Dec. 13, 2003
Tallahassee, FL - As if sophomore Leah Gallegos hadn't set enough records for fourth-ranked Florida State this season, she keeps finding a way to add to her amazing year even in the off season. The record-setting striker picked up another honor Saturday when the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) named her a third-team All-American. She is the first Florida State player ever to receive a national honor from the NSCAA.
"That is so cool," said a surprised Gallegos. "This is really shocking. I never expected it. I am still getting over the shock and excitement from going to the College Cup. That hasn't even sunk in yet. I feel so good about this team and I am still amazed by how good this team is.
"We have so much talent that deserves to be recognized within this group. To get an individual honor makes me proud especially based on the group that surrounds me. It shows me that I have played a small role in helping this team reach its potential."
Gallegos, who had a stellar freshman campaign, burst on to the national scene in 2003. The Los Angeles, CA native led FSU in every offensive category except for assists. She set new Florida State single season records for goals (18), game-winning goals (7), golden goals (2), NCAA Tournament golden goals (2), multi-goal games in a season (5), shots (109) and shots on goal (60). She is the only player in FSU soccer history to be named to the SoccerBuzz and Soccer America Teams of the Week and ACC Player of the week in the same week and she has now done that twice.
Within the conference, Gallegos led the ACC in game-winning goals and was second to MAC/Hermann Trophy finalist and NSCAA First Team All-American Lindsay Tarpley of North Carolina in goals, goals per game and shots. She was also in the top five in the ACC for points (fourth) and points per game (fifth). Among the MAC/Hermann Trophy semifinalists, Gallegos would have ranked fifth for goals and points and been second among the group for game-winning goals. No sophomore in FSU history has ever accumulated as many points, goals, shots or shots on goal as Gallegos has in her first two seasons. She already ranks fourth for career points at FSU, third for career goals, second for career shots on goal and second for career game-winning goals.
"I am very excited for Leah on an individual level because she has had an All-America type season," said head coach Patrick Baker. "It is great that she has been justifiably rewarded for that. We have a unique blend within our team where so many players have made an impact but throughout the season Leah stuck the ball in the back of the net with regularity. She backed up all the attention she received, which made her season that much more special."
Gallegos was one of 28 first time selections in the group of 36 and seven of the 36 selections were from the ACC, second-most in the nation. No Seminole has ever been higher than a third team All-American on any list and Gallegos is just the fourth FSU player ever to receive any All-American recognition. She is the second-youngest Seminole to ever garner a national All-American honor. Only Emma Breland, a freshman in 2000, was named an All-American in an earlier stage in her career.
"We have had some players in the past that have been named all-region but now we see what type of season you have to have to take that next step. Not only for an individual but also from a team standpoint," said Baker. "It couldn't have happened after a better season and it couldn't have happened to a better person or player."
Gallegos and a select group of other Seminoles could see more awards coming their way as the parade of postseason honors continues to roll. Check back to www.seminoles.com for the latest information on the fourth-ranked Seminole soccer team's postseason awards.