Oct. 21, 2003
Tallahassee, FL - Florida State head coach Patrick Baker handed out weekly awards this afternoon and for the first time this season there was a tie for player of the week honors. Senior Kristin Boyce picked up her second FSU POW honor of the season while standout keeper Joy McKenzie was awarded for the first time in her career. Defender Kelly Rowland also picked up her second honor as she was named Florida State Rookie of the Week.
McKenzie, the former walk-on from Texas, continues to amaze in her first season as a starter. The junior did not allow a goal in 200:00 minutes last week as FSU went 1-0-1 in two critical conference road games, a win at Clemson (1-0) and a tie (0-0) at No. 12 Wake Forest. With her 200 minutes of shutout play, McKenzie has now set Florida State records for minutes without allowing a goal (510:22) and consecutive minutes without a goal in conference play (275:22). She also became the first goalkeeper in Florida State history to record three ACC shutouts in a single season and the first ever to record three consecutive conference shutouts (Duke, Clemson and Wake Forest). She is now 3-0-1 in the conference and has a GAA of just 0.24. Overall, she moved her record to 7-3-1 and lowered her GAA to 0.86. After a 0-3-0 start and a GAA of 2.15, McKenzie has gone 7-0-1 and posted a GAA of 0.45. She has allowed just four goals in over 791 minutes in that span. The last time McKenzie allowed a goal was September 26 in the fifth minute against Maryland. After playing just 152 minutes in her first two seasons, McKenzie's current shutout streak is more than three times longer than her career minutes played entering 2003.
"I think one of the reasons we've had a good stretch is because we are defending well and we've had some good, consistent goalkeeping," said Baker. "Joy has come up with a pretty spectacular save in all three games to allow us a chance at being successful. That is what we have always shared with our keepers. If you make the saves you are supposed to make and pick up two or three special ones, you will give our team a great chance to be successful. She has really provided that formula for us.
"It is a credit to her and the players around her. It is due to her hard work and the team's hard work that we have been able to string together a run of good defensive performances. To get three straight ACC shutouts is remarkable. Considering we have had so few conference shutouts in history, for her to gat three in nine days is awesome."
Last week was bittersweet for senior defender Boyce. The Austin, TX native scored her second career game-winning goal in ACC play just five minutes before suffering a career-ending injury. After handing the Tribe their second consecutive victory at Riggs Field due to her lone goal of the game, Boyce was carried off the field minutes later with a fracture that likely ended her career. The four-year starter and heart of the FSU backline was in the midst of a consecutive start streak that reached 66 games that night.
The co-captain went out in style though as she notched the 11th goal of her career and her second-ever ACC goal, both game-winners. The play started with Boyce and Ratliff playing a give and go at the top of the box. That freed Ratliff to dribble to the top of the Clemson penalty box and rip a shot off the crossbar, the second FSU shot to bounce of the Clemson crossbar within a minute. The ball caromed off the iron and right to Boyce. The senior touched the ball in from about five yards out. It was her first conference game-winner since her golden goal against North Carolina as a freshman.
"She played great versus Duke and then had a remarkable individual performance versus Clemson," said Baker. "She made an unbelievable defensive stop and then within the same play to get forward and capitalize on a wonderful individual effort by Jez (Ratliff) on the follow up was special. That goal enabled us to get a crucial, significant conference win on the road. A few minutes later, she goes down with a career-ending injury...what a loss to her teammates, this program and me.
"Boyce provides so much to this program as a player and as a person. She is remarkable. It is a shame her season and career came to an end a lot sooner than we all would have hoped."
Rowland, a freshman from Wallingford, PA is having a storybook season. The center back has stepped in and provided FSU with stability and is a key reason that FSU has allowed just 17 goals all season and just three in four ACC games. Thanks to Rowland's play, FSU is on pace to break the record for goals allowed in a season and goals allowed in an ACC season. Last week, she helped McKenzie and the FSU defense record three consecutive shutouts in ACC play for the first time in program history. It is also the first time ever FSU has recorded three ACC shutouts in a single season. The Seminole defense is also in the midst of a school record shutout streak that reached 380:27 after holding Wake Forest without a goal for 110 minutes.
"I think Kelly Rowland is continually proving herself as not only one of the best freshmen at Florida State but one of the best in the southeast and for that matter the country," said Baker. "We weren't really sure where we would use her when we recruited. She felt like she might be best suited to play in the back. Give her credit; she has been persistent back there.
"Kelly watches a lot of video. She asks a lot of questions and that have given her great insights. Sliding her centrally was a great move for her and us. She has really blossomed there. She played well versus Duke. Had a slow first half versus Clemson but really came on in the second half where she had some key plays. She isn't playing like a freshman and that is what you need right now."
The 14th-ranked Seminoles have climbed their way back into three of the four national polls this week. Florida State is ranked No. 14 (Soccer America), No. 18 (SoccerBuzz) and No. 21 (SoccerTimes.com) as it heads into its final home stand of the season. Florida State will look to clinch its best ever ACC record Friday night versus N.C. State (8-6-0, 1-4-0). The Wolfpack recorded their first conference win of the season the last time out with a 1-0 win over Maryland.
Florida State will also try to set a new attendance record Friday night. The Seminoles have played in front of three straight crowds of 1,000 or more fans. They can set a new record if they are able to surpass 1,000 fans again Friday night for the fourth time in a row. There is no admission charge for regular season matches at the Seminole Soccer Complex. For more information please log on to www.seminoles.com, the official athletic website for Florida State University.