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Notes, videos from FSU’s soccer championship celebration

The fans gathered in a light rain at the Unconquered state but they were undeterred. They came to Langford Green on Tuesday night to cheer on the FSU soccer players, coaches and staff, who brought home the program’s third national title.

While the Unconquered statue took a few extra minutes to light up, it indeed did shine brightly through the night as fans moved inside to the Champions Club to enjoy FSU’s penalty-kick victory over BYU on Monday night.

Among the guest speakers: Mark Krikorian and captain Jaelin Howell as well as president Dr. Richard McCullough and athletics director David Coburn.

“National championships are tough, they are hard to win at any sport at any level,” Coburn said. “And when you get to the Final Four, I don’t care who you are, you are going to play some tough competition — and we did. This is a team that lost in the finals last year and came back and decided it wasn’t going to happen again.

“The thing that impresses me the most about this group of young ladies, they have so much depth, so much talent and yet they are willing to assume their roles. They’re willing to give up playing time because it’s the best thing for the team, and they do it without grumbling. And that’s what makes this team a great team.”

McCullough said he has enjoyed getting to know the players since he arrived as president in mid-August and, like the fans, was on the edge of the seats throughout the run through the NCAA Tournament and the College Cup.

“You played with heart and determination and you had fun,” McCullough said. “Wow. What amazing role models you are. This is a moment you will take with you for the rest of your life. I congratulate you.”

Krikorian has won three national titles in less than a decade. He admitted on Tuesday to being exhausted but smiled throughout the event as he talked with fans, posed for photos and signed autographs. He thanked the fans and administration, and congratulated the players.

“You never know when you are going to get here,” Krikorian said. “You never know when you’re going to get a chance to play in a Final Four. You never know when you have a chance to win a national championship. So enjoy it because you don’t know. You just don’t know. The hope is that Florida State soccer will be back here again next year and celebrate again.”

Krikorian also gave a mention to longtime FSU football defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, who has been a frequent guest at soccer matches and was in the Champions Club on Tuesday. “The only reason Mickey is here is because we got the shutout,” Krikorian said.

He often drew applause throughout his speech but also took time to point out that FSU’s soccer GPA is between 3.6 and 3.7.

The Marching Chiefs were among those who played for the players and fans and, to finish off the night, played “We are the Champions.”

Below is a photo of the Unconquered statue as well as video interviews with Krikorian and Howell:

The Unconquered statue is lit up on Tuesday night. (photo by Bob Ferrante)