of the four invitationals they attended.“We have a big group of new kids and they’re from different states,” head coach Pete Mazzone said. “We’re trying to get them used to practicing in the morning, getting them used to Florida and the humidity, new beds, a new environment – new everything. That’s what this week is about.”
Five new faces – one junior college transfer and four freshmen – join the men’s team. On the women’s side are seven first-year runners at FIT.“I’m expecting [the success] to carry on,” Mazzone said. “Once the new runners get used to the program and the extra distance in races, I’m expecting them to contend for the top five. And I think they expect that themselves.”