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Nation's best returning from 2010 injuries

Published: March 16, 2011

The Florida State women will receive two Christmas-like gifts in 2011 long before the holiday season.

Their names are Jessica Price and Tiffany McCarty.

After season-ending injuries forced both players to red-shirt in 2010, this attacking pair is sure to make the Seminoles doubly dangerous.

Keep in mind that FSU managed to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's College Soccer Tournament last season despite these key absences and a certain distraction during the ACC Tournament.

florida state women's college soccer player jessica priceFlorida States Jessica Price (left) is back after missing last season.
“Both players stayed right in there during the season and postseason – they were great teammates,” said FSU coach Mark Krikorian. “We’re thrilled to have them back on the road to recovery. The expectations are high. They make our attack so much more dynamic – they’re both capable of scoring a lot of goals.”
Like, A LOT of goals.

We’re talking about the two leading goal-scorers for the Seminoles in 2009. During that campaign, Price led the way in points after putting up 16 goals and 10 assists, and earned ACC second-team honors.

McCarty was the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All American in 2009, so yeah, as long as health permits you can expect these two to make a major impact on the 2011 outlook.

The following players, also making their way back from ailments, should also bolster their respective teams in 2011.

Oklahoma State midfielder Annika Niemeier: If all goes according to plan, Niemeier should be returning to the field in what will be a unique case. Niemeier, a graduate student originally from Germany, will be back for a sixth year after red-shirting back in 2006 due to a knee injury and then going down last year with a torn ACL.

Niemeier played in just two games before the injury last season and applied for a medical hardship redshirt. While it’s not official that the NCAA has granted her request, Niemeier is taking part in the spring season which is a great sign for the Cowboys. She led OSU in goals and ranked second in assists while earning All-Big 12 honors in 2009.

Penn State defender Lexi Marton: She tore her MCL on September 12, after playing in just seven games. It speaks to the strength of the Nittany Lions program that they were able to capture at least a share of their 13th consecutive Big Ten title without her. Marton is a major cog of the defense at center back – she played every single minute of the year as a freshman in 2009, and is currently getting her legs back while competing for Penn State in the spring season.

San Diego State midfielder Cat Walker: This dangerous scorer had her season wiped out by an ACL injury. She was previously the Aztecs’ top offensive player, leading the team in goals and points in 2009. She was also a co-captain, so her value to the group can not be understated.

Wyoming forward Nicole Rice: She missed 2010 with a knee injury but the Cowgirls have said they expect her to be back with a medical redshirt. That would be a good thing as she finished second on the team in goals scored in 2009.

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